11:00 Wednesday 23rd October 2019

A Comprehensive Process for the Optimisation of Composites for the Motorsport Industry

Composite structures offer unmatched design potential as the laminate material properties can be tailored almost continuously throughout the structure. Composite laminate can be manufactured to fit the ideal shape of a structure for aerodynamic and other performances. However, this increased design freedom also brings new challenges for the design process and software. To innovate in the ultra-competitive environment of Motorsports requires design teams to continuously explore new processes and technologies to ensure that the potential of composite materials are being delivered. Design optimisation technology is well suited to exploit the potentials that composite materials offer. This presentation will discuss a comprehensive framework for composite optimisation at the macro and micro levels, leading the design from concept to ply-book details. The process consists of three optimization phases. Phase I focuses on generating ply layout concept through Free-Size optimisation; Phase II further refines the number of plies for a given ply layup defined by Phase I; Then Phase III completes the final design details through Stacking sequence optimization and the simulate of nonlinear material behavior including ultimate failure at the micro-scale to satisfy all manufacturing and performance constraints. Examples will be given for this process being used on live programmes in both the Motorsport and commercial vehicle sectors.

Paul Kirkham, Altair