Software Offers "CAD for Plastics Selection"

21 July 2004

The partnership between Granta Design and Ides has produced the ground-breaking new CES Optimal Polymer Selector (OPS).

Both commercial and educational versions integrate Ides' vast plastics database into Granta's CES materials IT software.

Granta describes the new OPS v4.5 as ""the most powerful plastics selection tool ever built"".

Patrick Coulter, Granta Chief Operating Officer, says OPS should be viewed as a plastics design tool rather than simply a database. ""See it more like CAD for plastics selection"".

Coulter says OPS provides engineers and designers with a unique capability - a completely rational means of material selection.

""We've worked with the world's leading thermoplastic information sources - Ides, Campus, Rapra, Moldflow - and combined them with Ashby's cutting-edge methods for rational selection"".

""The result is a stunning package containing everything you want. The relationship with Ides has been key in bringing this about because of the size and currency of its database"".

OPS is used by engineers in electrical, electronic, medical device, automotive and other sectors. Customers include Emerson Electric, Novo Nordisk and NCR.

OPS is also incorporated into a new educational package for professors of polymer science and engineering - the CES EduPack Polymer Edition. Mike Ashby, Cambridge University Professor and lead developer of EduPack, says the Polymer Edition fills a gap in teaching tools available.

""Polymer courses are traditionally strong on chemistry and physics"". ""EduPack Polymer Edition provides a structured way to relate polymer materials and processing to engineering design, and is a tool that students can later apply in their professional careers"".

OPS works using a two-stage selection procedure. Stage one selects optimal materials at the resin and filler level, based on cost, performance, and processing route. A unique feature of stage one is the expression of complex selection criteria - examples of these might be ""material for cheapest panel loaded in bending of specified stiffness"" or ""material for lightest beam loaded in bending of specified strength"".

Multiple criteria for mechanical, thermal, electrical, optical, and chemical resistance can be included. Having established preferred resin-filler combinations, in stage two the user selects specific grades from Ides or Campus databases in particular taking into account more detailed requirements such as UL94 rating, lubrication, UV resistance, and others.

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