Doug Neill, a 22-year MSC Software veteran whose career includes 11 years as VP of the company’s R&D group, has founded a new company providing software and services for ICME—integrated computational materials engineering. Computational Engineering Software, LLC’s mission is to help engineering and manufacturing organizations “optimize your composite design through advanced simulation.”
CES details the heretofore unsolved problems it is attacking: “Current composite design is nearly 100% empirical. In aerospace, the building-block process requires thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of tests of increasing complexity, from simple laminate coupons to structural elements, to details to components to full-scale test, to develop the design space. Design is constricted by what laminates have been tested. Exploring new design concepts or materials isn’t feasible because of the testing required.”
The company cites typical complaints from users of traditional tools and methods:
- “We can’t explore new design concepts. We have no reliable way to quickly evaluate them without testing, and there’s no time for that.”
- “We’ve done 30,000 coupon tests and we still don’t know why our matrix is failing.”
- “For our chopped-fiber parts, we have to proof-test every design change, and one in every eight parts in production. Why can’t we have an analysis method that will give us a reliable margin of safety, like we do for metals?”
What CES proposes is to “allow you to break out of the restrictive building-block process by using analysis to examine the constituent materials (i.e., fiber and matrix) independently, and find where the onset of failure in the material occurs—hence the name Onset Analysis. When does my matrix start to become critical? When does my fiber become critical? When (and where) is a delamination likely to start? When will the fiber overcome shear-lag and start to unload? Those are the critical questions in design that Onset Analysis can answer, for any layup, any geometry, without a mountain of test data.
“Onset Analysis also enables you to look at your design under extreme environments, like elevated temperatures, moisture, cold dry, or even the extreme cold of space applications.”
How this differs from older composite simulation methods
CES says that previous failure criteria such as Hashin, Tsai-Hill, Tsai-Wu and others “assume that a ply is a homogeneous material, and ignore the fact that there are fibers in a matrix and out-of-plane loads. They’re engineering approximations—curve fits of specific ply failure tests that create a failure envelope.”
By contrast, the company describes Onset Analysis as “actually a throwback to a classical way of doing things. It’s essentially the von Mises approach, evolved and adapted for composites. In Onset, we separate the strains in the fiber and matrix, looking at the full 3D state of strain, and evaluate them independently.”
Not “damage progression”
CES emphasizes that Onset Analysis is not the traditional “damage progression” approach to composite failure analysis. “From a design standpoint,” it notes, “if your material has failed prior to its target load, the design has failed. Why go further?”
The Onset Analysis methodology instead “looks for the beginnings, the onset, of failure in the material as design criteria instead of catastrophic failure. Of course in composite design, it would be impractical (and unnecessarily limiting) to design to the first microscopic critical value, so our analysis can also look for the initiation of higher-order events, like fiber unloading, initiation of delaminations or even estimates of laminate unloading. All of this without damage progression.”
Onset Analysis can be used to evaluate static strength of composite details including bolted joints, bearing, bearing-bypass, and especially matrix-dominant problems such as bonded joints and bonded repairs. “It is the only current method that can accurately assess matrix issues,” the company declares. The method can also be used to look at problems such as compression after impact (CAI) and fatigue.
Composite simulation—“Use critical properties of the fiber and matrix to predict critical matrix and fiber failures and compute margin of safety, for any layup or geometry, without laminate testing.”
Consultation—“We bring industry-leading expertise in composite performance to your design and analysis challenges.”
Software development—”Our experts in software development process, frameworks and execution can help set up your team for success.”
CES’s key people introduce themselves:
Doug Neill, CEO and founder—“I am an innovation-focused, action-oriented, transformational software executive with decades of experience in the computer-aided engineering (CAE) space. At CES, we believe that the ICME materials revolution is stagnating due to a lack of pragmatic, easy-to-use and fast methods for validation of designs comprised of ICME materials. I have spent my entire technical career focused on automated design and design engineering simulation tools. Our company brings this focus and passion to our customers so that they can innovate new structural concepts and effectively and efficiently unlock the benefits of engineered materials. We have a great team of software and engineering experts to assist you.
“I spent 22 years at MSC Software Corporation and was Vice President of the R&D group for 11 of those years. Prior to that, I helped a startup as the Business Development head to position new FE-based design software. At the beginning of my career, I spent 15 years working on the development and application of directed-search automated multidisciplinary optimization software in aerospace and later the CAE industry.”
See our interview with Neill in his VP role at MSC Software published in this blog in 2017.
Jon Gosse, Ph.D.—“I believe that simulation, done right, can radically transform industry. In my 33 years at The Boeing Co., I worked with many talented engineers and scientists to develop practical approaches to evaluating composite design, and applied those methods to solve intractable problems on some of the most important programs in the company. My goal is to bring that knowledge to the world and revolutionize how industry designs with composites and other advanced materials.”
Eddy (Joe) Sharp—“In my 31 years at The Boeing Co. I had many roles. I began my career as a stress analysis, then moved to the development of Boeing’s internal stress analysis software, engineering methods and material allowables, and finally it was my privilege to manage a group of brilliant engineers and scientists working on bringing together structural simulation and materials science to improve composite materials performance. Working with them every day was like getting an advanced degree in a wide-ranging curriculum including solid mechanics, mechanics of composite failure, polymer science and molecular dynamics modeling.
“That background led to a passion for advanced materials and composite analysis, and building practical tools for engineers so they can focus on the design of their part, and not on the quirks and nuances of modeling with esoteric CAE packages.”
Kunaseelan Kanthasamy, Ph.D.—“I embrace the Art of the Possible and am reputed for ‘taking any fresh, blue-sky project from zero to full steam ahead.’ As a visionary thought leader, I continuously move people, products and companies forward, always connecting the customer’s needs to the end product. In pioneering next-generation digital technology, I build high-performance R&D teams and devise ways to differentiate businesses.
“I thrive in igniting energy around conceiving new products from legacies, capturing new product channels to grow business, strategically anticipating future customer needs, and guiding approaches to the distinctive aspects of doing business in other cultures. My technical acumen includes engineering new digital platforms, pre-NPI, NPI, TRR; enterprise solutions, VAST, RFID, FQC Code, NFC standards/platforms; industry security frameworks, cryptography, symmetric/asymmetric, hash functions, encryption/signatures, Digital Twin and Digital Thread.
“I have filed 36 patents and own 21, and won 16 product innovation awards.”