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Simulation Mechanical and Multiphysics

New Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-20-2012

Composite material properties

286 Views, 2 Replies
05-05-2013 09:09 PM

In Simulation 2013 it seems the material properties assigned to the different laminates are not saved properly.  That is, is you create a fully defined orthogonal material property in the library and then apply it to a laminate many of the values come through as zeros.


Does anyone have a workaround for this?

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*Expert Elite*
Posts: 573
Registered: ‎08-30-2012

Re: Composite material properties

05-08-2013 06:08 AM in reply to: MarkPetrie4227

Hello Mark. I have a few questions.


  1. What analysis type are you using? (Linear or MES)
  2. What element type are you using? (Thin composite, thick composite, shell with composite material model, etc)
  3. What units were used when creating the material in the library?
  4. What units were used when assigning the material to a laminate? (I'm thinking of a conversion error that may have led to some zeros.)
  5. What properties were 0 when you picked the material for the laminate?

I tried linear static stress with a thin composite element. The material properties that I previous entered into the library ("Tools > Options > Manage Material Library") were shown properly when I assigned it to a laminate. However, the material definition for the part does contain more properties that what the library allows you to enter. The library has no input for the allowable strains and the flexural controls, so those values are going to be zero regardless of the material chosen.


You can try to enter all of the material properties that you want into the material for the part ("Edit Properties"). This will create a "[Customer Defined]" material in the model. Before clicking OK to save the properties to the model, try to right-click on "[Customer Defined]" at the top of the browser and choose "Save to library". In theory, it would save all of the material input even though the library manager does not display some of it. When I tried this, I got an error about the unit conversion, and it failed to save my data.


There is another workaround that I did not try. The material properties that you enter into a part of the model is saved in the file "my model name.ds_data\design scenario #\ds\ds.mod\model.dbf". The model.dbf file and the material library files are both Foxpro-compatible databases. So you could copy the records from model.dbf to the library files and modify them to conform to the different requirements of the two files. (The model.dbf records indicate what part number the material properties below to; the material library is not related to any part or model, so the records in the material library do not have the part designation.) When you pick a material for a part in the model, I think the software copies all of the material properties from the library, not just the ones that you see when you choose to edit the material. So if you can get all of the records into the library manually, the software should read them all. The problem is finding an editor that is fully Foxpro-compatible. By renaming the library files, you can use the "Tools > Options > Database Translation" to get the two files into a text format, and then use a text editor to change them. The Database Translator would then be used to convert the text files back to the "library format", and then rename the files back to the original library names. It's not hard, and I've done it many times before, but it is a little tedious.

John Holtz, PE
Mechanical Engineer
Pittsburgh, PA

Simulation Mechanical user since Dec 1997
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New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-25-2013

Re: Composite material properties

04-15-2014 04:02 PM in reply to: MarkPetrie4227
Hi, I was wondering how could i choose a different composite material, such as fiberglass, in the composite library since the only options pertain to the wood category.

Thank you
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