Altair, a leading provider of CAE technologies, services and consulting has received an “AVK Innovationspreis 2012” (AVK Innovation Award) in the area of processes and methods for its innovative design and optimisation process for composite materials and laminate structures. The innovation prize is awarded by the AVK (INDUSTRIEVEREINIGUNG VERSTÄRKTE KUNSTSTOFFE (Association of Reinforced Plastics) to promote the development of new products and components made of fibre-reinforced plastics, as well as innovative methods and processes that support the manufacturing of products made of these materials.
Altair received the award for its innovative design and optimisation process for composite materials. Based on Altair’s experience in structural optimisation, the company created a new process for an optimised design of laminate structures. Thanks to this process, the complexity of new materials can be handled more easily and the design of composite components becomes more robust. The process establishes an optimised material-usage design and ensures that components made from composites achieve their lightweight potential. Altair’s design process offers unique possibilities to enhance the performance of the product while enabling the engineers to keep development and production costs low.
“We are very happy about receiving an innovation award from the AVK,” said Dr. Uwe Schramm, managing director of Altair Engineering GmbH. “It is great to see that our activities in the area of design, simulation and optimisation of composites help our customers and also are recognised by the industry and industrial associations. With our solutions, we support our customers in their development processes and thus enable innovation. The design process we have developed for composite materials helps the user to create and produce lighter and better products because it makes the unique characteristics of composite materials controllable and enables lightweight design.“
The design process for laminates consists of three steps:
1. Ply shape optimisation – what are the optimal ply shapes?
2. Ply thickness optimisation – how many plies of each shape do I need?
3. Ply order optimisation – what is the best stacking order for the plies?
A semi-automated use of these three steps, which Altair covers in this process, ensures efficient and accurate creation of composite laminate designs. To improve existing laminate designs, the tools can be used independently in the different phases. A user can make adjustments after each phase to conform to manufacturing and/or other requirements. Altair‘s simulation-driven development process assures that development and product requirements, as well as production constraints, can be included in a development process right from the start – within the concept phase. The Altair method helps to extend the advantages of composite materials to their full potential and at the same time takes into account weight, cost and production issues.
The prize was handed out on October 8 at the international AVK congress, taking place in Düsseldorf in conjunction with the COMPOSITES EUROPE trade show (Oct. 9 – 11). Altair will be presenting its solutions during the Composites Europe show at the AVK booth of the trade show in hall 8a, booth F63. At the booth, the company will be showing the awarded process with practical examples from different industries, among them the automotive and the shipbuilding sectors, as well as motorsport and research.