Designing new composite products and investigating failures
Composite Design Analysis
NPL's Composite Design Analysis (CoDA) software is used in aerospace, automotive and construction industries to assist with the preliminary design of structural composite materials. The software licences and consultancy are supplied by Anaglyph Ltd.
CoDA extends current analyses, where necessary, to take account of the specific characteristics of plastics and composites in terms of rate dependence behaviour and anisotropy. The outputs are validated procedures, including user-friendly PC software packages, suitable for preliminary design and also for identifying the important material, geometry or support parameters involved.
CoDA increases the ability of engineers to appreciate the nature of alternative materials and to design for them in the absence of accumulated experience. The work programmes available include:
- Material synthesis
- Laminate lay-up
- Plate design
- Beam design
Finite Element Analysis
Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a modelling tool widely used to accelerate product development, including the design of new products, as well as for investigation of failure in service and lifetime prediction. Our unique combination of physicists, material scientists and mathematicians means that we a wealth of knowledge on materials testing of composites and adhesives, and can ensure that the materials are fit for purpose.
Within the composites area, FEA is used to:
- design new equipment and test pieces
- gain a deeper understanding of the physical processes that occur during experiments
- test assumptions made about equipment or material behaviour
- investigate sensitivity of experimental results to environmental and geometric parameters
To obtain reliable predictions from FEA, the relevant materials model must be used, along with accurate data on the properties. We have been developing test methods for characterising the physical, mechanical and processing properties of polymeric materials for over 40 years and can ensure that the materials model and properties are fit for the application. We have produced many guides and reports on the preparation, testing and modelling of adhesives.