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Aligning the Element Orientation for Building up Simulation Models of Fiber Reinforced Structures Automatically

The simulation of products that are made of fiber reinforced materials (FRM) is very useful to identify mechanical properties of these products in the early stages of product development. However, building up these models is a very time consuming process. Automatic batch meshing can be used to reduce this time. With this process the order of the nodes of each finite element is unstructured, especially on complex shapes and free-form surfaces. However, when applying batch meshing the element orientation can’t be used to define the material orientation. We developed a code that aligns an existing mesh by selecting one or more start elements. Each element is aligned by looking at the elements next to it or at the boundaries of the surface. To verify we applied this code successfully after the batch meshing process to build up models for crash simulation in LS-DYNA. Since the code works directly on the ASCII-based FE-files, it can be adapted very easily to use it with other FE software, e.g. Abaqus or Nastran.