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CCM New Composite Design and Simulation (CDS) Software

05 September 2008

The Delaware Center for Composite Materials’ new program, Composite Design and Simulation (CDS) software, was recently unveiled.

CCM has been creating design and analysis software for composite structures for more than two decades, continuously upgraded to reflect new research findings as well as to capitalize on advances in computing technology. Changes made during the past year, however, have been quantum rather than incremental, according to CCM Scientist Dr. John Tierney. The existing suite of programs known as Composite Design Software has been renamed, and the existing series of individual modules has been consolidated into a single application with new functionality.

“The new tree menu-driven software will enable the user to work in an intuitive environment for design and optimization of the entire range of composite structures from thin laminates to thick sections to cylinders,” says Tierney.

At the heart of this environment is a new materials database structure that captures all of the features of the original CDS-MAT program while adding such new attributes as material tracking, property locking features, and real-time design. The materials database tree also allows creation of sub-databases that can be used to store fibre and matrix properties. The user can modify properties “on the fly” and see laminate effective properties, stresses, strains, and progressive failure in real time. Material property sources and units are tracked to ensure validity during analysis and can be exported to third-party FEA packages for further design and analysis.

The new CDS interface is designed to be easily expandable to incorporate additional functionality, including fabric micromechanics, cure kinetics, and structural mechanics modules depending on end-user needs,” Tierney says. “CDS has also been designed to allow sharing of data between applications and to interface with third-party FEA packages including ANSYS and ABAQUS. It represents our core code base for adding functionality in designing composite structures.""

The CDS suite will be made available to industrial consortium members through agreements tailored to company needs. Demonstration versions of CDS applications will be made available to potential members via training workshops at CCM or at consortium company sites for new and existing members.

“We plan to work with consortium members on the design and analysis phase,” says Tierney, “so that members learn to successfully use this software independently on current or future projects.” Other learning tools include an integrated help section and an online comprehensive guide that will be made available to allow consortium members to use CDS independently and to encourage future partnerships on new projects.

“The codes that we’ve developed over the years at CCM are an outgrowth of our research programs,” says Center Director Jack Gillespie, “and they’ve been successfully used to design composite structures in collaboration with our industrial and government sponsors. Consortium members have the opportunity to leverage existing CDS software applications with future project and software development that can be tailored to members’ needs.”