Digimat-FE provides a better understanding of microstructure influence on SMC material behaviorDigimat-FE provides a better understanding of microstructure influence on SMC material behavior

With a continued focus on lightweighting to increase performance and efficiency, engineers are considering sheet molding compound (SMC) materials as an alternative to traditional metals. SMC behavior, such as local stiffness and damping, is driven by fiber orientation., which in turn is dependent on the molding process parameters. Defects inherent to the process such as air inclusions and bundling can have a major impact on local material properties. e-Xstream engineering has developed a process for better understanding the influence of microstructure on SMC material behavior. A Digimat-FE study can identify which microstructure parameters have the greatest impact on macro level behaviors of interest such as stiffness, failure and damping. Engineers can save time on the overall project by determining which test campaigns are needed and which are not needed to achieve the final project targets.

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Dustin Souza

Lunch & Learn presenter
e-Xstream engineering
Application Engineer

Dustin Souza, Application Engineer at e-Xstream engineering will present an integrated workflow that leverages Digimat-FE and Digimat-MF to obtain a detailed understanding of SMC behavior while taking the influence of the microstructure into account. Souza will present two case studies -- one achieved a 10% error on maximum force at failure and the other achieved global error under 5% on the first 10 eigenmodes. The workflow proceeds along these lines:

  • Perform tensile tests on coupons, ideally at 0o, 45 o and 90 o fiber orientation
  • Quantify fiber orientation in coupons using either tomography or compression molding simulation
  • Use test results and fiber orientation data to calibrate the Digimat-MF multiscale material model which determines stiffness dependent on local fiber orientation
  • Perform experimental tests on components, typically either quasi static stiffness and failure case testing or ping and shaker tests
  • Quantify fiber orientation in components using either tomography measurements or compression molding simulation
  • Assign previously calibrated multiscale material model to FE properties
  • Map fiber orientation field from compression molding simulation on the complete mesh
  • Run FEA accounting for fiber orientation and compare results with experiment

Here's where to find a more detailed explanation of Digimat-MF and Digimat-FE

About the Presenter
Dustin Souza, MSC e-Xstream engineering Application Engineer, will be the July 27 Lunch & Learn presenter. Souza has a Bachelor and Master of Science in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University where he wrote software to simulate short fiber composites. While earning his Masters Degree, Souza worked closely with his advisor, Dr. Byron Pipes, to launch a composites nanohub site that encompassed all composites simulation programs. For the last four and a half years, Souza has worked as an Application Engineer at e-Xstream engineering, focusing on helping customers accurately and efficiently simulate composite materials.