PhySRNet: Physics informed super-resolution network for application in computational solid mechanics
Traditional approaches based on finite element analyses have been successfully used to predict the macro-scale behavior of heterogeneous materials (composites, multicomponent alloys, and polycrystals) widely used in industrial applications. However, this necessitates the mesh size to be smaller than the characteristic length scale of the microstructural heterogeneities in the material leading to computationally expensive and time-consuming calculations. The recent advances in deep learning based image super-resolution (SR) algorithms open up a promising avenue to tackle this computational challenge by enabling researchers to enhance the spatio-temporal resolution of data obtained from coarse mesh simulations. However, technical challenges still remain in developing a high-fidelity SR model for application to computational solid mechanics, especially for materials undergoing large deformation. This work aims at developing a physics-informed deep learning based super-resolution framework (PhySRNet) which enables reconstruction of high-resolution deformation fields (displacement and stress) from their low-resolution counterparts without requiring high-resolution labeled data. We design a synthetic case study to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework and demonstrate that the super-resolved fields match the accuracy of an advanced numerical solver running at 400 times the coarse mesh resolution while simultaneously satisfying the (highly nonlinear) governing laws. The approach opens the door to applying machine learning and traditional numerical approaches in tandem to reduce computational complexity accelerate scientific discovery and engineering design.