FEA offers accurate prediction of crack growth in composites

New FEA add-on software has been launched that accurately predicts fracture growth in laminated composite parts. Originally developed for Boeing, the software has been refined for general engineering. Dean Palmer reports

New FEA add-on software has been launched that accurately predicts fracture growth in laminated composite parts. Originally developed for Boeing, the software has been refined for general engineering. Dean Palmer reports

Composite materials are becoming more widespread as an engineering material, especially in applications where strength is crucial and reductions in product weight offer technical and commercial advantage. In the aerospace industry for example, manufacturers are exploring new composite materials that lower the weight of the aircraft in order to help carriers save on fuel costs.

The software is a comprehensive implementation of the Virtual Crack Closure Technique (VCCT), a technology that Boeing developed for predicting fracture and failure in laminated composite materials. Boeing has been using the technology to determine the load-carrying capacity of aircraft panels and structures by understanding how panel 'buckling' drives crack propagation.

'VCCT for Abaqus' is a refined version of Boeing's technology, that integrates with Abaqus' own finite element analysis (FEA) software. The add-on is compatible with Abaqus version 6.5 and is available now in the UK.

Although VCCT is an important analysis tool for aerospace engineering, other engineering industries that design and manufacture high performance composites now have a chance to benefit from the new software.

The software accurately simulates delamination in composite structures. It allows engineers to identify the overall load at which a crack initiates and to then predict the behaviour of the structure as the crack propagates. Crucially, the software enables engineers to understand the stability and load-carrying capacity of the composite structure after failure, so that durability and damage-tolerance of parts can be assessed.

Chris Smith, business development director at Abaqus UK told Eureka: "The add-on will cost users around £3,400."

Author
Tom Shelley

This material is protected by MA Business copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.

 

Supporting Information
Do you have any comments about this article?
Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

© MA Business Ltd (a Mark Allen Group Company) 2021