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(ANSYS Composite
Jim Kosloski
ACP Background

 ANSYS Composite PrepPost is an add-on module dedicated to the

modeling of layered composite structures.

 ACP is now included with the Mechanical Enterprise licenses 2
Typical ACP Usage

 A shell element model is developed in Mechanical

— Meshing shell geometry, applying loads and boundary
— Can be in ANSYS Mechanical or Mechanical APDL
— Define materials (Engineering Data, or APDL)
 Import the models in ANSYS Composite PrepPost
— Define Composite Fabrics:
• Fabric: a material and a thickness
• Laminate: an assembly of fabrics (with orientations)
— Define the element orientation (so as to properly orient
— Define the ply sequence for groups of elements (usually
corresponding to faces of the geometry)
 Solve the model - computed by the standard ANSYS
solver, in batch mode.
 Post-process the results in ACP: deformations,
thicknesses and failure criteria. 3
Incorporation into WB Architecture

 ACP is incorporated directly into the WB architecture.



Shell Mesh
Set-up composite
material fabric
definitions, element
orientations, ply layup,
etc 4
Composite Materials

 In Engineering Data, there is now a

composite materials library. Show Libraries

 Material does not need to be assigned to

bodies in Mechanical. Material
assignment is done in ACP.
 All materials in Engineering Data are
brought into ACP. 5
Starting ACP

 Once shell mesh is generated and materials defined, ACP can be started
by right click: Edit… 6
Solving and Post-processing

 Once the model is setup in APC(Pre) it can be linked to whatever type of

analyses you need to solve:

 Then connect ACP(Post) to the Solution of that analysis. 7
ACP Modeling Capabilities

 Multiple oriented element sets allow for multi-laminate build-up. 8
Parametric Modeling of Composites

 Since ACP is integrated into Workbench, the composite data from ACP will
be updated with any parameter changes in WB.
 Example below shows parametric changes of doubler width shown in red. 9
Post-processing of Composite Results

 Efficient post-processing of composite-specific results quantities.

 New Sampling Element post-processing.
— Plot worst case failure criteria over all layers.
— Pick element and see stress/strain and failure through the thickness 10
Post-processing of Composite Results

 Make thru-thickness stress plots and account for interlaminar normal

stresses with shells.
— Traditional shell approaches can not account for interlaminar normal stress
(shown in blue curve)
— ANSYS Composite PrepPost can predict these base on the work of Roos,
Kress, & Ermanni

Thru-Thickness ILS & ILN Stress Plots – Solids

Critical Stresses in Bend

Thru-Thickness ILS & ILN Stress Plots – Shells 11
Post-processing of Composite Results

 Sandwich Construction Post-processing.

— Wrinkling
• Local buckling of a face sheet under compression
• Failure indicator available using shell modeling of sandwich
— Core Failure
• Local failure of core in shear or tensile loading
• Failure indicator available using shell modeling of sandwich 12
Advanced ACP Capabilities

 Fiber orientation prediction and modification.

— Use internal ACP draping simulation to compute orientation changes due to
geometry curvature, develop flat pattern.
— Modify the fiber orientation to something that is actually observed on the
manufacturing floor through alignment with local rosettes. 13
Advanced ACP Capabilities

 3D Solid Modeling:
— If a composite part is thick and bulky a shell mesh may not be sufficient to
predict accurate results.
— One of ACP(Pre) strengths is that the 2D shell mesh can be extruded into a 3D
solid model.
— CAD support: STEP and IGES geometries can be imported to define thick
cores or use as guides for 3D extrusions. 14
Advanced ACP Capabilities

 Even more…
— Map composite thickness and angles through table look-up.
— Build complex assemblies including contact.
— Customize layups using scripts and tables (Filament winding)
— Multiple solid models can be combined through links to MAPDL.
— 2-Way FSI with composites 15
ACP v17.0 Enhancements

 Variable Material Data

— The temperature-, shear-, and degradation factor-dependent material data
functionality has been extended.
— In release 17.0, the composite material elasticity and strength properties can
depend on any scalar user-defined field.
— This allows you to account for not only basic effects like temperature or ply-
shearing due to draping on the composite behavior of the simulation, but any
other factor such as void content, degree of curing, or humidity. 16
ACP v17.0 Enhancements

 Enhanced Composite Workflows

— Multiple ACP-Pre systems and Mechanical Models can now be assembled in
one analysis system.
• This functionality can be used in design studies where the composite definition
remains the same but different geometries are evaluated.
• Submodeling is another situation where this functionality can be used. In a scenario
where two models are to share the same ACP (Pre) Setup, one setup cell is
dragged on to the other.
• ACP maps as much information onto the second model as possible. It is advised to
use common Named Selections as well as the same Engineering 17
ACP v17.0 Enhancements

 Enhanced Composite Workflows

— Composite workflows for shell and solid element analyses have been
— Composite shells and composite solids follow the same workflow logic and
composite shell models can now be combined with composite solid models. 18
ACP v17.0 Enhancements

 Interactive Lay-up Definition in Excel

— A new Excel Link interface allows for efficient, live, spreadsheet-based
definition and data exchange on composite lay-ups in ACP. 19
Mechanical Composites Enhancements

 The following composite enhancements have been made at Release 17.0

for working with composite (layered) elements directly in Mechanical:

 Additional Result Types for Composite Analysis.

— Mechanical now supports ply-based User Defined results and Elemental
Coordinate System results.
— These results are supported through traditional Details view scoping as well as
through the automated context menu (right-click) option when you select one
or more Ply objects. 20
Mechanical Composites Enhancements

 Specifying Ply-based Named Selections using Worksheet Criteria.

— You can now define ply-based Named Selection using the Criterion option of
the Worksheet. 21
Mechanical Composites Enhancements

 Ply Graphics Options.

— In addition to Ply fiber direction, transverse direction, and Element Normal
direction, Mechanical now enables you to view Ply normal direction as well as
Element reference direction using new toolbar options. 22
Element Orientation

1. Element Orientations can be applied via manual element selection or

using a Named Selection.
2. Element Orientations can be defined using different coordinate systems
within the same body.
3. Element triad display can be controlled using the element orientation

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