GeoDict for Structural Materials

Structural Materials

Structural materials are used in a wide variety of applications to manufacture products for which the used materials must comply with a range of requirements. Mechanical behavior usually plays the major role, but properties such as thermal and electrical conductivity or thermal expansion must also be considered. Therefore, knowledge of these properties is crucial in both material and component development.

The GeoDict« software offers customized solutions for the analysis of composite materials, ceramics, metals and foams. Other materials, such as polymers or building materials, can also be analyzed in GeoDict«. Simply contact us with your requests.

GeoDict simulations for the design of composite materials

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 composites' microstructure from material samples scanned by ÁCT 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.

Digitalization of engine bearer material PA66-GF50

The outstanding properties of foams make them suitable for a wide range of applications. Foams play an important role in the design of lightweight components due to their low density:

  • Structural foams made from PMI (polymethacrylimide) or PET (polyethylene terephthalate), for example, are processed together with composite materials to form sandwich components that are commonly used in industries such as aviation.
  • Particle foams, such as expanded polystyrene (EPS) or expanded polypropylene (EPP), can be used to produce molded parts for the packaging industry.
  • Some foams such as EPP or metallic foams are also suitable for use in crash absorbers due to their high energy absorption.
  • Foams are a typical insulating material due to their cellular structure which largely includes trapped air.

An immense testing effort is needed to determine the characteristic values of all these foam properties. The testing of the effects of varying parameters, such as cell sizes, cell wall thicknesses, or cell distribution, at the beginning of the manufacturing process is a difficult or impossible task without major adjustments.

Digital material design with GeoDict« allows all these parameters to be changed and optimized in the computer, before manufacturing any prototypes. Only the most promising configurations are produced as prototypes and tested for validation.

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 foams

The digital material laboratory GeoDict« offers a user-friendly complete solution for the development of tailor-made foams. The workflow is as follows: Samples of existing materials are scanned in a ÁCT and the data is imported into the software to create a 3D structure model. A complete analysis of the geometric properties, such as cell size and cell size distribution, is carried out on the 3D structure model. If no image data is available, complex microstuctures can be generated using the FoamGeo and GrainGeo modules.

Based on the properties of the digitized microstructure model, the macroscopic material properties of the foam can be computed and predicted. A large number of solvers are developed in-house and available for this purpose, for example for structural mechanics, conductivity, or fluid mechanics.

Digitalization of a particle foam

Accurate numerical material simulations performed with GeoDict provide useful insights into the materialĺs microstructure which traditional experiments cannot deliver and, consequently, accelerates and cuts down cost in the material development process.

GeoDict is used for the generation of structural materials and the simulation and prediction of parameters to improve and design structural materials:

  • Creation of complex materials, including short, long and continuous fiber reinforced polymers, complex laminates, foams, ceramics, metals, sandwich structures, nonwovens and fabrics, fiber reinforced ceramics, hybrid materials.
  • Creation of nonwoven, foam, woven, and granular microstructures with FiberGeo, FoamGeo, WeaveGeo, and GrainGeo, respectively.
  • Geometric analysis with FiberFind: Fiber orientation analysis, fiber diameter distribution, fiber volume content, fiber curvature; identification of single fibers and fiber length distribution through Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • Mechanical simulation with ElastoDict: calculation of stiffness tensor, failure behavior and strength, implementation of user-defined material models (UMAT), interface to other CAE software, determination of effective thermal expansion tensor. Performance of digital experiments without distortion of the results as an effect of the test setup.
  • 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 tensor, effective thermal conductivity tensor, contact resistances.
  • Interfaces to other simulation programs with ExportGeo: Export of meshed objects, export of stiffness, temperature and flow fields, export of UMAT state variables.
  • Enhanced productivity through automation of simulation tasks with GeoPython or GeoLab (Matlab): optimization problems, parameter studies, single variable studies, robustness analyses.
  • User defined post-processing with GeoDexcel (Excel), GeoPython or GeoLab

Module recommendations
Interfaces ImportGeo-Vol ImportGeo-CAD ExportGeo-CAD ExportGeo-Abaqus GeoDexcel GeoPython & GeoLab
Material design* FiberGeo WeaveGeo GrainGeo PaperGeo FoamGeo GridGeo
Material analysis* FiberFind ElastoDict ConductoDict FlowDict AcoustoDict PoroDict & MatDict

* The specific field of application determines the appropriate modules.