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Title: Subdivision and manifold techniques for isogeometric design and analysis of surfaces
Author: Zhang, Qiaoling
ISNI:       0000 0004 7968 4029
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
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Design of surfaces and analysis of partial differential equations defined on them are of great importance in engineering applications, e.g., structural engineering, automotive and aerospace. This thesis focuses on isogeometric design and analysis of surfaces, which aims to integrate engineering design and analysis by using the same representation for both. The unresolved challenge is to develop a desirable surface representation that simultaneously satisfies certain favourable properties on meshes of arbitrary topology around the extraordinary vertices (EVs), i.e., vertices not shared by four quadrilaterals or three triangles. These properties include high continuity (geometric or parametric), optimal convergence in finite element analysis as well as simplicity in terms of implementation. To overcome the challenge, we further develop subdivision and manifold surface modelling techniques, and explore a possible scheme to combine the distinct appealing properties of the two. The unique advantages of the developed techniques have been confirmed with numerical experiments. Subdivision surfaces generate smooth surfaces from coarse control meshes of arbitrary topology by recursive refinement. Around EVs the optimal refinement weights are application-dependent. We first review subdivision-based finite elements. We then proceed to derive the optimal subdivision weights that minimise finite element errors and can be easily incorporated into existing implementations of subdivision schemes to achieve the same accuracy with much coarser meshes in engineering computations. To this end, the eigenstructure of the subdivision matrix is extensively used and a novel local shape decomposition approach is proposed to choose the optimal weights for each EV independently. Manifold-based basis functions are derived by combining differential-geometric manifold techniques with conformal parametrisations and the partition of unity method. This thesis derives novel manifold-based basis functions with arbitrary prescribed smoothness using quasi-conformal maps, enabling us to model and analyse surfaces with sharp features, such as creases and corners. Their practical utility in finite element simulation of hinged or rigidly joined structures is demonstrated with Kirchhoff-Love thin shell examples. We also propose a particular manifold basis reproducing subdivision surfaces away from EVs, i.e., B-splines, providing a way to combine the appealing properties of subdivision (available in industrial software) for design and manifold basis (relatively new) for analysis.
Supervisor: Cirak, Fehmi Sponsor: Cambridge Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: isogeometric analysis ; finite elements ; subdivision surfaces ; manifold-based surfaces ; unstructured meshes ; thin shell