The powerful capabilities of composites make them a sought-after technology across many industries. But they are not without challenges. Composites require certifications, testing, and can be costly to implement.
To help support our customers even better, Altair has created a team solely dedicated to composites solutions. The newly formed Altair Composite Solutions Team is focused on providing Altair HyperWorksTM customers with design and analysis solutions for real-world composites challenges.
After initial integrations of Altair Multiscale DesignerTM and Altair ESACompTM software within the HyperWorks product suite, the team has developed a holistic HyperWorks Integrated Composite Solutions Vision and Roadmap. I would like to briefly introduce this vision and give some insight into how far along the roadmap we already are! The HyperWorks Integrated Composite Solutions Vision includes a pyramid of capabilities as discussed below
The base of the pyramid is supported by a deep understanding of the physics of material behavior which includes a Multiscale Material Model Development Framework (Multiscale Designer) and methodologies within that framework for continuous (unidirectional and woven) and discontinuous (short and long chopped) composite materials. The framework will also include a Composite Solutions Material Database that contains constituent materials and experimental test data, which allows for the creation of new multiscale material models that are predictive in nature. In addition, homogenized materials can be entered directly from “legacy” experimental data or can be created by the multiscale material models themselves (virtual allowables).
Once a solid material model base has been established, Integrated Manufacturing & Product Performance Simulations can be performed that are highly accurate to real world environments. The focus is on including the effects of manufacturing simulations for continuous product form draping, injection molding fiber orientations, and thermal residual and warpage in our product performance structural simulations. HyperWorks was established from the very beginning as an open framework which enables easy interoperability with 3rd parties. This framework continues today and we are excited to already provide HyperWorks customers with significant interoperability between several well-known draping and injection molding manufacturing simulation products, including Altair’s own draping capabilities found in Altair HyperMeshTM and the new Altair InspireTM Mold.
By having robust product performance simulation capabilities, performing Composite Design Optimizations can become a reality. Altair introduced the technology of Altair OptiStructTM in the late 1990s, bringing forward a revolutionary composite design optimization methodology that synthesizes ply shapes and derives optimal laminate zones without having to specify a priori. When the optimization capabilities of OptiStruct are combined with the modern ply-based modeling techniques in HyperMesh, the next frontier in designing efficient composite structures is entirely possible!
Finally, all composite designs are subject to Composite Design Certification requirements. They may vary from one industry to the next, but these certification requirements typically require a combination of experimental and analytical validation techniques implemented through generally accepted engineering practices. ESAComp provides analytical methods of validation and contains initial integrations within the HyperWorks suite of tools in the form of a composite stress toolbox for engineers. Expanding beyond initial integrations, a completely integrated composite stress toolbox within HyperWorks is currently being developed.
With a holistic vision for composite design, analysis, optimization, and certification, plus a comprehensive set of solutions available in one single environment, we believe Altair is uniquely positioned to help customers navigate the composite challenges of today and beyond.
Future blogs will describe additional details of each piece of the HyperWorks Integrated Composite Solutions Pyramid…until then, happy composite designing and analyzing!
Want to dive deep into the world of composites?
Join Altair at JEC World for an exclusive event during the conference: “Empowering Composites Innovation with Simulation”. Top keynote presenters from Boeing, Gurit, Cevotec, and more will highlight their use of composites and HyperWorks technology, showing use case examples applicable across industries.
Tuesday March 12, 2019 | JEC World - Paris, France