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ESAComp

ESAComp is a comprehensive, powerful tool for the analysis of composite structures. The software provides the user with a precise and time-efficient analysis of the laminate behavior of its components based on supplied or imported material data. The structure of laminates can be automated in ESAComp so that the effort for manual layout is significantly reduced with the assistance of iterative processes. As a result, solutions are identified rationally and efficiently. The results of the relevant analysis are documented fully and understandably in the form of short reports and plots.

ESAComp and ANSYS

ESAComp and ANSYS complement each other perfectly. Use ESAComp for fast and flexible preliminary design of your composite structures. Then ANSYS offers you the perfect simulation environment for the detail simulation of your component, with the ANSYS Composite PrepPost. This lets you guide and control all phases of the development and layout of fiber-reinforced, layered composite components.

Space travel: Optimized preliminary design of launcher structures

As the name ESAComp suggests, the software is used widely in air and space travel. Some modules were developed in view of the special requirements of this industry. For many years, components made of layered fiber composite material have contributed to the success of space missions. Even in the preliminary design of rocket components, optimization is an integral part of the process of selecting those variations that have the best potential.

For cylindrical structures, such as in elements of rocket casings, ESAComp and optimization software can help with creating a closed cycle for which no external solver is required. ESAComp takes care of defining parameterized laminate, cylinders, and possibly also reinforcements. Calculations are then done in the FE solver integrated within ESAComp. The results, weight, and reserve factors with regard to strength and dents are forwarded to the optimizer for evaluation. All information needed to make the decision is made available to the engineer.

 

Lesson: Momentum for universities

Courses on composite materials are no longer a curiosity at many universities, but instead are more often a common part of the masters studies, whether in material science itself or in other areas such as air and space travel, applied mechanics, lightweight construction, architecture, and of course automotive design. ESAComp is used frequently in universities in more than 20 countries around the world because it is very wellsuited for demonstrating the underlying behavior of anisotropic materials and their characteristics.

Beyond the courses, ESAComp is also used very successfully by student motor sports teams in various competitions such as Formula Student or Shell Eco-marathon. The Zips Racing Team from the University of Akron, Ohio. recently began using fiber composite materials and was able to quickly familiarize themselves with the topic thanks to assistance from ESAComp. ESAComp is also used primarily in designing the reinforcing plates for steel pipe frame structure. The conversion efforts were rewarded with a win at the Formula SAE East endurance race in Michigan and third place in the Formula Student Germany race in Hockenheim.

 

Performance characteristics

With a very easy to operate graphic user interface combined with a variety of integrated tools, ESAComp is ideal for fast studies/benchmarks and a variety of use cases.

The extensive and reliable material database which covers the areas of adhesives, fibers, matrix materials, homogenous, and fiber-reinforced materials, forms a strong foundation for the right material selection and laminate design.

Simple micromechanical calculations or determining laminate characteristic values is also possible, as are calculations with the integrated FE solver for certain structural elements.

There are numerous diagrams, envelope curves, and numerical reports available for designing and comparing laminates. ESAComp also offers the option of switching between different strength sets (nominal, A/B values, etc.) or even different environmental conditions which is especially useful for air and space travel applications.

Whether sandwich, beam, bent and stiffened plates, or cylindrical structures, there are functions in ESAComp for all of these areas. Plate and cylinder calculations range from deforming and strength to natural frequency and dent calculations. Even problems with large deformations can be solved by using geometric non-linear calculation.

ESAComp contains interfaces to a range of FE packages, including ANSYS in particular. Material and laminate data can be exchanged with just a few mouse clicks. Individual elements from the ANSYS Composite PrepPost can also be loaded for post-processing in ESAComp.

Materials, ply angles, and loads generally behave statically. The influence of distributions on laminate stiffness and strength or the sensitivity of a laminate to fluctuations in certain material properties can be calculated with ESAComp.

A range of additional, relatively special modules are likewise available to the user to design adhesive connections or mechanical connections or to calculate notched laminate or even edge stresses.

The software is open to user-defined failure criteria, micromechanical approaches, and laminate calculations. The methods implemented in ESAComp are very well documented which makes the results traceable for every user. ESAComp supports various systems of units, and the user can switch between them as needed during every step of the design process.

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