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[AB]structures Relies on HyperWorks in Developing Race-Winning Round the World Racing Yacht

  • Tuesday, 31st July 2012
  • Reading time: about 4 minutes

Altair Engineering’s HyperWorks CAE platform has been used by [AB]structures, an Italian structural design and engineering company, to structurally design and optimise the winning yacht in the Volvo Ocean Race, Groupama 4.

The yacht, skippered by Franck Cammas, claimed victory in the Volvo Ocean Race on July 9 in Galway, Ireland, after nine months and more than 37,000 nautical miles sailed around the world.

Altair explains it has been a busy year for [AB]structures, taking on the structural design of three of the six yachts in the 2011-2012 edition of the race:

• Groupama winning the overall title, scoring the highest points of the offshore long distance legs and short course inshore racing series combined.
• The yacht of Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, finished third overall and winning the overall inshore racing championships.
• Team Telefonica followed in fourth-place overall, after initially winning the first three legs of the race.

With the naval architecture carried out by Juan Yacht Design, Altair says that each of these teams required different solutions from [AB]structures and pushed the design envelope.

The [AB]structures engineers employed several HyperWorks tools in the development of the yachts. They used HyperMesh, the meshing tool of the suite, to create finite element models, OptiStruct for optimisation, the RADIOSS solver for linear and non-linear analysis, and HyperView to post-process the results. According to Altair, the Engineers used the tools extensively to design and optimise the carbon structures of all three Volvo Open 70 yachts and to help again achieve fundamental structural improvements over the older-generation yachts that competed in the 2008 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. The combination of continuously updated, CAE technology and the hands-on experience of [AB]structures’ designers has enabled the engineering company to deliver the best design for lightweight structural projects in all regions of the world.

“We structurally designed our first VO70 for the ABN AMRO White team in 2006,” said Andrea Avaldi, Aeronautical Engineer of [AB]structures. “When we were contracted to structurally design Ericsson 3 and 4 for the 2008 Volvo Ocean Race, we wanted to further improve the weight optimization aspect and extended our use of HyperWorks. Beyond the optimisation aspect, HyperWorks also includes the capability of simulating complex carbon-composites laminate sequences, which is helpful in our projects, since the VO70 yachts are designed and built completely from carbon composite. For the 2011-2012 edition, with Groupama, Puma and Telefonica all wanting different things at pretty much the same time, we would not have been able to deliver this kind of result in the set time frame without the technology provided by Altair.”

“The open architecture of HyperWorks has allowed us to integrate several design processes into one portal, which has partly automated our calculations and allowed us to have more time for the design aspect of structural engineering,” added Fabio Bressan, Management Engineer from [AB]structures. “It enables us to handle most of the development tasks in structural design not only within one user interface but also under the same license agreement, which is very attractive for companies like us. We continuously push the software boundaries, and throughout the entire process we are very well supported by Altair’s technical team.”

[AB]structures intends to continue working with Altair and HyperWorks on current and future projects, such as the Artemis Racing AC72 catamaran and wings for the 34th America´s Cup 2013.

“We congratulate the Groupama Team and [AB]structures on their outstanding success and are happy to have had the opportunity to be part of such a remarkable project,” said Mauro Guglielminotti, Director for Southern Europe and Africa at Altair Engineering. “HyperWorks is the best CAE suite that structural design companies like [AB]structures can use, since it provides the tools needed to drive an optimized design process; and, thanks to the unique licensing system, opens up a whole world of CAE tools, while engineers only pay for what they use.”

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