Whitepaper: Integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) for beginners

The performance of a part can be evaluated in different ways depending on the application, for instance it can be increasing stiffness and strength while reducing the weight, or a specified lifetime under repeated cyclic loads or under creep, or an imposed resistance to certain impacts, or combined mechanical, thermal and electrical properties, etc. The performance depends on the part’s geometry, material and manufacturing process. The “holy grail” in manufacturing is to find the right technological solution for an optimal part, i.e. one with a desired set of performance targets, while reducing the design cycle, limiting the cost and increasing the output. This in an extremely challenging problem which is subjected to several severe constraints.

Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) is a new paradigm which addresses this challenge. ICME provides robust, efficient and optimized linkage between four pillars: (i) manufacturing process, (ii) material’s microstructure, (iii) material’s engineering properties and (iv) final part performance. It enables to innovate and maximize performance while reducing cost and lead time. ICME emphasizes and nurtures collaboration and cross-fertilization in science, software and industry. ICME has achieved a maturity level which enables it to be used fruitfully at the industrial scale, and solve problems which were out of reach only a decade ago. Digimat is the first and most comprehensive commercial ICME platform for polymers and polymer-based composites, and it is now addressing the ICME of other classes of materials as well. In this white paper, we provide an introduction to ICME and illustrate it through several examples (additive manufacturing of polymers, injection molding of short fiber reinforced thermoplastics, curing of continuous fiber reinforced thermosets, foams, metals).

An emphasis is put on the multiscale approach, which is at the core of ICME and enables to link a material’s response across different length scales. We also present the «10x » initiative which enables the industrial deployment of ICME in order to help design better products in an optimized and cost-effective way.

Fill out the form on the right to view the whitepaper to learn more.