Accurate and efficient simulation of continuous fiber composites is the key to leverage the true potential of laminate structures.

Designing with Continuous Fiber Materials

When extreme lightweight requirements meet ultimate performance needs, continuous fiber reinforced materials are the solution of choice. Optimized weight-performance ratios are just as important in the aerospace industry as in transportation, sports, racing, and many other applications. Innovative composite designs using carbon fibers and other reinforcement materials meet performance, weight, and quality requirements while considering economic manufacturing. The holistic simulation of continuous fiber composites is an important building block to tailor products to individual requirements. Altair composite solutions make this happen quickly and reliably.

Use Case

Designing for a Competitive Advantage

Take a deeper look at the use of Altair simulation tools to get under the skin of the new AC75 monohulls for America's Cup 36.

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Tape laying, Stacking, fiber patch placement, Draping, etc. … Simulate and predict the process-dependent material behavior for your continuous fiber manufacturing processes.

Master Process-dependent Material Behavior

Composite material behavior is defined as components are manufactured. Analyze composite structures at the required level of detail with Altair solutions. Develop and simulate multiscale heterogeneous material models with Altair® Multiscale Designer™.

Assure manufacturability with draping and forming simulation for sandwich and multilayered laminates.

Leverage the full design potential of composite structures. Tailor the laminate material properties, ply by ply throughout the structure with Altair OptiStruct laminate optimization.

Optimize Composite Laminates

Tailor composite properties throughout a structure to optimize performance potential.

Manufacture to design geometry constraints to meet a structure’s aerodynamics, ballistics, or other performances.

Explore increased design freedom to exploit the true potential of composite materials with Altair optimization technology and processes developed with industry leaders.

Model as manufactured FEA representation of laminate structures accelerate the virtual composite certification process.

From Ideation to Composite Certification

Successful composites design requires a comprehensive composite design strategy.

Using a material model development framework, integrated manufacturing, structural simulation, composite design optimization, and composite design certification, Altair’s composite solutions enable production-ready high-performance designs to outperform project milestones.

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Accelerate Composites Design to Production

Successful composites design requires a holistic design strategy. Altair offers a comprehensive suite of design and analysis tools that efficiently design composite structures, convert metal designs to composites, optimize for performance and weight, and intuitively explore variations in design configurations. Altair has more than 35 years of experience designing, analyzing, and optimizing composite structures and can partner with customers in a variety of ways to achieve success in using composite materials.

Especially in the early design phase the efficient assessment of composite structures requires an effective mix of analytical methods and FEA analyses.

Composite Design Certification

The efficient assessment of composite structures requires an effective mix of analytical methods and FEA analyses, particularly in the early design phases.

The Altair® HyperWorks™ Composite Stress toolbox allows early design certification.

Plan required margins of safety and reserve factors against given design criteria. Probabilistic laminate analyses and failure hypotheses for first ply failure analyses, sandwich failure modes, and delamination allow an efficient and early composite design certification.

Predict Ultimate Failure Behavior

The ultimate failure behavior is an essential part of the design process, especially in applications with strict safety requirements. To predict fracture, buckling, or delamination of continuous fiber composites, numerical descriptions of material must account for this and represent these important elements accurately.

When quasistatic loading conditions are investigated Altair® OptiStruct® predicts accurate composite failure.

Running impact analysis with Altair® Radioss® for events such as bird strikes, crashes, and drops provides accurate predictions of multiphysics behavior. Users can improve prediction quality of component behavior with common failure models and customization of failure models for unique requirements.

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Detailed FEA model of carbon fiber fabric for material characterization of the continuous fiber composite structure.

Material Data and Characterization

Availability of material data is a major bottleneck in simulating composite structures. Material suppliers’ datasheets or handbook values do not represent actual properties resulting from individual manufacturing processes. Doing a complete material characterization through a test campaign is often costly and time consuming.

Altair® Material Data Center™ enables designers, engineers, and scientists to browse, search, and compare materials in a standalone application or through the interface of their simulation and optimization tools.

Multiscale Designer is a comprehensive framework to develop highly-predictive and computationally-efficient material models for all material behaviors ranging from homogeneous isotropic to heterogeneous anisotropic. Multiscale Designer reduces the time and cost associated with the development of highly predictive material models with minimal experimental data requirements.

Different composite materials, carbon fiber, kevlar fibers, glass fibers with varying weaving patterns require a composite simulation framework, that enables integrated manufacturing and structural simulation. Altair composite solutions enable production-ready high-performance designs to outperform project milestones.

A Flexible Approach

In today’s business environment, you need a partner that can work with you in a flexible manner. With Altair One™, you have access to every Altair product and the power to solve on any scale.

Altair can also augment your design team or simply be your design team to engineer great products with state-of-the art technology and decades of relevant experience. The Altair Partner Alliance (APA) brings added value to your design and analysis capabilities through a portfolio of third party technologies, all of which are available through your Altair Units license.

Featured Resources

Accurate and Efficient Simulation of Laminated Composites

This webinar presents a complete composites workflow for all industries, the simulation-driven design workflow allows for an efficient process that enables time and money reduction.


Applications of Advanced Composite Simulation and Design Optimization

Usage of fiber reinforced composite material entered an new era when leading aircraft OEMs took an unprecedented step to design and manufacture essentially full composite airframe for commercial airliners. Composite structures offer unmatched design potential as the laminate material properties can be tailored almost continuously throughout the structure. However, this increased design freedom also brings new challenges for the design process and software. Moreover, as a relatively new material, composite behaviors are more complex and less fully understood by design engineers. Therefore, reliable simulation for highly complex events like bird strike and ditching can play an important role in shortening the product design cycle. This paper showcases two area of CAE tools for composite applications. On advanced simulation, bird strike simulation with Altair RADIOSS [1] is demonstrated on an aircraft underbelly fairing. On design optimization, an airplane wing structure is designed using an innovative composite optimization process implemented in Altair OptiStruct [1-3]. OptiStruct has seen increasing adoption among aerospace OEMs, as demonstrated in the Bombardier application process described in this paper.

Technical Papers

Cost Optimization in Composite Structures

Cost optimization is a driving force in all fields of industry, with every manufacturer competing to provide a cost-effective solution to the end customer. The paper addresses how to perform an early-stage design of components with emphasis on cost optimization and without consuming too much of a construction designer's precious time. The main objective of this paper is to generate a proposal for a car seat design, based on free size optimization and cost optimization using Altair OptiStruct commercial engineering software.

Technical Papers

Marsden Cross Roof

Overcoming “impossible” with advanced composite analysis and cost-driven optimization

Customer Stories
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