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Composite materials are attractive for manufacturing because they are lightweight, high in strength and can be optimized by varying the number of plies and their orientation. The increasing affordability of manufacturing using composites is driving innovative designs in such industries as aerospace, defense, energy, sports, construction, marine and automotive.

Simulation plays two key roles in composites design: (1) to help optimize the design by determining the best combination of fiber orientation and stack-up to meet the desired goals with the minimum structure weight; and (2) to predict long-term reliability.

Unlike conventional materials, composites have a large number of potential failure modes, including: failure within a layer (damage or complete failure in fibers and/or matrix material); failure between layers (delamination) induced by transverse shears and tension; fiber debonding (separation of fiber and matrix); and cracking. All must be addressed before a design can be approved.

Our engineers have been working with composites technology since 1981, and we know what it takes to produce a successful design. Composites simulation methods have evolved since our first project—helping to optimize hardware for a NASA flight—and we continue to stay at the forefront of the technology, building on our practical knowledge gained from many years of experience.

Examples of composites simulations we’ve performed include:

  • Structural analysis of composite helicopter blades
  • Structural analysis of composite aircraft seats and ducts
  • Optimization of composite flywheels
  • Analysis of composite gearbox housings
  • Stress and deflection analysis of a composite rotor and hub assembly
  • Development and implementation of a damage-based method to predict the life of a composite helicopter tail rotor spar
  • Parametric delamination analysis for tapered composite structures (VCCT method)
  • Composite delamination assessment and fatigue growth analysis using cohesive zone material (CZM) simulation
  • Development of user-subroutines to predict damage of composites for ANSYS and LS-Dyna

Why CAE Associates?

  • We’ve been at the forefront of composites simulation technology since 1981.
  • You can rely on us to guide you through the complex world of composites analysis.

Contact us!
Contact us to learn more about our composites analysis services.