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Ansys and Vistagy Provide Analysis Solution for Composites

09 September 2005

Ansys and Vistagy are collaborating to integrate FiberSIM software and ANSYS solver technology to achieve improved composite design, manufacturing and performance simulation.

The integration-available in ANSYS 10.0 and FiberSIM 3.5 and higher -- makes it possible for analysts to access the CAD master model of a composite part in its to-be-manufactured state at any time during the design process and verify that the part meets the design performance specifications. This promotes concurrent engineering for composites and enables design optimization that results in significant cost reductions and improvements in part performance.

Initial benchmarks have proven that integrating FiberSIM software with ANSYS solver technology reduces analysis time from weeks to hours.

""In the past, our customers used ANSYS for composites, but setting up a composite simulation for complex geometries can require extensive manual effort,"" said Mike Wheeler, vice president and general manager at ANSYS, Inc. ""By introducing the FiberSIM to ANSYS interface capability, material property information created by FiberSIM can be automatically transferred to any model geometry in ANSYS almost instantly. Working together, our products will make product development more efficient for existing customers in the traditional areas of aerospace and high performance automotive, and also will open new opportunities and applications in automotive, consumer goods and medical equipment.""

The typical composite part design process starts with an analyst using ANSYS software to determine the requirements for the initial design based on expected loads, including laminate thickness, ply orientation, and material type. These requirements are communicated to the design engineer who then uses VISTAGY's FiberSIM suite of tools, integrated in the CAD system, to design the composite part details while attempting to meet the requirements. FiberSIM then simulates how material deforms and deviates over complex curvature and allows designers to send the master model part definition that resides in the CAD system, complete with fiber orientations and all other details, to the analyst for verification. This enables analysts to model the actual part performance, thus detecting stiffness, warpage or buckling issues due to misalignment of fibers. If design flaws are found, changes can be made directly to the CAD model using FiberSIM. Closing the loop between the designer and the analyst allows companies to proceed to the manufacturing stage with confidence that the design will meet the strength requirements.

Not only does the integration of FiberSIM and ANSYS enable part verification; it makes part optimization possible. It is now so easy to pass the complete part definition between the designers and analysts that several iterations of the part can be performed to achieve the optimum design. As a result, engineers can begin to take advantage of the vast performance benefits that composites can provide.

""We believe the partnership between ANSYS and VISTAGY will help companies capitalize on the potential of working with composites. Software tools like these that make it practical to use new manufacturing processes and new materials show great promise in delivering innovative products to additional markets,"" said Steve Luby, president and CEO at VISTAGY, Inc. ""FiberSIM enables engineers to design composite parts efficiently and accurately, and ensures that the parts can be manufactured. ANSYS ensures that the part will perform properly once it is manufactured. These two products working together reduce the risk of using composites for new applications.""





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