Composite design software improves manufacturability

HyperSizerv6.2 structural sizing and analysis software includes new modeling capabilities for airframe wing-box designs, as well as laminate zone, and ply-count optimization enhancements to improve manufacturing efficiency.

“Composites are booming due to stepped-up fuel consumption efficiency goals,” says Collier Research President.Craig Collier. “This is pushing designs towards lighter weight. But creating lighter, stronger designs is limited by many of today’s standard industry practices. Weight is needlessly added because engineers have only a partial view of options. They often overdesign to play it safe.”

Using the discrete stiffener modeling capability in HyperSizer v6.2, engineers designing airframe wing boxes can identify each stiffener as a separate panel segment, apply failure analyses, and determine unique margins of safety for each.

To overcome such drawbacks, Collier says HyperSizer targets weight while serving as a neutral data exchange hub for CAD, FEA, and composite software. It iterates with FEA solvers, calculates margins of safety, validates failure predictions with test data, and sequences composite laminates for fabrication—avoiding weight growth as designs mature. HyperSizer’s capabilities are appropriate for applications in wind turbine blades.

Features and enhancements in v6.2 include:

  • Discrete Stiffener Modeling – For wing box and fuselage structures, the software identifies in the FEM, skin shell and stiffener beam elements and optimizes their spacings, heights, and laminates. This provides flexibility for designing panel bays with non-uniformly spaced stiffeners of varying directions, dimensions, and materials, while also assigning margins to each unique stiffener panel segment.
  • Laminate Optimization for Manufacturability –An improved, six-step process optimizes laminates (transition zones, ply-count compatibility, ply drops/adds, and global ply tracking) while balancing strength, stability, and manufacturability. This leads to fabrication efficiencies and factory-floor cost-savings.
  • Other enhancements – New puck composite failure analysis for 2D and 3D fiber fracture; new curved (skin) local buckling analysis and upgraded compression and shear postbuckling analyses. Additional improvements include enhanced panel concepts (PRSEUS, reinforced core sandwich, and tapered tube beam); improved test data and other graphical displays and functions; and new methods documentation.

Collier Research




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