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Applications of Customised Design Tools for Composite Structures


The COMPOPT project is directed towards composite structure design. It developed, improved and created numerical tools regarding composite structural design. Three end users tested customised tools for their respective applications. The main achievements of the project, from the IT vendor point of view, are a set of modelling and optimisation tools for composite structures. New draping facilities were incorporated in SAMCEF/BACON. A composite beam pre/post-processor was coded and provides capabilities for multi-layered beam simulation, including ply-by-ply stress computation. The optimisation capabilities of the BOSS/Quattro software were improved adding algorithms adapted to composite design: GCM, discrete and evolution algorithms. Additionally, a semi-analytical sensitivity computation was coded for composite ply variables and functions. This method speeds up dramatically the numerical process. It is interesting to note that shape optimisation and composite sizing can be coupled. SAMTECH have already used the results of the project for studying plane composite parts for French aeronautical industry. The project will clearly open a new field for services. Furthermore, new licenses will be sold if the studies are successful. MCS will exploit the project in the area of consultancy services. MCS will concentrate on the general market of composite containment structures such as tanks, load-bearing walls and partitions, support beams and other structural components that may be usefully designed with composites. Contact will be made with such groups as the UKOOA in order to access their draft design standards and guidelines for designing with composites in the offshore environment.