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.

Luna Rossa

Making Boats Fly

"...Altair has allowed us to automate the ply-by-ply structural sizing processes... which has opened the door to a radical approach in the construction of components in the yard."

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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.

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.

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.

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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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.

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

Lightweighting With Laminate Composites: Vibro-Acoustic Design Using AlphaCell

Laminate composites are often the answer to ever increasing lightweighting demands. While significant advances were made regarding mechanical strength, there remain a number of challenges regarding their vibro-acoustic properties. Composites are indeed lighter and stiffer, which as a result, tends to decrease their sound insulation properties at critical audible frequencies. One thus needs a thorough design of the structure to avoid acoustic comfort failure. During this webinar, a unique approach to predict the vibro-acoustic response of laminate composites will be presented. Supported by short computational times and high fidelity predictions, this new feature of AlphaCell enables to optimize the design at an early stage of the project. In addition to accurate predictions, this model further enables to reduce the computational cost in FE analyzes by providing material cards with condensed properties. Presenter: François-Xavier Bécot | Director and Executive Co-Manager, Matelys Featuring AlphaCell by Matelys, available through the Altair Partner Alliance.


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 Document

Advanced Composite Material Calculations at eStress Using HyperWorks, LAP and CoDA

eStress' needed to develop a practical and generalized approach to assess the behavior of curved composite beams under corner unfolding loading for design sizing. This process shows how HyperWorks, LAP and CoDA worked together to achieve this.

Customer Stories
Composite Optimization

Practical Optimization for Aerospace Series: Composite Optimization

Composite materials have become the structural material of choice in many industries due to their improved strength to weight ratios compared to more traditional materials. A design methodology specific to composites is necessary to take full advantage of the unique performance and manufacturing capabilities of these materials. This webinar demonstrates Altair’s composite optimization methodology which produces an efficient final design while meeting engineering requirements.

In this webinar, we discuss how to:

  • Identify efficient ply orientations and shapes for a given part
  • Determine the necessary number of each ply to meet engineering requirements
  • Produce a final, fully defined laminate for further analysis and manufacturing

For more details on the Practical Optimization for Aerospace webinar series, please visit:


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