Center for Composite Materials - University of Delaware

Design & Analysis

Virtual Product Design

UD-CCM as a world-wide leader in composites science and engineering is providing extensive consulting services to our industrial partners. The services range from material characterization and synthesis, to part design, manufacturing and full-scale testing.  UD-CCM’s design engineering capabilities include digital 3-D geometry scanning, CAD/Solid Modeling capability, coupled with extensive FEA capabilities and “custom” analysis tools.  CCM has extensive experience in the application of these tools to solve industrial problems.

A noteworthy highlight is the establishment of a dedicated Re-engineering Lab to house our equipment and software for Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing.  This equipment includes a 6-axis arm with laser scanner and software to create surface and 3D solid models through direct digitization of existing geometry. Software capabilities include mechanical design, surface and 3D solid modeling as well as FiberSim® for draping simulation, ply-cutting pattern generation and composite laminate schedule “drawings”.  These capabilities provide the platform for integration with our analysis capabilities, CNC machining, laser cutting, data management, and other functions required to conduct interdisciplinary research within CCM as well as to interface efficiently with our sponsors.

Work Cell Technologies

UD-CCM has been able to transition the technology and expertise to our industrial partners though a “workcell technology” approach.  These workcells combined enable the establishment of an “agile  manufacturing enterprise”.  Specific work cell technologies can be utilized independently as required. The capabilities include reverse engineering and re-engineering, tooling, ply cutting and preforming, process simulation (draping and mold flow), intelligent process control, data collection and on-line quality assurance (QA)/quality control (QC), and ultimately, an intelligent system to link these work cells to allow communication and sharing of data among them.

Re-Engineering Technology

The “re-engineering” work cell incorporates several key capabilities that are critical to allowing rapid design of composite replacement components to displace existing metallic designs/components.  These capabilities include the ability to capture part geometry, either through existing computer-aided design (CAD) or drawing data, or through three-dimensional (3-D) scanning of components.  The 3-D scanning technologies are critical since, in many cases, accurate or detailed drawings or CAD information are not available.

In addition to the capture of the component geometry, UD-CCM has the expertise to revise or modify a design and develop a composite architecture which meets or exceeds the requirements for the specific component.  The goal of “re-engineering” is to be able to accomplish a redesign of a steel (or other metallic) part in composites via a combination of integrated software tools and application of these tools and experience to the re-engineering process.  These software tools can include finite element analysis, integrated custom design tools (for components with similar geometries or loading), integrated material databases with in situ properties, and custom empirically and/or analytically based design tools for localized joint and attachment details.

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