Designing composites gives the engineer unique freedoms compared to designing traditional metallic structures. Simply using composites as a ‘black metal’ alternative to traditional materials does not take full advantage of their unique potential. With composites, the designer is not constrained to a uniform thickness or isotropic material properties.
Engenuity can help clients take advantage of the freedoms offered by composite materials in new product or component development through the use of efficient tools and techniques to investigate and develop the final composite lay-up.
This will encompass selection of fibre types, overall thickness and orientation of individual reinforcing fibres and plies. In this process, material is placed only where it is needed or where it is most effective.
Engenuity personnel were involved in the creation of MSC.Laminate Modeller, the ply management tool. Similar tools now incorporated in many finite element pre and post processing software packages including Abaqus/CAE to allow the user to specify, modify and evaluate the lay-up. The technique enables the analyst to represent the lay-up on a ply by ply basis in the same manner as would be used in the laminating of the component in the mould.
On items with complex curvature the ability to drape the fabric on the mould and account for the deviation of the fibres from the specified direction is also possible and further increase the accuracy and fidelity of the modelling.
The result of the lay-up development is a ply book itemising the material types and extents to facilitate costing exercise and for preliminary discussions on manufacturing feasibility and costing.
In order to exploit the significant performance potential of composites, Engenuity offers unparalleled expertise in determining the optimum technical solutions in terms of lay-up development.