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Desktop Engineering Blog

Composite Zoning Optimisation

Posted by Andy Woodward on 15-Jun-2017 16:58:33

It is for good reasons that designing laminated composite structures is sometimes known as a ‘black art’.  It is not easy to intuit from the topology of and loads applied to a component what a good ply layup should be.  Many companies rely on the wisdom of veteran engineers’ hard won experience, but sometimes it is necessary to take a step back and ask “what else could we try?”.

Often the design of a composite layup starts with the definition of zones within a part.  The layup on each of these zones can then be fettled using FEA to arrive at a stacking sequence which can then be used to define plies. 

But how do you choose the zones? Is it arbitrary based on the topology of the part? Do you just chequer-board your panel into regular squares?  You could use a technique developed with MSC Nastran for one of the F1 companies.

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Topics: Various - MSC, MSC Software, FEA, Analysis, MSC Nastran, Composites

Dassault Systemes certification & accreditation

Posted by Geoff Haines on 06-Jun-2017 11:38:00

Desktop Engineering’s team fully certified!

Desktop Engineering has always placed great importance on the technical team continuing their personal education and training in the software applications we supply and support. 

No more so than across the broad capabilities that Dassault Systemes develops for design and manufacturing industries. With a foundation on the core CATIA design application, the comany has continued to ensure that the team become fully conversant and skilled with all new releases and developments that come year after year from Dassault Systemes.

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Topics: Various - CATIA, training

Fracture Mechanics

Posted by Andy Woodward on 30-May-2017 11:30:00

Modelling Cracks the Easy Way

In my previous blog I talked about the advantages of automatic re-meshing in the analysis of rubbers in improving accuracy and stability of a simulation.  One advanced application of this capability that was not touched upon was in the field of crack propagation.

In many industries it is sufficient to use your analysis to predict that a crack could initiate and redesign the part to avoid this occurrence.  In others though it is possible that a crack may be identified from an in-service inspection whereupon it becomes necessary to understand if it will propagate under the loads applied and how quickly so that a replacement can be introduced in a timely manner.

Predicting crack growth in materials with finite elements can seem more art than science. 

As an example, in some codes you may need to construct a very precise ‘rosette’ mesh at the crack tip.

A series of angular perturbations to the crack tip node are then simulated to look at the energy release resulting from extending the tip with the assumption being it moves in the direction of the greatest energy release.

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Topics: Various - MSC, MSC Software, FEA, Analysis

Adaptive Meshing

Posted by Andy Woodward on 23-May-2017 11:02:17

Coping with Large Strain and Large Deformation in FEA

One of the challenges of analysing the performance of large strain materials like rubbers and synthetic elastomers is how the finite element mesh distorts as the part deforms.  You may well start out with a lovely mesh where all your elements meet your quality standards, but as the part distorts the element quality gets worse and worse until it can actually prematurely end the analysis because of excessive distortion, let alone give you poor results.

This is not an uncommon problem. 

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Topics: Various - MSC, MSC Software, FEA

Random Vibration Fatigue

Posted by Andy Woodward on 05-May-2017 14:09:58

In a previous article I discussed using random analysis to predict failure of components in a vibration environment.  Random analysis is a quick way of ensuring that statistically the maximum stress due to a vibration loading will not exceed a set level, but the most common mode of failure in such an environment is not due to one single load spike but due to the summation of damage from all the load cycles – known as fatigue failure.

Classically fatigue failure due to a transient load was performed quasi-statically.  A known load history was combined with stresses from a unit load in the FEA model to create a stress time history.  Rainflow cycle counting was used to evaluate the stress cycles and then damage calculated from these using classical theories like Goodman and summed using Miner’s rule.  There were problems with this method though.

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Topics: Various - MSC, FEA, Analysis

Topology Optimisation and 3D Printing

Posted by Andy Woodward on 26-Apr-2017 09:00:00

The use of FEA to design ‘optimal’ components has been around for nearly two decades.  In general terms it works by meshing an available volume for a part and then eating away at the space iteratively to leave just those bits of the mesh that are doing work while aiming at a target mass for the part, as in the examples below.

 

Using this method ‘raw’ it is easy to see how un-manufacturable designs can result, so much effort has been invested by software developers to place manufacturing constraints on the optimisation process to, for example, eliminate voids or undercuts in moulded parts.

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Topics: Various - MSC, Automotive, MSC Software, FEA, Aerospace

Why CATIA on the Cloud may be the closest you get to an effective PLM Solution

Posted by Stephen Owen on 06-Apr-2017 15:52:28

PLM was supposed to be a natural evolution, taking advantage of the information associated within 3D data to then flow into all downstream activities.  PLM was created (by Dassault Systemes) around 20 years ago and the process was adopted industry-wide.

As you may be aware the industry standard definition of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product from inception to its retirement. PLM encompasses people, data, processes and business systems that providing the backbone for companies and their extended enterprise.

While nobody doubted the opportunities available in utilizing the information for downstream activities, the overall investment, along with necessary changes in company’s culture, and process curtailed its wider acceptance. Based on the above, PLM become the domain of larger companies (OEM’s).

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Topics: CATIA on-Cloud, 3DExperience, Various - CATIA, PDM-Plus, PLM, Dassault Systemes

On Cloud or Full Cloud?

Posted by Geoff Haines on 29-Mar-2017 09:00:00

Another term that is now being thrown into the mix, when trying to understand or determine whether CAD on Cloud is a realistic option is the term "Full Cloud"– what does it mean?

Firstly, it needs to be understood is that modern CAD systems deliver a high level of functionality - which in simple terms means lots of icons, buttons, options and ways of doing things. This means lots of lines of code.

Further, the geometry representations created now can create and visualise, to close engineering accuracy, the geometry of parts and assemblies that truly represent what will be manufactured. All this means that the data being created gets bigger.

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Topics: CATIA on-Cloud, 3DExperience, Various - CATIA

Welding Simulation

Posted by Andy Woodward on 20-Mar-2017 10:49:55

In an earlier article I talked in general terms about the benefits of using CAE tools to model the physics of manufacturing processes.  In this article I will show a case study example using welding simulation to decide on the best strategy for welding a two-part swing arm together.

The objective is to compare two different clamping schemes with third iteration that uses tack welds to hold the parts together.

The two parts were made of carbon steel, welded along an ~80mm length using arc welding with an estimate energy input of around 2000J per centimetre. 

The simulation tool used for this analysis uses a state-of-the-art multi-physics finite element programme as the underlying solver, but has a custom user interface that speaks to the manufacturing engineer about his process flow and not about the minutia of an FEA job set up.

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Topics: Various - MSC, FEA, Analysis

Intelligent Rainscreen Façade Video

Posted by Geoff Haines on 10-Mar-2017 10:00:00

At Desktop Engineering, we aim to help our customers find ways of doing design or manufacturing quicker and of higher quality using software technologies. One of the approaches we can use is to use a rule based approach to capture knowledge to allow it to be re-used. Rules are those simple set of instructions, something as simple as a cooking recipe, that one follows that determines an outcome. So it is with engineering. Capture those rules and then reuse them in software and then you have design automation.

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Topics: 3DExperience, AEC, Facade, AEC - CATIA