In the world of engineering, materials play a pivotal role today than ever before. Among these materials, composites stand out as an important variable, offering a unique combination of strength, lightweight properties, and versatility. Altair HyperWorks includes a deep composites library, but also includes the ability to add proprietary materials. In this blog post, we'll delve into the composites capabilities of Altair HyperWorks.
What are Composites?
Before we talk about the capabilities of Altair HyperWorks, let's take a moment to understand what composites are. Composites are materials made up of two or more materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties, which, when combined, produce a material with enhanced performance characteristics. They are widely used in industries where the need for high strength, low weight, and durability is paramount.
Fig 1: Carbon fiber composite raw material
Altair Composites Features and Capabilities
Comprehensive Material Database:
Altair HyperWorks boasts an extensive material database that includes a wide range of composite materials using its built-in ESAComp tool. In 2020, Altair also acquired M-Base, a high-fidelity plastics database. This combined database allows engineers and designers to access a wealth of material properties, helping them make informed decisions about which composites to use in their projects. Users can use the existing library of materials, add new materials, and add existing materials not already in the library.
Fig 2: Comparison of laminate properties in ESAComp
Advanced Composite Analysis:
HyperWorks provides powerful tools for simulating the behavior of composite materials under various conditions. Engineers can perform advanced structural analyses, including laminate analysis, failure prediction, and optimization, to ensure that composites are used effectively and safely in their designs. Altair is widely known for having some of the best topology optimization tools that allow users to create the optimal design – and material choice is a major factor in getting the best performance.
Altair also gives users access to Altair Partner Alliance products, at no extra cost, that extends to composites analysis capabilities to include deep, application-based analysis like:
- VABS™ by Analyswift – Cross sectional analysis for composite beams.
- QSD® by Cetim - Smart composite design with adapted fiber orientation and reduced material scraps, draping analysis.
- Laminate Analysis Program (LAP) by Anaglyph – Analysis and design of composite material laminates (see Fig below).
- Advanced Cure Simulation by LMAT – Simulate curing reactions in composite materials.
Fig 3: Screenshot of LAP by Anaglyph
Altair Multiscale Designer:
One of the standout features of HyperWorks is its ability to perform multiscale modeling of composite materials using Altair Multiscale Designer. This means that engineers can simulate the behavior of composites at both the microscale and macroscale levels, continuous fiber-reinforced materials and woven products allowing for a deeper understanding of their properties and performance. In the video below, we dive into Multiscale Designer and how it can be used most effectively.
Integration with CAD and CAE:
HyperWorks Is both CAD and solver agnostic, which means it seamlessly import native CAD files and export to popular CAE solvers, streamlining the design and analysis process. This integration allows engineers to easily import and export composite models, ensuring a smooth workflow from design to simulation.
Altair HyperWorks is at the forefront of the composites revolution in engineering. Its powerful capabilities for material analysis, structural simulation, and lightweight design make it an important tool for industries where composite materials are transforming the landscape. By harnessing the potential of composites through HyperWorks, engineers can create products that are not only stronger but also more sustainable and efficient. For additional questions, or to try it for yourself, don’t hesitate to reach out.