Composite materials are crucial in current component development to improve the functionality and lightweight design. No longer limited to the aerospace industry, they are widely used in
civil aviation, transportation, construction, and engineering.
Steady technical progress and the increasing number of application areas call for the competitive and reasonably-priced design of materials with very high stiffness and strength coupled with a low as possible material density.
Assessing the material behavior of composites (e.g. fracture behaviour) by experimental determination is highly complex due to their inhomogeneity and the interplay of anisotropy and differences
in stiffness of the single material components.
Also difficult is determining the permeability tensor of the non-infiltrated laminate, required to perform an adequate mold-fill simulation and ensure a complete infiltration of the component, and the permeability changes with each modification of the stacking sequence of the laminate.
Through computer simulations, new composite materials are engineered by honing in on a few promising designs and restricting costly lab tests to these few designs.
The digital revolution for composites
The digital material laboratory software GeoDict is an integrated and user-friendly unique solution for the design of composites.
GeoDict models the compositesí microstructure from material samples scanned by microCT and FIB/SEM, or creates new microstructure models from user-defined parameters.
GeoDict analyzes the geometric shape of the reinforcement, e.g. fiber orientation, fiber volume fraction, fiber diameter distribution, or fiber curvature.
The composite's macroscopic material properties are computed on the microstructure model using fast solvers for structural mechanic, fluid flow or conductivity simulations.
Accurate numerical material simulations performed with GeoDict provide useful insights into the compositesí microstructure which traditional experiments cannot give and, consequently, accelerates and cuts down cost in the development process.
Simulated and computed parameters for the improvement and design of composites:
- Short/long/endless-fiber composites, nonwoven and woven fabrics, laminates, sandwich structures.
- Geometric analysis with FiberGuess: fiber orientation analysis, fiber diameter distribution, fiber volume fraction, fiber curvature.
- Mechanical simulation with ElastoDict: stiffness tensor, damage, failure, and strength, definition and inclusion of the user's material models (UMAT), interface to other CAE software (Abaqus).
- Flow simulation with FlowDict: direction-dependent permeability, study of the impact on permeability of changes in e.g. fiber volume fraction or injection pressure.
- Conductivity simulation with ConductoDict: effective electrical conductivity and effective thermal conductivity.
* The concrete field of application determines the appropriate modules.