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Training Class Description
Composite Analysis using FEA(E-Learning)                    

Many designs now use composite structures or components, taking
advantage of the increased structural strength and stiffness to weight ratio
simpler manufacturing process or  more innovative design capability that composites bring. The
nature of the composite used can range from cheap and freely available glass fiber reinforced
systems to exotic and specifically tailored carbon or kevlar systems, with many forms of
manufacturing process available.

The challenge for the designer and analyst is to determine the resulting stiffness and strength of
the design. Faced with the complexity of real world structural systems the analyst has to make
decisions on the type of idealization and level of detail required in the FEA analysis.  

Your design may include thick composite sections with large numbers of plies, there may be
regions of significant ply drop off. Tee joints may be loaded in tension. In these cases the through
thickness effects become very important for strength prediction.
The shape of the structure may imply changes in draping angle or layup thickness and it may be
important to model this accurately.

There are a wide range of failure theories, together with potentially large amounts of stress or
strain data from a multi ply layup. Due to the nature of the composite the stress components can
include many more terms than a conventional metallic material for example.

Whatever the nature of the challenge, this objective of this course is to break down the composite
analysis process into clearly defined steps, give an overview of the physics involved and show how
to successfully implement practical solutions using Finite Element Analysis.

In the current climate travel and training budgets are tight.
To help you still meet your training
needs the following e-learning course has been developed to complement the live class. The e-
learning course runs over a four week period with a single two hour session per week.
E-learning classes are ideal for companies with a group of engineers requiring training. E-learning
classes can be provided to suit your needs and timescale. Contact us to discuss your

The course is completely code independent. No software is required.
Each topic in the class is treated as a building block and is presented using an overview of the
physics and theory involved. The math is kept simple and the emphasis is on practical examples
from real life to illustrate the topic. The mapping to Finite Element analysis techniques is shown
with numerous workshops. The tutor will be running analysis interactively and involving the
students in the process via Q and A periods during each session, follow up emails and a Course
Bulletin Board

Students are shown the various approximation methods and how to judge which are acceptable
and appropriate for solving a wide range of practical problems. Practical considerations of
loadings, boundary conditions, ply layup and   structural details are shown by numerous examples.

Of equal importance is the assessment and interpretation of results. There is potentially a great
deal of data produced from the FE analysis, with many plies and stress components to sort
through. The failure criterion used may mask the physical interpretation of the structural response.
A practical approach is shown to over viewing the results and then assessing key plies and stress
components in detail.
Interaction is encouraged throughout the course, with the planning and design of complete FEA
projects. Options for composite system modelling, loads and boundary conditions and solution
methods are discussed interactively with the students.  The tutor then runs the analyses using this
input and the results are investigated. Using this approach, classic errors are shown and corrected
in a real world scenario.

The session covers a wide range of application techniques available and shows typical
applications and best practices across industry. The objective is to show students how to assess
the nature of the composite structure and what tools can be used, together with the scope of the
various solutions.

Full notes are provided for the students, together with personal passwords for e-learning
backup material, bulletin board access etc.

This course is aimed at practicing engineers who wish to learn more about how to apply finite
element techniques to composite analysis in the most effective manner. Ideally a student should
have some experience of FEA analysis, but this is not essential. The material that is presented is
independent of any particular software package, making it ideally suited to current and potential
users of all commercial finite element software systems. This course is a must for all engineers
aiming to use FEA as a reliable predictive tool for dynamic analysis.

Session 1

•        Finite Element Analysis Overview
•        FEA Basic Principals
•        Introduction to composite systems
•        Strength and Stiffness of plies
•        Comparison with published data or test results
•        2D shell stress strain relationship - Classical Laminate Theory
•        Ply angle effect
•        Simulation of single ply using FEA
•        Sandwich structures and failure modes
•        workshops

Session 2

•        Multi ply layups – evaluation of stiffness
•        A B D matrix terms and their importance in design and analysis
•        Interlaminar shear stresses
•        FEA model simulations of varying layups
•        Symmetric and balanced layups
•        Special types of Layup
•        Failure criteria
•        Handling large amounts of output data
•        Strength assessment
•        Workshops

Session 3

•        Practical composite modeling
•        Inner or outer mold line considerations
•        Ply drop off, draping effects
•        Edge effects and stress raisers such as holes
•        Plane stress modeling
•        3D element background and application
•        Workshops

Session 4

•        More 3d situations, delamination effects
•        Comparison of 2D shell and solid element solutions
•        Advanced failure methods
•        Progressive ply failure methods
•        Virtual Crack Closure methods in delamination
•        Overview of composite fatigue
•        Workshops
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