Composite Finite Element Analysis

Sometimes, weight optimization requires fine-grain control over the structure and material properties.  For these high-performance applications, DMS recommends composite finite element analysis (FEA).  We combine the computational capabilities of FEA with the material customization of composites.

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Image Credit:  Jonathan Lin

Composite FEA requires all the complexity of composites, plus the complexity of FEA.  To ensure efficient project execution, DMS recommends a two-stage approach for composite FEA.

  1. FEA with isotropic material of similar stiffness to composite.
  2. Design composite plys for observed stress patterns.

Without careful planning, a composite FEA may drive you to poor performance.  The wrong fiber orientation can force your structure to use a less than optimal load path.  Imagine two pieces of wood. (Shown in image below.)  In the optimized structure, the blue fiber matches the load path.  But the unoptimized red fiber skews away from the load path.  This generates additional stresses and forces you to add unnecessary extra fiber.  Extra fiber makes extra cost and weight.  Let DMS use our experience to ensure you get the right fiber orientation, for the best results.

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