Design for drainability in density-based topology optimization

Reinier Giele*, Fred van Keulen, Matthijs Langelaar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Topology optimization methods improve the structural performance of components. However, in food processing, medical, high-precision, and other industries' designs should also fulfil the requirement of being cleanable. An important aspect of cleanability is drainability, which entails that fluids can always run off the structure under just gravity. Therefore, taking drainability into account during the optimization process is essential for many applications. This paper proposes a drainage filter that turns a blueprint design into a drainable design. In a layer-by-layer fashion, the design is adjusted, to ensure fluids can always run down its surface. A smooth minimum and maximum are used in the formulation to allow for consistent sensitivity calculation. To allow for the small runoff angles, typical for practical drainability, a grid refinement is proposed. Moreover, any drainage direction can be considered. The effectiveness of the method is illustrated in 2D and 3D.

Original languageEnglish
Article number183
Number of pages14
JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Cleanability
  • Drainability
  • Topology optimization


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