Optimization in Composite Materials modelling and simulation

Advances in simulation tools provide engineers and material scientists the opportunity to streamline the computational design of complex composite materials and parts. Integration of optimization and material modelling software, such as modeFRONTIER and DIGIMAT, allows time and resources saving while increasing composites performance. 

Composite materials are gaining importance in a huge range of applications. Among others, reinforced plastics replace metal designs and are used in many industries including automotive and aerospace, targeting the request to build lightweight structures, a common driver for these industries. However, they exhibit highly complex material behaviours imposing the assessment of various part performances for the composite design. This paper focuses on the prediction of composite properties based on separate per-phase input for matrix and fillers combined with information about the material microstructure (shape, amount and orientation of fillers).

Figure 1: Principle approach to material modelling in the Digimat-MF module. 

For advanced studies, such as those dealing with material anisotropy, temperature and strain rate dependency or creep, the setup of coupled analyses can become challenging. These are efficiently designed with modeFRONTIER, the integration platform for multi-objective optimization, multidisciplinary design process automation, and analytic decision making. Indeed, modeFRONTIER together with DIGIMAT, a non-linear multi-scale material and structure modelling platform, offers parametric optimisation at different levels.  First it drives the modulation of the required material models towards a desired optimum macroscopic response, as illustrated in the present article for the composition of a multiphase polymer composite. Secondly, it enables the fitting of material models to experimental data. Furthermore, it could tackle the parameterization of the coupled analyses such as structural models. Finally, it could bring the processing step into the loop so that the processing parameters themselves become design variables influencing the performance of the final part. The link between DIGIMAT and modeFRONTIER thus supports collaboration and faster development times, fostering the integration of computational material engineering and design.​