Z.W. Wang, C.Y. Tang, C.P. Tsui, B. Gao
Many natural and advanced biomedical materials are functionally graded porous architectures.
Recently, studies on these graded porous structures have been attracted lots of research
attentions due to their outstanding strength-to-weight performance. It has been a challenge to
analyze this kind of structures mechanically due to the gradation in physical properties within
the material. In this article, an optimization technique, which was incorporated with a finite
element model, is proposed to design graded porous tubular structures for maximizing their
bending strength. The gradation of the physical property of a tubular structure was described
mathematically by parametric functions. A parametric finite element model was constructed to
mimic the flexural response of a graded porous tubular structure using the finite element code
ANSYS. With the concept of damage mechanics, an optimization procedure developed for
maximizing the flexural strength and at the same time minimizing the weight was integrated
with the finite element code using the ANSYS parametric design language. Using a case
example, the effectiveness of the proposed technique was demonstrated. This study provides a
method for designing graded porous structures and also contributes to better understanding of
functionally graded porous materials.