Section: New Results

Inverse problem governed by Maxwell equations

Participant : Jean Rodolphe Roche.

This work is performed in collaboration with Jose Herskovits Norman of UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, Antonio André Novotny from the LNCC, Petropolis, both from Brazil and Alfredo Canelas from the University of the Republic, Montevideo, Uruguay.

The industrial technique of electromagnetic casting allows for contactless heating, shaping and controlling of chemical aggressive, hot melts. The main advantage over the conventional crucible shape forming is that the liquid metal does not come into contact with the crucible wall, so there is no danger of contamination. This is very important in the preparation of very pure specimens in metallurgical experiments, as even small traces of impurities, such as carbon and sulphur, can affect the physical properties of the sample. Industrial applications are, for example, electromagnetic shaping of aluminum ingots using soft-contact confinement of the liquid metal, electromagnetic shaping of components of aeronautical engines made of superalloy materials (Ni,Ti, ...), control of the structure solidification.

The electromagnetic casting is based on the repulsive forces that an electromagnetic field produces on the surface of a mass of liquid metal. In the presence of an induced electromagnetic field, the liquid metal changes its shape until an equilibrium relation between the electromagnetic pressure and the surface tension is satisfied. The direct problem in electromagnetic casting consists in determining the equilibrium shape of the liquid metal. In general, this problem can be solved either directly studying the equilibrium equation defined on the surface of the liquid metal, or minimizing an appropriate energy functional. The main advantage of this last method is that the resulting shapes are mechanically stable.

The inverse problem consists in determining the electric currents and the induced exterior field for which the liquid metal takes on a given desired shape. This is a very important problem that one needs to solve in order to define a process of electromagnetic liquid metal forming.

In a previous work we studied the inverse electromagnetic casting problem considering the case where the inductors are made of single solid-core wires with a negligible area of the cross-section. In a second paper we considered the more realistic case where each inductor is a set of bundled insulated strands. In both cases the number of inductors was fixed in advance. This year we aim to overcome this constraint, and look for configurations of inductors considering different topologies with the purpose of obtaining better results. In order to manage this new situation we introduce a new formulation for the inverse problem using a shape functional based on the Kohn-Vogelius criterion. A topology optimization procedure is defined by means of topological derivatives, see [18] and [30] . To take account the free boundary evolution we consider a new level set method adapted to topological first and second order asymtotic topological analysis.