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:
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.
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.
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.