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A Cure for Your Composites Woes

It’s the time of year again when folks from all around the globe head to Paris for the JEC World Composites Show. Sadly, this year, I won’t personally be attending but ANSYS will have a great team at the show. There will be a lot going on at this years event. Our expert team will be on hand to tell you all about some of the cool new advancements we’ve made and we have one very special display.

Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) has loaned part of their Americas Cup winning yacht to display on the stand. The sail on the Americas Cup yacht actually behaved more like a wing than a sail. Sailing to me, as a non-expert, always seemed very gentle. This is far from the case though with vessels like those used in the Americas Cup. The “wing” combined with hydrofoil like fins that lift it out of the water and race through the seas at up over 47 knots (around 55mp/h or 87km/h).

The wing has a shape that can be tuned to maximize the effect of the wind. Actuators allow each of the 3 wing segments to be twisted and adjusted during the race. The adjustments can be the difference between a triumph or failure. The ETNZ team developed the boat using simulation technology from ANSYS. They ran thousands of variations of the design to understand how the wing would help give the team the greatest chance of victory.

If you want to see how the wing works for yourself, make sure you stop by the ANSYS stand. The flap will be on display and if you ask nicely you can see in action first hand.


The JEC composites show is one of the most important composites event in the world. The application of composite technology has moved beyond race cars, aircraft and amazing yachts the likes of which ENTZ built. Companies are adopting composites as an engineering solution to more and more problems. Understanding of the benefits and the ways to adopt the manufacturing of composite parts is getting better all the time. It’s obvious that simply changing a material specification is not enough.

Composite manufacture and composite material performance are tied very closely together. Designing effective shapes, layup strategies and picking materials is not enough. The tooling design and curing process of the composites must be considered if getting the desired result is to have any chance of success.

For more information about the ANSYS composite solution, this whitepaper, LMAT Composite Cure Simulation Toolbox, will show you how we enable engineers to design composite parts that are lightweight, perform well and also able to be successfully manufactured. 

And if you're really into sailing, check out a great ANSYS Advantage article called Faster Than The Wind.