Composite Finite Element Analysis

Image Credit:  Jonathan Lin

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. 

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.

Want to Learn More?

We can customize each project to meet your goals.

Find the perfect solution for your needs.

Relevant Ship Science Articles

Six Ways to Break the Ship

Why are ship structures so labor intensive to design? Engineers need to anticipate multiple methods of failure, which makes a lot of work. The trick of efficient structural analysis focuses on recognizing which methods of failure are likely in each scenario. This article reveals six major methods of structural failure, with examples of common applications. Because it will be the failure mode you didn’t consider that ultimately leads to catastrophe.

read more

Improve Engineering Value

We all want to feel good about paying for engineering analysis. Sometimes the best answer drives us to maximize value, rather than minimize cost. In those cases, you do better to go beyond basic safety and search for enhancements. Today we discuss four engineering tasks where you can maximize your value. Extract every last drop of knowledge from your engineering project.

read more

Video: Selecting the Right Hullform

Monohull, catamaran, trimaran . . . so many choices. Which hullform to pick? Can we draw upon any science to guide our choices, or we beg Lady Luck to guide us? This article provides a rational and design map for selecting hullforms applicable to any type of mission. This organized approach allows us to see past the limitations of historic examples and consider new alternatives.

read more

Six Tip to Improve Your FEA

An experienced engineer doesn’t have some magic button to deliver great FEA. Masters of FEA trade-craft hoard many little tricks and nuggets of wisdom to deliver better FEA. These tricks yield better ways to detect human errors and ensure model reliability. Or methods to deliver faster results. Today we share six nuggets of wisdom for better FEA.

read more