Enabling technology to provide design tools that give the user 100% confidence in their composite products

The multi-scale material modeling technology reference for more than 15 years:

An efficient Material simulation tool to bridge the gap in the Design Workflow

e-Xstream engineering develops and commercializes the Digimat suite of software, a state-of-the-art multi-scale material modeling technology that speeds up the development process for composite materials and structures. Digimat is used to perform detailed analyses of materials on the microscopic level and to derive micromechanical material models suited for multi-scale coupling of the micro- and macroscopic level. Digimat material models provide the means to combine processing simulation with structural FEA. This means to move towards more predictive simulation by taking into account the influence of processing conditions on the performance of the finally produced part.

Benefits of using Digimat modeling software for composite design and manufacture:

As an efficient and predictive tool Digimat helps its users to design and manufacture innovative composite materials and parts with great efficiency in time and costs. Today, Digimat is considered as a reference on the market thanks to its unique capabilities for highly filled materials. The Digimat community is spread all around the world with major Users in Europe, America and Asia.


Digimat Material modeling for Structural Engineering

The purpose of structural engineering is to design full composite parts. The focus is on the part performance as it depends on the material characteristics and the manufacturing method and conditions that were used for the individual design.

Key to this challenge is a material model that correlates to experimental behavior as closely as possible. For this purpose a reverse engineering procedure is used that results in the parametrization of micro-mechanical models and their adaption to a set of anisotropic material measurements to meet the global composite performance best possible.

Such material models can now read locally different micro-structure information from various sources and convert them into a local material property. A fully coupled analysis results in a simulation model with individual material properties described for each integration point in the Finite Element analysis. Coupled analyses are state-of-the art for the modeling of composite parts and have proven to match experimental observation perfectly on many occasions.

Digimat technology is used to describe the nonlinear micromechanical behavior of complex multi-phase composite materials

The Homogenization technology

The core of micro/macro multi-scale modeling is micromechanics using homogenization technology. Homogenization is the combination of per-phase material data with microstructure information to obtain the macroscopic response of a composite. In the approach a representative volume element (RVE) is set up that describes the composite material under investigation. A virtual test is applied and its effect on the composite, as well as on the microscopic (per-phase) level, is observed. Digimat offers complementary technologies that serve this purpose.

Finite Element Analyses
  • to gain an in-depth view into composites by the direct investigation of realistic RVEs

Mean-Field Homogenization method
  • to rapidly convert model based RVE definitions into macroscopic and per-phase properties

  • to be used via interfaces in micro/macro multi-scale analyses

Model reduction technology

When moving from coupling to the FEA codes, Digimat offers 3 solutions:

Microscopic scale

On the microscopic scale Digimat-MF and Digimat-FE are used in context of a direct engineering approach for understanding, predicting and screening composite material properties. On the microscopic scale Digimat tools enable to realistically model the nonlinear anisotropic performance of composite materials.

Macroscopic scale

Coupling to the macroscopic scale is based on Digimat-MF material models parameterized and stored via the material eXchange platform Digimat-MX. Coupled analyses are built on interfaces to manufacturing process simulations and structural FEA software as provided within Digimat-CAE. This approach is supported by Digimat-MAP to facilitate data transfer between dissimilar meshes, visualization of microstructure and post-processing technology. On the macroscopic scale, Digimat tools enable to predict the structural behavior of composite parts with high accuracy.

Hybrid design

Lightweight designs based on plastic composites are becoming common in the Automotive and Aerospace industry today. Plastics exhibit a large degree of freedom of design. Thermoplastic as well as thermoset matrices can be combined with short, long or continuous glass or carbon fiber reinforcements. The basic challenge is to understand the influence of the fibers on the properties of the composite material.

Modern designs tend to become hybrid in the sense that the benefit of different reinforced materials are combined. A perfect example of this is the over-molding of thermoplastic based woven composites, the so called organosheets. The continuous fiber reinforced material is the structural backbone which is pre-formed. In a subsequent step functionality and design is added by molding of short fiber reinforced material based on the same matrix.

Digimat offers its users a platform based approach with a generic approach towards material modeling and the set-up of multi-scale simulations.

Added Value Proposition

The objective of the software is to provide Multi-scale analyses to predict the nonlinear micromechanical behavior of materials and structures

Besides offering many years of eXpertise, e-Xstream offers the solution that translates a multi-scale approach into software.

The usage of Digimat follows three major strategies:

Digimat Material modeling for Material Engineering

The purpose of material engineering is to take a simulation approach for the identification of promising candidates for new composite materials, thereby reducing the amount of experiments needed. This helps to save money and to reduce the time needed to develop new materials.

In research the approach allows to gain insight into and to understand mechanisms that dominate the macroscopic material properties but actually arise from its microscopic composition.

Digimat Material modeling for Process Simulation

Digimat provides process simulation solutions for the additive manufacturing of polymers. It helps process engineer to anticipate manufacturing issues and optimize part quality (ex: minimize warpage and residual stresses) by predicting the relative influence of the various process parameters.