Composite materials are ideally suited to achieve multifunctionality since the best features of different materials can be combined to form a new material that has a broad spectrum of desired properties. Nature’s ultimate multifunctional composites are biological materials. There are presently no simple examples that rigorously demonstrate the effect of competing property demands on composite microstructures. To illustrate the fascinating types of microstructures that can arise in multifunctional optimization, we maximize the simultaneous transport of heat and electricity in three-dimensional, two-phase composites using rigorous optimization techniques. Interestingly, we discover that the optimal three-dimensional structures are bicontinuous triply periodic minimal surfaces.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)