Next generation manufacturing simulation focused on composites forming

In this project, the partners will develop workflows, software solutions, material characterization methods, and validation case studies for next generation composites forming simulations which can be performed in a standard engineering design environment.

Composite materials are increasingly used in many advanced applications, ranging from aerospace (e.g. Airbus A350, Boeing 787, and others), to automotive (e.g. BMW i3, i8, 7 series and others), to wind turbine blades (Vestas, GE, and others), and beyond. Composite raw materials can be expensive compared to metallic options but the ability to build large and complex structures (in essentially one step) can overcome this cost barrier and provide other significant benefits in terms of performance. Thus it becomes critical to design composite structures that are manufacturable and where the risk, cost and time to production is minimized and controlled. An obvious strategy to manage this manufacturing risk is to simulate the manufacturing process. Nowadays it is well accepted that geometric and kinematic modelling as well as structural modeling can be performed with modern computers and software. 3D representations of structures can be easily built up in CAD/PLM environments such as the Dassault Systemes (3DS) CATIA environment, and progressively more complex structural analyses performed in finite element solver platforms such as the 3DS SIMULIA environment. Whereas this was first done for metallic structures, it is now routine to do it for composite structures as well. Less known is that over the last thirty years there has been significant improvement in composites manufacturing science. Much of that manufacturing science has been transitioned into a range of commercial solutions provided by Convergent Manufacturing Technologies, and there have been significant successes in programs such as the Boeing 787, a primarily composite aircraft. Convergent has collaborated with companies such as 3DS, with whom it has a partnership agreement, to transition this new disruptive capability into the broad market, and help composite structure manufacturers reduce cost, risk, and time to market. In this project, we will advance composites manufacturing simulation in the area of forming, which is a very cost-effective, versatile, promising and highly desired manufacturing process. Unfortunately, when forming composite components, the highly stiff fibres will buckle and cause waviness and wrinkling, which are undesirable defects that are cause for rejection of the part. By combining the manufacturing science and technology competencies of Convergent and the simulation and user interface competencies of Dassault Systemes, this project will lead to the development of a next generation manufacturing simulation capacity, focused on composites forming. In particular we will (a) develop the materials characterization infrastructure required to define the material behavior input into the numerical simulation, (b) develop a module that will interface with CATIA to define the forming problem, (c) develop a module that will super-charge SIMULIA to solve the forming problem at the appropriate level of complexity, (d) provide feedback and further opportunities for optimization to the user within the CATIA environment, and finally (e) create validation cases and other supporting documentation to start the process of commercialization of the project results.
Project ID: 
11 218
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
890 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.