Topology optimization with a nonlinear contact and temperature load

Dear Ladies and Gentleman.

I want to make a topology optimization of the following slider:

At E,G,D and F there is a guiding wich is made of plastics. The outerside of the guiding is fixed and there is a frictionless contact to the slider. On B there is a trapezoidal pressure load. On the C there is a cylider, so the displacement in x-direction is 0.

There is a thermal load on the body which you can see in following picture:

When I want to make a topology optimization of the slider I get following message:

" *** ERROR ***

Nonlinear contact in combination with thermal load is not supported."

The problem is that I need this nonlinear contact behaviour so that the slider can take off from the guidance.

Has anyone an idea how I can modell the thermal load or the nonlinear contact to get an acceptable result?

Looking forward for you answers.



  • jjdoylejjdoyle PittsburghPosts: 138Member

    If you turn on beta switches, you can get the nonlinear contact to work provided you run the static solve as small deflection with small sliding turned on. For the topology run, you will need to strategically exclude contact and target elements that are in a closed condition (as a minimum) at end of the static solve.

    You can include a thermal condition as a body load in the static run, but the elements with this condition applied are automatically excluded from the topology optimization. They are treated as being part of a boundary condition. This is probably not very helpful. You could try to override this default exclusion by defining custom exclusions scoped to boundary conditions other than the thermal condition, but it might be difficult to get this to converge during the topo opt run.

  • bokaJbokaJ Posts: 31Member

    Thank you for your answer.

    I hope that I understand your idea right, so I sum up what I have done.

    First I have turned on beta options.

    Then I have turned on small sliding:

    I left larged deflection turned off.

    And as Exclusion Regoin I have choosen Geometry selection and selected the following edges:

    When I run the topology optimization I get follwoing message:

    If I look at the outpu data file of the topology optimization I get the same message again as before:

     *** ERROR ***

     Nonlinear contact in combination with thermal load is not supported.

    If I have misunderstood your suggest, please do enlighten me.

    If you have any further idea I would be happy if you would tell it to me.

    Thank you and best regards.


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