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The first of these new products, Laminate Tools integrates the design, analysis and manufacture of composites structures, whilst the second tool, CoDA has been enriched with two new modules.
The Windows-based Laminate Tools incorporates core technology proven by hundreds of composites specialists worldwide since 1991.
Users import surface models from almost any CAD system and define composites materials, plies and layup using a graphical user interface. Ply producibility can be evaluated immediately using proven draping simulation algorithms to identify potential manufacturing difficulties, meaning fewer change orders downstream. Data for Finite Element Analysis purposes are generated seamlessly, ensuring that analysis models reflect the design intent. Results from the finite element analysis can be checked in detail using advanced composites failure criteria, and weak areas identified rapidly. Manufacturing data such as flat patterns are produced to ensure efficient use of manufacturing data. Finally, Laminate Tools can be used as an electronic ply book to communicate the complex structure of composite components and structures to clients, subcontractors and the shop floor.
The second software tool, is the Component Design Analysis (CoDA) package from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has been enriched with two new modules, Flanges and PREDICT.
There are numerous examples of premature failure of laminated composite components due to the general lack of appreciation of their relatively low through-thickness strength. This is particularly true for structures such as flanges and curved beams, which are found in most industrial applications. The Flanges module uses geometry and material properties to calculate the stress distribution and ultimate load capacity of simple curved beams, subjected to moment and shear loading. Detailed and expensive finite element analyses can be circumvented by the use of the CoDA Flanges module.
PREDICT is mainly used to simulate the progressive formation of ply cracks in a single orientation during the monotonic loading of a general symmetric composite materials laminate. The results include the variation of laminate mechanical properties with increasing crack density, while the effects of ply thickness, temperature changes, etc. on laminate mechanical behaviour can be studied.
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