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How To Communicate Your Composite Designs with CAE Earlier In the Part Development Process

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

Do you ever wish you could start communicating your composite designs with CAE sooner? Fibersim has a simple way to do this. It is called “Rosette Mapped Directions.”


Why do I need to use mapped orientations?

The nature of composite design is often an iterative process.

The initial design specification could come from CAE or previous experience but the requirements could change due to numerous factors such as performance requirements, cost targets and scheduling.

As a result, the Fibersim user often has to change the design definition numerous times to reflect any changes.

This process can get even more complex when the parts being designed have complex curvature. This introduces additional variables such as splicing, darting and manufacturing process changes in order to successfully lay up the plies.

For example, a quick full body producibility simulation within Fibersim may fail due to extreme deformation of the material as it gets laid on a complex curvature part.

Splicing, darting and simulation changes may be needed to achieve useful results.

Since designs are changing so often, it may not be efficient to run through these additional manufacturing variables until the initial design changes have settled down.

However, a user can still take advantage of Fibersim’s composite design and management interface, setup the model, define the basic design and send the orientation to CAE for analysis while continuing the definition of the composite design. The mapped orientations option in the CAE export allows this workflow to be completed.


What are the mapped orientations?

Fibersim has the concept of a Rosette which defines the orientation directions of the part.

The orientations are then mapped along the laminate; similarly to how a CAD coordinate system defines an orientation across a part. Fibersim has proprietary mapping algorithms unique to composites that cannot be found anywhere else and offer a more accurate mapping of the orientations across a composite part.

Anyone can preview the mapping of the orientations by displaying the rosette field (found in the display context when highlighting the rosette) in Fibersim. See figure 1.Figure1MappedOrientations.jpg


How to Export Mapped Orientations

These mapped orientations can be thought of as the orientations of the ply if the material could “magically” deform to fit perfectly on the surface without any wrinkles or spreading.

Of course, a material like this does not exist but it can be a good start for an estimate. In the CAE HDF5 export, there is an option to use these mapped orientations. It is called “Use Rosette Mapped Directions.” See Figure 2.



What is exported?

If a ply is defined, the estimated orientations defined with the rosette mapping are used to export within the ply boundaries. Again, please consider that this is just meant to help with starting a design, these orientations will not be as accurate as a fully defined designed that takes into account manufacturing with a full producibility simulation with darting, splicing and origin placement.

As you can see, Fibersim offers a very flexible design process that does not require every step of the process to be completed before communicating back and forth between CAE and design.