The use of composite materials, especially in the automotive industry, was initially limited to few, strictly-selected applications, mainly for custom and competition vehicles. Recently these materials have begun to be employed for consumer goods, thanks to alternative manufacturing technologies which can guarantee higher production volumes.
The ACP (ANSYS Composite Prep/Post) solution represents an important innovation in dealing with the design of composite structures. Its dedicated features for the modeling of complex systems allow the user to carry out the composite layup definition in a logical and efficient manner, along with joint interfaces, the integration of sandwich structures, local reinforcements and tapering; these guided operations simplify things for the user, since he or she is able to model numerically the corresponding physical sequence which the technologist will later recognize. In this context, ACP also works to support the procedure of process/product integrated design considering the technological effects of double-curvature geometries (e.g. Hand Layup, Filament Winding); in these cases it is possible to predict and check the presence of folds, thickenings and local overlappings, verifying the performance consequences of manufacturing effects.
In summary, ACP is an innovative and powerful tool for ANSYS and LS-DYNA users which is able to provide an advanced functionalities according to the composite production process.
In the current paper, ACP will be presented and used to export the model specification in the LS-DYNA file format, ready to be used by the LS-DYNA FEM solver to evaluate the mechanical performance of composite materials.