Topology optimisation of material microstructure

This project is aimed at establishing effective and efficient computational algorithms for optimising the microstructures of materials and composites with single or multiple functional properties.

3D titanium printing of a microstructural design for maximum bulk modulus

Grants and funding: 

This project has been funded by the Australian Research Council under its Discovery Projects funding scheme (Project No. DP1094403).

New and advanced materials are of critical importance to the aerospace, automotive, medical and other industries.

Using the simple BESO technique, we have successfully developed optimisation algorithms for the topological design of cellular and composite materials considering a wide range of design objectives, including maximising bulk modulus, maximising shear modulus, maximising thermal conductivity, maximising magnetic permeability, maximising electrical permittivity, and maximising or minimising a combination of these properties. We have also used the same technique to design microstructures for functionally graded materials, and for orthotropic materials with prescribed ratios between effective stiffnesses in three directions.

Key people

  • Dr Xiaodong Huang
  • Professor Mike Xie
  • Dr Shiwei Zhou
  • Dr Zhihao Zuo
  • Dr Xiaoying Yang
  • Mr Arash Radman


  • X. Huang, A. Radman and Y.M. Xie, ’Topological design of microstructures of cellular materials for maximum bulk or shear modulus’, Computational Materials Science, 50, pp 1861-1870, 2011.
  • X. Huang, Y.M. Xie, B. Jia, Q. Li and S.W. Zhou, ’Evolutionary topology optimization of periodic composites for extremal magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity’, Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 46, pp 385-398, 2012.
  • X.Y. Yang, X. Huang, J.H. Rong and Y.M. Xie, ’Design of 3D orthotropic materials with prescribed ratios for effective Young’s moduli’, Computational Materials Science, 67, pp 229-237, 2013.
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