Document Type


Date of Award

Winter 1-31-1994

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering - (M.S.)


Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

First Advisor

R. S. Sodhi

Second Advisor

Nouri Levy

Third Advisor

Zhiming Ji


This paper presents a general algorithm, using IDEAS programmability features to integrate different phases of shape optimization process. The present work is mainly concentrated on planar structures, defined by thin or shell finite elements. Interactive programs are generated to convert input data to geometric models, to define mesh areas, to generate finite element mesh and to execute adaptive mesh refinement techniques. The importance of automated mesh generation and refinement is highlighted and various optimization methods are considered. Further, a special attention is given to integration issues of shape optimization capabilities into CAD environment. To demonstrate the developed algorithm, an automotive rear suspension torque arm is selected for finite element analysis and shape optimization. The practical example highlights the important features of IDEAS programs and analysis results are explained by plotting stress contours for different steps during the optimization procedure. As a whole, the stress has been given to m develop a general approach, rather than concentrating on specialized areas of shape optimal design process.