## Doctoral Thesis

We present a new efficient and robust algorithm for topology optimization of 3D cast parts. Special constraints are fulfilled to make possible the incorporation of a simulation of the casting process into the optimization: In order to keep track of the exact position of the boundary and to provide a full finite element model of the structure in each iteration, we use a twofold approach for the structural update. A level set function technique for boundary representation is combined with a new tetrahedral mesh generator for geometries specified by implicit boundary descriptions. Boundary conditions are mapped automatically onto the updated mesh. For sensitivity analysis, we employ the concept of the topological gradient. Modification of the level set function is reduced to efficient summation of several level set functions, and the finite element mesh is adapted to the modified structure in each iteration of the optimization process. We show that the resulting meshes are of high quality. A domain decomposition technique is used to keep the computational costs of remeshing low. The capabilities of our algorithm are demonstrated by industrial-scale optimization examples.

A modular level set algorithm is developed to study the interface and its movement for free moving boundary problems. The algorithm is divided into three basic modules : initialization, propagation and contouring. Initialization is the process of finding the signed distance function from closed objects. We discuss here, a methodology to find an accurate signed distance function from a closed, simply connected surface discretized by triangulation. We compute the signed distance function using the direct method and it is stored efficiently in the neighborhood of the interface by a narrow band level set method. A novel approach is employed to determine the correct sign of the distance function at convex-concave junctions of the surface. The accuracy and convergence of the method with respect to the surface resolution is studied. It is shown that the efficient organization of surface and narrow band data structures enables the solution of large industrial problems. We also compare the accuracy of the signed distance function by direct approach with Fast Marching Method (FMM). It is found that the direct approach is more accurate than FMM. Contouring is performed through a variant of the marching cube algorithm used for the isosurface construction from volumetric data sets. The algorithm is designed to keep foreground and background information consistent, contrary to the neutrality principle followed for surface rendering in computer graphics. The algorithm ensures that the isosurface triangulation is closed, non-degenerate and non-ambiguous. The constructed triangulation has desirable properties required for the generation of good volume meshes. These volume meshes are used in the boundary element method for the study of linear electrostatics. For estimating surface properties like interface position, normal and curvature accurately from a discrete level set function, a method based on higher order weighted least squares is developed. It is found that least squares approach is more accurate than finite difference approximation. Furthermore, the method of least squares requires a more compact stencil than those of finite difference schemes. The accuracy and convergence of the method depends on the surface resolution and the discrete mesh width. This approach is used in propagation for the study of mean curvature flow and bubble dynamics. The advantage of this approach is that the curvature is not discretized explicitly on the grid and is estimated on the interface. The method of constant velocity extension is employed for the propagation of the interface. With least squares approach, the mean curvature flow has considerable reduction in mass loss compared to finite difference techniques. In the bubble dynamics, the modules are used for the study of a bubble under the influence of surface tension forces to validate Young-Laplace law. It is found that the order of curvature estimation plays a crucial role for calculating accurate pressure difference between inside and outside of the bubble. Further, we study the coalescence of two bubbles under surface tension force. The application of these modules to various industrial problems is discussed.