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IN SPECIAL GEOMETRY USING A

BOUNDARY ELEMENT METHOD

SEONG JIN PARK AND TAI HUN KWON

Department of Mechanical Engineering; Pohang University of Science and Technology; Pohang 790-784; Korea

ABSTRACT

In some steady heat conduction problems in special geometries which consist of a closely spaced surface

and circular holes in an innite domain, thermal system designers may want to optimize the conguration

of circular holes in terms of their radii and locations to achieve the goal of uniform temperature distribution

over a closely spaced surface. In this paper, an ecient optimization procedure for this kind of problem is

proposed utilizing (i) the special boundary element analysis, (ii) the corresponding design sensitivity analysis

and (iii) the CONMIN algorithm. Three sample problems were solved to demonstrate the eciency and the

usefulness of the proposed optimization procedure. Some industrial engineering examples of such problems

can be found in the injection molding process, the compression molding process, and so on. ? 1998 John

Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

KEY WORDS: three-dimensional conduction heat transfer; special boundary integral formulation; Design Sensitivity

Analysis (DSA); Direct Dierentiation Approach (DDA); optimization; CONMIN algorithm

1. INTRODUCTION

Many engineering problems involve heat transfer, stress analysis,
uid mechanics, electronics,

acoustics, etc. in complex three-dimensional geometries with a closely spaced surface and circular

holes. In particular, some typical examples of such geometries in the heat transfer problems are

molds of the injection molding process and compression molding process. The present study is

concerned about a model optimization problem of steady-state conduction heat transfer in these

kinds of geometries. In this thermal system, it would be of utmost importance to determine an

optimal conguration of circular holes in terms of their sizes and locations to make the temperature

distribution on closely spaced gaps (e.g. cavity surface in an injection mold) as uniform as possible.

A typical optimization process starts with a preliminary design (or initial) and searches for a

better design with the help of the numerical analysis and the design sensitivity analysis of the

current design. Based on the design sensitivity coecients, a new design is proposed during an

Correspondence to: Tai Hun Kwon, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and

Technology, San 31, Hyoja Dong, Pohang 790-784, Korea. E-mail: thkwon@vision.postech.ac.kr

Contract=grant sponsor: Samsung Electronics

CCC 00295981/98/06110918$17.50

? 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Revised 12 March 1998

1110

iterative process by using a non-linear programming algorithm, for example, the steepest descent

algorithm and the CONMIN algorithm proposed by Haarho and Buys,1 etc. If no better design

can be found, the iterative optimization process stops. Otherwise, the iterative process is continued

until an optimal design is obtained. In order to use any rst-order method for this optimization

process, the thermal analysis and the corresponding design sensitivity analysis are essentially required for an optimal design. The design sensitivity analysis provides with Design Sensitivity

Coecients (DSCs) which are rates of changes of response variables such as temperatures or heat

uxes, in a heat transfer problem, with respect to design variables. In the literature, there are some

research works on the subject of optimization problems using nite element method and boundary

element method: for example, Saigal and Chandra2 for the two-dimensional and axisymmetric heat

diusion problems, Awa and co-workers3 for pultrusion die design, Tang and co-workers4 and

Matsumoto and co-workers5 for the two-dimensional cooling system design of injection molds,

Matsumoto and co-workers6 for the three-dimensional cooling=heating design of compression molds,

etc.

As far as the thermal analysis is concerned, Rezayat and Burton7 have proposed a special

boundary integral formulation for the steady heat conduction problem in these complex geometries.

In the literature, there are some research works on the subject of design sensitivity analysis for

several problems in mechanics such as elasticity or heat transfer: for example, Choi and co-workers8

for two-dimensional elastic structures, Saigal and Chandra2 for two-dimensional and axisymmetric

heat diusion problems, etc. Basically, there are three dierent approaches in the design sensitivity

analysis: the Finite-Dierence Approach (FDA), the Adjoint Structure Approach (ASA) and the

Direct Dierentiation Approach (DDA). These three approaches are used in conjunction with the

Finite Element Method (FEM) or the Boundary Element Method (BEM) to obtain design sensitivity

coecients. Park and Kwon9 recently proposed a design sensitivity analysis formulation for the

above steady heat conduction problem using the direct dierentiation approach based upon the

special boundary integral formulation proposed by Rezayat and Burton.7

The present paper has developed an ecient optimization procedure to achieve the goal of

uniform temperature distribution over a closely spaced surface for the above steady heat conduction problem: radii and locations of circular holes are considered as design variables; the

CONMIN algorithm has been adopted to obtain the optimal conguration of the design variables

in conjunction with the special boundary integral formulation by Rezayat and Burton7 and the

corresponding design sensitivity analysis formulation by Park and Kwon.9 Three sample problems are solved to demonstrate the eciency and the usefulness of the present optimization

procedure.

2. PROBLEM DEFINITION

The model optimal design problem of steady-state conduction heat transfer in an innite domain with a closely spaced surface (see Figure 1) is dened as follows: given a constant heat

ux boundary condition on the closely spaced part surface, nd optimal radius and location (design variables) of each circular hole with a constant heat transfer coecient and a constant bulk

temperature to minimize the nonuniformity of the temperature distribution on the closely spaced

part surface (or maximize the uniformity of that) with side constraints (i.e., realistic interval of

each design variable). In this model problem, the closely spaced surface and circular holes correspond to the part surface and circular cooling channels, respectively, in an injection molding

case.

? 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

1111

, SC and SE

3. GOVERNING EQUATION

The geometry of a simple model problem consists of the closely spaced surfaces and the circular

holes in an innite domain as shown in Figures 1 and 2. In these gures,

, SP , , SC , SE , and

n denote the innite domain, the part surfaces (closely spaced surfaces), the mid-surfaces of the

part, the circular hole surfaces, the exterior surfaces of the domain (at innite point), and the

outward unit normal vector in the part, respectively. We can describe the part surface by only

the mid-surface of the part instead of the whole surface (positive and negative surface as indicated

by S + and S , respectively in Figure 2) because the part surfaces are closely spaced. The governing

dierential equation for the steady-state heat conduction equation may be written as

2T = 0

in

(1)

where T is the temperature. In this model problem a constant heat
ux is imposed over the part

surfaces as a boundary condition, and the boundary condition on the circular hole surfaces is

treated as a mixed boundary condition with a specied heat transfer coecient and a specied

internal mean temperature (for example, a coolant mean temperature when the circular hole is a

cooling=heating channel). We also assume that the exterior surface of domain (at innite point)

may be treated as an innite adiabatic sphere. Thus, the boundary conditions on the boundary

S = SP + SC + SE are given as

@T

@T

=

on SP

@n

@n 0

k

@T

= h(T Tm ) on SC

@n

@T

=0

@n

(2)

on SE

Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 43, 11091126 (1998)

1112

where n;

k; h, and Tm denote the outward unit normal vector, the thermal conductivity of the material

in domain, the specied heat transfer coecient and the specied internal mean temperature,

respectively, and (@T=@n)0 is the specied temperature gradient.

4. BOUNDARY INTEGRAL FORMULATION FOR THERMAL ANALYSIS

A standard boundary element formulation10 for the three-dimensional Laplaces equation given by

equation (1) governing the steady conduction leads to

Z

@ 1

1 @T (^)

T (x) =

T (^)

dS(^)

(3)

@n

@n r

S r

Here x and ^ are points in space, r = |^ x|, and denotes a solid angle formed by the boundary

surface. Note that = 2 at the smooth boundary surface, and = 4 or 0 at internal points or external points of the domain, respectively. Kwon11 and Forcucci and Kwon12 have used equation (3)

for mold cooling system analyses.

For any two closely spaced surfaces such as the part surfaces in the model problem, because

equation (3) leads to redundancy in the nal system of linear algebraic equations, a modied

procedure as described by Rezayat and Burton7 needs to be used. According to this modication,

the mid-surface, , is considered rather than two closely spaced surfaces, SP+ and SP as schematically depicted in Figure 2. For each mid-surface element, in order to derive the extra equation

corresponding to the additional degree of freedom, a derivative of equation (3) with respect to

the normal direction vector, (n+ in Figure 2), at the mid-surface element, is taken. And, for

circular hole surfaces, SC , we use a special formulation based on the line-sink approximation.

This formulation avoids discretization of the circular channels along the circumference and thus

saves a large amount of computer memory and time. See the references by Rezayat and Burton,7

Himasekhar and co-workers13 and Park and Kwon9 for further details of this modied approach

for part surfaces, circular holes, and exterior surface.

? 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

1113

The following is the nal BEM formulae for these modications:

for a point x on the mid-surface of the part, , we have the following pair of integral equations:

Z +

@ 1

@T

1 @T

+

+

+

(T T ) dS(^)

+

T (x) + T (x) =

r @n+

@n

@n r

#

Z 2

Z " Z 2

N

P

@ 1

@T

1

d T

d ak dl(^)

+

@n

r

@n r

k=1 lk

0

0

(4)

+ 4T

Z +

@

@T

@T + (x)

@T

@ 1

@ 1

+ @T (x)

+

(T

=

+

T

)

dS(^)

@n+

@n

@ r

@n+

@n

@ @n r

#

Z 2

Z " Z 2

N

P

@ 1

@

@ 1

@T

d T

d ak dl(^)

+

@n

@

r

@

@n

r

k=1 lk

0

0

(5)

and for a point on the axis of the cylindrical segment of the cooling channels we have the following

integral equation:

Z +

@T

@ 1

1 @T

+

(T T ) dS(^)

+

0=

r @n+

@n

@n r

#

Z " Z 2

Z 2

N

P

@ 1

@T

1

d T

d ak dl(^) + 4T

(6)

+

@n

r

@n r

k=1 lk

0

0

In equations (4)(6), T denotes the temperature on the exterior surface at innite point, N is the

total number of cooling channels, ak is the radius of kth cooling channel, l is the local co-ordinate

in the axial direction of each cooling channel, and is the local circumferential co-ordinate of

each cooling channel as shown in Figure 3.

Once the integrals on each of the elements are calculated, the discretized boundary element

formulae for the analysis can be manipulated to the following form:

( )

@T

(7)

[Hij ] {Tj } = [Gij ]

@n j

where [Hij ] and [Gij ] are functions of geometry of boundary surfaces. Some of [Hij ] and [Gij ] are

singular integrals, which can be evaluated analytically in a simple manner as suggested by Rezayat

and Burton.7 Also, the integrals over in equations (4) (6) are evaluated in a closed form using

the complete elliptic integrals in the same manner proposed by Park and Kwon.9 Other integrals

are evaluated by Gaussian quadrature rule. Next, boundary conditions can be introduced to obtain

a system of linear algebraic equations:

[Aij ] {Tj } = {fi }

(8)

where [Aij ] and {fi } re
ect boundary conditions. For this problem, temperature, T , is taken to be

an unknown on each element with @T=@n being eliminated with the help of a boundary condition.

? 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

1114

This system of equations can be solved by LU-decomposition by Gaussian elimination or an underrelaxation iterative method. It may also be mentioned that T can be easily determined during

the iteration procedure to satisfy the heat balance.

The boundary element method is also an ecient numerical tool in design sensitivity analyses

when the problem can be treated without domain discretization and the design variables can be

dened on the boundary. In this particular model problem, the part surface is xed, but the size

and the arrangement of the circular holes (only dened on boundaries) can be changed to achieve

a certain design objective. Therefore, the boundary element method can be eectively applied to

the design sensitivity analysis of this model problem. In this paper, the radii and the locations of

the circular holes are considered as design variables.

The design sensitivity analysis is essentially to determine the variation of an objective function

with respect to a variation in the design variable. In this model problem, the design sensitivity

coecients of the temperature on the mold surface with respect to all design variables provide

valuable information for the optimal design using the rst-order optimization techniques. By the

implicit dierentiation of equations (4)(6) with respect to each design variable (the direct dierentiation approach), we have derived various boundary integral formulae for each design variable:

in design sensitivity equations, all T and @T=@n in equations (4) (6) are replaced by @T=@X

and @(@T=@n)=@X , respectively, X being a design variable; in additions to this replacement, design sensitivity equations should include extra boundary integral terms because the mold geometry

itself also depends on all the design variables. Refer to Park and Kwon9 for the nal forms

of design sensitivity equations and further details of this sensitivity approach for each design

variable.

? 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

1115

Once the integrals on each element are calculated, the discretized boundary element formulae

for the sensitivity analysis can be manipulated to the following form:

( )

( )

@T

@T

[Hij; X ] {Tj } + [Hij ] {Tj; X } = [Gij; X ]

+ [Gij ]

(9)

@n j

@n j; X

where ,X represents a derivative with respect to a design variable X . It may be noted that in

equation (9), {Tj }, {(@T=@n)j }, [Hij ] and [Gij ] are already obtained in the thermal analysis. The

integrals for coecients of the matrices of [Hij; X ] and [Gij; X ] can be evaluated in a manner similar

to the thermal analysis case. See Park and Kwon9 for details of evaluating these integrals. Next,

sensitivities of boundary conditions can be introduced into equation (9) to obtain a system of

linear algebraic equations as follows:

[Aij ] {Tj; X } = {fi; X } [Aij; X ] {Tj }

{fi;0 X }

(10)

where Tj; X , is taken to be an unknown on each element. It may be noted that, in equation (10),

the only forcing terms {fi;0 X } vary with the design variable X . Therefore, from equation (10),

the sensitivity analysis results can be obtained simultaneously for all design variables with multiple forcing terms, thus signicantly saving the elapsed CPU time. The major advantage of using

LU-decomposition solver lies in the fact that the LU-decomposition of the matrix [Aij ], is formed

during the analysis, and thus can be multiply reused in the sensitivity analysis. But, an iterative

method takes less computer memory and thus becomes more useful at the cost of more computating time, than a direct solver, especially when a large number of elements are to be used for

complicated part geometries. The present study has introduced the iterative method.

6. OPTIMIZATION

In this model problem, we want to nd an optimal conguration of circular holes to make the

temperature distribution over the part surface as uniform as possible. It may be mentioned that the

injection molded part quality increases with the temperature uniformity. Towards this design goal

of the uniform part surface temperature distribution, the objective function is chosen as

Z

(T T ) 2 dA

SP

Z

(11)

F(X) =

2

dA

T

SP

where

Z

T = ZSP

T dA

SP

dA

In equation (11), X is a design variable vector, T is the average temperature over the part surface.

Proper constraints have to be imposed on the design variables to keep the design realistic for

this optimization problem. In this particular problem, the upper and lower bounds must be placed

on the radius and position of each circular hole to keep the design practical from the manufacturing

? 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

1116

view point. Inequality constraints associated with a design variable Xi having the upper and lower

inequality bounds expressed by

Ai 6Xi 6Bi ;

i = 1; : : : ; n

(12)

can be modied to an equality constraint by introducing a new slack design variable Yi as follows:

Gi (Xi ; Yi ) = Xi Ai (Bi Ai ) sin 2 Yi = 0;

i = 1; : : : ; n

(13)

In order to solve the above constrained minimization problem, the present study has employed

CONMIN algorithm developed by Haaro and Buys1 since it has been successfully used in an

optimal design of heating systems in compression molds, which is quite similar to the present

model problem, by Barone and Caulk15 and Forcucci and Kwon.12 CONMIN algorithm employs

the Augmented Lagrangian Multiplier (ALM) method to deal with the equality constraints, and

DavidonFletcherPowell method16 for the unconstrained minimization during the successive unconstrained minimization procedure.

7. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Before the discussion of optimization results, it might be noted that the accuracy of the analysis

formulation and that of the sensitivity analysis formulation were demonstrated by Rezayat and

Burton7 and by Park and Kwon,9 respectively. The optimization method proposed in this paper

has been applied to three representative examples. We have used triangular elements for the part

surface and line elements for the circular hole surface as boundary elements. It might be mentioned

that each element has a constant temperature and a constant heat ux in the boundary element

analysis in the present study. We used the following the relative norm convergent criteria for

stopping the iteration:

new

F

F old

2

610

F old

where F is the objective function. The computer used in this study is SUN SPARC 10 (229

MFLOPS=102 mips).

Plane plate with two circular holes

The part geometry with an initial design of two circular holes considered in this example is

shown in Figure 4. The radii and the locations of circular hole #1 and circular hole #2 are made

intentionally unsymmetric to see if the optimized result leads to a symmetric conguration as a

way of validation of the proposed method. The discretization for the boundary element analysis is

shown in Figure 5 where each asterisk represents a node. The number of elements in the part and

two circular holes are 588 and 30, respectively. The thermal conductivity of the domain material

used in this example is 100 W=m K. For this example, we used the following boundary conditions:

(1) for part surface: uniform temperature gradient (@T=@n)0 = 103 C=m;

(2) for both cooling channels: Tm = 20 C, h = 105 W=m 2 K:

The design variables of this example are the radius, the y-co-ordinate and z-co-ordinate of each

circular hole. (The eect of x-co-ordinate of eachcircular hole is negligible.) The constraints of

? 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

1117

016a1 610;

106y1 6100;

1006z1 6100;

016a2 610

1006y2 610

1006z2 6100

where subscripts 1 and 2 denote the circular hole ID number. The optimization procedure required

4 iterations of unconstrained minimizations to yield the optimal conguration and the total elapsed

CPU time was 17 : 25 : 42 (h : min : s). Figure 6(a) shows the conguration path from the initial

conguration to the optimal one and Figure 6(b) indicates the corresponding values of normalized

objective function (with respect to the value of objective function of the initial design) during the

iteration. It is interesting to note that the conguration changes toward a symmetric conguration

as it should. The objective function decreases upto 247 per cent. From the above results, we have

found the following characteristics of each design variable:

(a) As the radius decreases (resulting in less cooling eect), both |T T | (the numerator of the

objective function) and T (the denominator of the objective function) increase. Therefore,

there exists at least an optimal radius of each circular hole, which was conrmed by extensive

computations.

? 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

1118

Figure 5. Plane plate with two circular holes: boundary element mesh

(b) At a given radius (about 4 mm), when the distance between the part surface and the circular

hole changes, |T T | is found to be smallest at the distance of 50 mm. On the other hand,

T increases with the distance. Therefore, there exists an optimal distance of 475 mm as a

local minimum. In fact, when the distance is over 200 mm, the objective function begins to

decrease as the distance increases. Since the distance over 200 mm is too large to be realistic

in a model, the local minimum is what we wanted to nd.

(c) The optimal z-co-ordinate coincides with the symmetrical location, that is, the centre of the

part.

Figure 7 shows the distribution of 1 (T= T ) (referred to the uniformity distribution, hereafter)

over the part surface in the initial design (a) and in the optimal conguration (b), which clearly

indicates that the optimal conguration has more uniform temperature distribution than the initial

one. The results of this example show that the proposed optimization procedure works quite

successfully. Furthermore, we have conrmed that the optimization method ended up with the

same optimal conguration from several dierent initial designs.

Plane plate with six circular holes

Figure 8 shows the part geometry with an initial design of six circular holes for the second

example. The number of boundary elements in the part and six circular holes used in the analysis

are 588 and 60, respectively. The thermal conductivity of the domain material used in this example

is 10 W=m K. For this example, we used the following boundary conditions:

(i) for part surface: uniform temperature gradient (@T=@n)0 = 103 C=m

(ii) for both cooling channels: Tm = 20 C, h = 5 104 W=m 2 K

The design variables of this example are the radius, the x-co-ordinate and z-co-ordinate of each

circular hole. (The eect of y-co-ordinate of each circular hole is negligible.) The constraints of

each design variable are

016a1 610;

016a4 610;

006x1 69:0;

006x4 69:0;

106z1 6100;

1006z4 601;

? 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

016a2 610;

016a5 610;

956x2 6105;

956x5 6105;

106z2 6100;

1006z5 601;

016a3 610

016a6 610

1106x3 6200

1106x6 6200

106z3 6100

1006z6 601

1119

Figure 6. Results of optimization: (a) path from initial design to optimal conguration; (b) normalized objective function

versus iteration

where subscripts 16 denote the circular hole ID number. The optimization procedure required

9 iterations of unconstrained minimizations to yield the optimal conguration and the elapsed

CPU time was 31 : 19 : 42. Figure 9 shows the initial design (dotted lines) and the nal optimal conguration (solid lines). Figure 10 shows the distribution of 1 (T= T ) over the part

surface both in the initial design and in the optimal conguration. And the normalized objective function reduced to about 592 per cent at the optimal conguration. As expected, the

circular holes become symmetrical and the distance of circular holes at the centre from the

? 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

1120

Figure 7. Uniformity distribution on the part surface in (a) initial design (T = 1180) and (b) optimal conguration

(T = 1311) [levelvalue = (11 level number)=20]

part surface becomes larger than those at both ends to make the temperature as uniform as

possible.

Wedged shape with ve circular holes

The wedged-shape part geometry with an initial design of ve circular holes considered in this

third example is shown in Figure 11. The number of boundary elements in the part and ve

circular holes are 564 and 30, respectively. The thermal conductivity of the domain material used

in this example is 10 W=m K. For this example, we used the following boundary conditions:

(1) for part surface: uniform temperature gradient (@T=@n)0 = 103 C=m

(2) for both cooling channels: Tm = 20 C, h = 5 104 W=m 2 K

? 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

1121

? 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

1122

Figure 10. Uniformity distribution on the part surface in (a) initial design (T = 754) and (b) optimal conguration

(T = 992) [level value = (11 level number)=20]

The design variables of this example are the radius, the x-co-ordinate and z-co-ordinate of each

circular hole. (The eect of y-co-ordinate of each circular hole is negligible.) The constraints of

each design variable are

016a1 610;

016a4 610;

1006x1 600;

1006x4 610;

106z1 6100;

1006z4 610;

? 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

016a2 610;

016a3 610

016a5 610;

006x2 6100;

106x3 6100

1006x5 610;

006z2 6100; 1006z3 600

1006z5 610

Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 43, 11091126 (1998)

1123

? 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

1124

Figure 13. Uniformity distribution on the part surface in (a) initial design (T = 913) and (b) optimal conguration

(T = 923) [level value = (11 level number)=20]

where subscripts 15 denote the circular hole ID number. The optimization procedure required 5

iterations of unconstrained minimizations to yield the optimal conguration and the elapsed CPU

time was 25 : 46 : 24. Figure 12 shows the initial design (dotted lines) and the nal optimal conguration (solid lines). The result indicates that the optimization method changes the conguration

in the direction of increasing the cooling eect on the plus plane and decreasing it on the minus

plane. Figure 13 shows the distribution of 1 (T= T ) over the part surface both in the initial design and in the optimal one. The normalized objective function reduced to about 240 per cent at

the optimal conguration. This optimization method quite signicantly improves the temperature

uniformity.

? 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

1125

8. CONCLUDING REMARKS

This paper is concerned with the overall numerical procedure for the optimal design problem of

some steady heat conductions in special geometries which consist of a closely spaced surface and

circular holes. Towards the goal of uniform temperature distribution over a closely spaced surface,

we could optimize the conguration of circular holes in terms of their radii and locations using

the proposed optimization procedure which consists of the followings:

1. the boundary element analysis using the special boundary integral formulation;

2. the design sensitivity analysis using the direct dierentiation approach based upon the above

special boundary integral formulation;

3. the CONMIN algorithm.

Optimizations for three representative example problems were performed to show the eciency

and the usefulness of the present optimization procedure. It may be noted that the procedures and

techniques presented in this paper can be practically applied to mold thermal system designs of

manufacturing industries such as the injection molding process, the compression molding process,

and so on.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This work is supported by Korea Ministry of Education through Mechanical Engineering Research

Fund (ME95-E-19) and partially by grants from R & D Center in Samsung Electronics (Consumer

Electronics Business). The authors gratefully acknowledge these nancial supports.

REFERENCES

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