AnalySwift Holds the Key to Composite Modeling

Written by on July 28, 2011 in Composites News - 1 Comment
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AnalySwift™, a Utah State University spinout company created surrounding university-developed technology, is pleased to offer unique efficient high-fidelity modeling tools for composite materials and structures.

Composite materials have the potential to meet the requirements of modern and future engineering systems because they are lightweight, durable and low-maintenance. However, composites, because of their unique features, make traditional modeling methods obsolete. Using traditional methods to model composites results in methods that are either too simple to be predictive, or too computationally prohibitive to be practical. While other methods require a choice between either efficiency or accuracy, AnalySwift’s™ unique approach is the only one that achieves the best compromise between the two. AnalySwift™ uses cutting-edge technology developed by Utah State University professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Wenbin Yu, who is also CTO of AnalySwift. This technology suite presently includes two products, SwiftComp Micromechanics™ and VABS with other products forthcoming.

SwiftComp Micromechanics™, a general-purpose micromechanics code, allows engineers to better predict and design composites and other heterogeneous materials with complex microstructures. Because it can calculate a complete set of material properties with a single analysis, as well as recover detailed local fields, it can save engineering time and cost. The unique technology underlying SwiftComp Micromechanics renders it the first truly general-purpose micromechanics code, which can handle arbitrary microstructures and all the common physical properties.  Although it is as versatile as a finite element analysis (FEA)-based micromechanics approach, it is more efficient and convenient for the users. It has been used in applications as diverse as aerospace, energy, automotive, and biological materials.

SwiftComp Micromechanics, formerly VAMUCH, is a general-purpose micromechanics program for performing homogenization of heterogeneous materials based on the powerful variational asymptotic method. It can be used to calculate the effective fully-coupled, multiphysical material properties, including thermal, elastic, electric, and magnetic for arbitrary heterogeneous materials with arbitrary microstructure, including materials composed of an arbitrary number of constituents having full anisotropy.  SwiftComp calculates the complete set of material properties within in one analysis, as well as recovers the multiphysical fields within the microstructure. SwiftComp Micromechanics implements the various micromechanics theories based on the variational asymptotic method to simplify the originally heterogeneous materials using effective homogeneous materials the properties of which are obtained through a micromechanical analysis of a microstructure, commonly called UC (unit cell) or RVE (representative volume element), representative of the heterogeneous material.  SwiftComp takes a finite element mesh of the UC, including all the details of geometry and material as inputs to calculate the effective properties. These properties are needed for the macroscopic structural analysis to predict the global behavior. The 3D pointwise local field distribution within the microstructure can also be recovered based on the global behavior of the macroscopic structural analysis.

VABS is becoming the tool of choice for the wind energy and helicopter industries because it allows engineers to efficiently and accurately model beam-shaped structures—like helicopter and wind turbine blades.  VABS is the only tool capable of rigorously modeling three-dimensional (3D) slender solids (commonly called beams) with complex microstructures.  Researchers and engineers worldwide are actively using VABS, which is the standard tool for design and analysis of composite slender structures such as helicopter rotor blades, wind turbine blades, high aspect ratio wings, composite bridges, and other slender structural components.  The unique technology underlying VABS renders it the first truly efficient high-fidelity modeling tool for composite beams, saving users many orders of magnitude in computing time relative to 3D FEA (finite element analyses), without a loss of accuracy.

VABS (Variational Asymptotic Beam Sectional Analysis) implements the various beam theories based on the concept of simplifying the original nonlinear 3D analysis of slender structures into a one-dimensional (1D) nonlinear beam analysis using a powerful mathematical method, the variational asymptotic method.  VABS is designed to model structures for which one dimension is much larger than the other two (i.e., a beam-like body), even if the structures are made of composite materials and have a complex internal structure.  VABS takes a finite element mesh of the cross section including all the details of geometry and material as inputs to calculate the sectional properties including structural properties and inertial properties. These properties are needed for the 1D beam analysis to predict the global behavior of the slender structure. The 3D pointwise displacement/strain/stress distribution within the structure can also be recovered based on the global behavior of the 1D beam analysis.

“The advantages of both SwiftComp Micromechanics and VABS over other technologies have been clearly demonstrated by virtue of their generality, accuracy, and efficiency,” said Allan Wood, president and CEO of AnalySwift™.

“Heterogeneous materials, like composites, are used in almost all natural and engineering systems,” said Wenbin Yu.  “The efficient high-fidelity tools offered through AnalySwift™ enable companies to bring products to market more quickly and at a lower cost with the best available compromise of accuracy, efficiency, and versatility.”

“One of the United States’ largest concentrations of advanced composites companies is found in Utah,” said Wood.  “AnalySwift™ products can strengthen Utah’s economy, especially because aerospace and outdoor products are two of the state’s top industries targeted as key cluster industries.”

More information about AnalySwift™ can be found on the web at www.analyswift.com. For more information, contact Allan Wood, President and CEO of AnalySwift™, 801-599-5879 or email allanwood@analyswift.com.

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