Virtual Process Chain

The SIMUTENCE Virtual Process Chain connects the crucial steps for the virtual design of fiber-reinforced composites and hybrids, starting with the definition of a concept and resulting in an optimized part or assembly.

By means of the integration of process simulation, the manufacturability and suitable processing parameters is predicted virtually. Moreover, manufacturinig effects, such as the influence on fiber orientation or fiber volume content are predicted.

The virtually predicted manufacturing effects are retained along the virtual process chain and considered in subsequent simulation steps. Based on this, the part’s behavior in terms of dimensional stability and structural performance is predicted more accurately.

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Design

The smart application of fiber-reinforced composites and hybrids requires a material-specific and tailored design to fully exploit the lightweight potential. SIMUTENCE offers the design of individual lightweight structures, including the application of design optimization for e.g. the topology of rib structures, the layup sequence of laminates or local reinforcements.

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Process

The simulation of manufacturing processes enables the virtual validation of manufacturability, as well as the prediction of manufacturing effects. Our simulation approaches for forming and molding filling processes cover the processes relevant for large-scale production of fiber-reinforced composites and hybrids. These are based on add-ons for existing software packages, which enable to enhance the modeling capabilities of existing software architectures.

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Warpage

Manufacturing of fiber-reinforced composites and hybrids is often accompanied with spring-in or warpage, due to thermal expansion and shrinkage. Thermomechanical analyses enable to predict dimensional instabilities and residual stresses. Our approaches based on add-ons for commercial software cover fiber-reinforced thermosets, thermoplastics and related hybrids, under consideration of manufacturing effects predicted by process simulation.

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Structure

The final part needs to fulfill load requirements, which can be virtually assured by structural analyses. The structural behavior of fiber-reinforced composites is distinctively influenced by manufacturing effects. Our Virtual Process Chain enables to consider these manufacturing effects in structural analyses, which guarantees a reliable and robust part design.

Data Transfer

The functional Virtual Process Chain of SIMUTENCE is based on data transfer between the simulation steps by means of mapping procedures. Based on this, e.g. fiber orientation predicted by draping simulation is transferred to warpage or structural analysis.

The mapping step is conducted by means MapLib from Fraunhofer SCAI. Thereby, a neutral exchange file format is used, to transfer the data between arbitrary software packages.