Simulation of 3D Composites

Traditionally, layered composites structures are modeled as thin structures using shell elements. This approach is valid when designing thin parts, such as hollow tubes for bikes, panels for airframes and blades for wind turbines. But when the parts are more massive, such as gas turbine blades or stringers for pressure vessels, using shell elements is not appropriate. In such cases, stresses in the direction of the thickness and shear stresses out of plane are significant, and solid models are required. You need to use solid models when loads are applied in the direction of the thickness or when the structure is subject to large deformations.

In designing products made of layered solid composites and other parts, your engineering team needs an efficient workflow. An effective process starts by examining the layer definition, based on the same method used for thin structures, then moves on to create solid composites by extrusion. The next step is assembly of composites and noncomposites parts, culminating in analysis of potential failure of the overall structure.

An overview of the requirements for 3D composites modeling.

Simulation of 3D Composites Step-by-Step 

The above video was built by downloading Simulation of 3D Composites. View this 10-minute video for a step-by-step introduction to modeling thick composites structures. It covers all steps of the process, from material definition, orientation of composites and definition of plies to creation of the 3D model.

What You Will Learn

The video also shows how to assemble composites structures with noncomposites parts to solve the full problem. You can analyze first-ply failure of composites and apply design modifications to compute design variations of a given product.