Mathematical simulations make a key contribution towards saving time and costs by answering questions that could otherwise only be resolved by the construction of elaborate prototypes or the performing of tests.
LANXESS in recent years has continuously improved modeling methods for Tepex® high-performance composites and also for its high-tech Durethan and Pocan thermoplastics. A material model was developed specifically for Tepex® that precisely describes the very complex anisotropic, mechanical behavior of this continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic. In addition, a simulation program was developed that enables users to accurately analyze the process of forming Tepex® sheets into a final component shape, also referred to as “drape molding”. The orientation of the fibers after draping is an important input for subsequent mechanical component modeling.
These CAE tools are used worldwide in HPM applications development to accurately design highly stressed components together with customers that meet all the requirements with weight and cost-optimized results. The HiAnt CAE methods have already successfully proven their reliability and precision in modeling innumerable prototype and series components, and today are the benchmark for simulating Tepex®.
Alongside high-performance hardware and software, this also requires highly-qualified and experienced experts who are in a position to create meaningful links between theory and practice.
Concept design, virtual tests of concepts are performed by means of CAE
Feasibility studies: Analysis of weight and cost, basis for choice of technology
Material selection for optimal performance of Tepex® composite sheet in combination with injection molding compound
Determination of fiber layup with respect to boundary conditions and the overall static and dynamic load spectrum
Topology optimization: Optimization of rib structure and wall thickness
A special competence of LANXESS with regard to process simulation is the prediction of forming behavior. Also for the injection molding part the material behavior is precisely simulated.
Forming simulation: Ensuring proper draping, avoiding problems like e.g. wrinkling, tearing, shifting of composite inserts
Mold design: Position and movement of fixation devices / indenter, identification of best handling alternative
Definition of pre-cut geometry (e.g. for processing trials, cost calculation)
Thermal calculations: heating and cooling cycles, thermal expansion
Filling analysis of thermoplastic compound: Adequate filling of rib structure, calculation of shrinkage and warpage
The main task of the mechanical simulation is the optimization of components concerning weight and performance and safeguarding compliance with performance specifications. Using integrative simulation technology, we cover the simulation of hybrid materials consisting of composite sheets and short fiber reinforced plastics. The integrative approach takes the process and its influence on mechanical properties into account. For example the fibers of the composite sheet are sheared during forming. The resulting orientation has impact on the mechanical behavior of the part and is therefore considered within the mechanical simulation. Our mechanical simulation activities comprise:
Stiffness calculations / structural analyses
Strength analyses and failure prediction
NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness)
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Modeling your own Tepex® components
In addition to the proprietary HiAnt software, LANXESS offers customers a new simulation solution which they can use in their own CAE environment to design the mechanics of components made from high-performance Tepex® continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites. The solution is part of the HiAnt service package and was developed in cooperation with e-Xstream, producer of the commercial CAE software Digimat. It is now available as a plug-in for common CAE codes and gives users the advantage of being able to access the same, efficient material description, independent of the solver and the type of analysis.
By using the Digimat material model for Tepex®, our customers also benefit from all our HiAnt know-how in the areas of CAE as well as material and component testing, giving them the assurance of receiving comprehensive and competent support even with complex simulations.
Jürgen Knaup Head of Customer Engineering Services
LANXESS Deutschland GmbH,
High Performance Materials (HPM)