While topology optimization is typically employed for design at the component-level scale, it is increasingly being used to design the topology of high performance cellular materials. The design problem is posed as an optimization problem with governing unit cell and upscaling mechanics embedded in the formulation, and solved with formal mathematical programming. While design for linear elastic properties is generally well-established, this paper will discuss including nonlinear mechanics in the topology optimization formulation, also in the domain of cellular materials. In particular, the problem of maximizing total energy absorption of a cellular Bulk Metallic Glass material is considered and numerical and experimental analyses of the new design show that it has enhanced performance compared to conventional cellular topologies.

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