Simulation Tool Reduces Computational Time for Multiscale Composite Materials
Shawn Wasserman posted on April 20, 2016 |
Various materials simulated by the Multiscale Designer. (Image courtesy of Altair.)

Various materials simulated by the Multiscale Designer. (Image courtesy of Altair.)

Recently, Altair added a Multiscale Designer tool for composite simulations into their flagship HyperWorks simulation platform.

Altair reports that the Multiscale Designer tool is used to help engineers design, simulate and model multiscale materials and composites faster than traditional methods without sacrificing accuracy.

“Multiscale Designer adds significant new composites expertise to the Altair HyperWorks suite, including multiscale analysis, stochastic design, fatigue analysis, multiphysics simulation, and tighter integration with Altair solvers OptiStruct and RADIOSS,” said Dr. Uwe Schramm, Chief Technical Officer, Solvers and Optimization.

Once the material is modeled, the data can then be used for a multitude of analysis types, including:

  • Ultimate material failure
  • Statistical-based allowables
  • Fatigue analysis
  • Fracture simulations
  • Impact simulations
  • Crash simulations
  • Environmental degradation simulations
  • Multiphysics simulations

Traditionally, these materials present a simulation challenge and require a significant amount of computational power.

However, the Multiscale Designer tool tackles this simulation problem by substituting an over-refined finite element model (FEM) with multiple coarser and interconnected FEMs of varying length scales. The tool completes this process by using systematic model reduction to simplify hundreds of thousands of finite elements into a few deformation nodes and state variables.

Altair reports that the benefit of this approach is that simulations are no longer dependent on unit cell models, reducing computational time while maintaining the accuracy and flexibility of the model.

Some of the heterogeneous materials compatible with the Multiscale Designer tool include:

  • Continuous composites
  • Woven composites
  • Chopped fiber composites
  • Honeycomb cores
  • Reinforced concrete
  • Soil
  • Bones

Additionally, the Multiscale Designer has plug-ins to various finite element analysis (FEA) solvers including OptiStruct, RADIOSS, LS-DYNA and Abaqus. As a result, engineers are not forced to use the composite material results in HyperWorks; they can choose a third-party alternative.

Some other features of the Multiscale Designer include:

  • Forward and inverse optimization techniques for multistage material development
  • Parametric unit cells
  • Simulation of nonlinear behavior
  • Virtual prototyping

The Multiscale Designer tool came to Altair in their acquisition of MDS almost one year ago. The fact that the tool would be added to HyperWorks was hinted at during the release of HyperWorks 14.0. For more information about the HyperWorks release follow this link.

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