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Ply-based composite modeling with the new *ELEMENT_SHELL_COMPOSITE keyword

Because of their superior mechanical properties in combination with a relative low density Fiber Reinforced Composites (FRC) are of great potential in the area of lightweight structures respectively applications. Nevertheless usage and acceptance of FRC highly depends on the fact, whether or not it is possible to prescribe and predict their structural behavior using the Finite Element Method. LS-DYNA has a great potential to simulate the behavior of composite structures since many years. But the model generation of complex layered structures with many different plies in different directions may become very expensive. Starting with LS971 Revision R5.1 LS-DYNA offers the new keyword *ELEMENT_SHELL_COMPOSITE, which is a generalization of the already known *PART_COMPOSITE. This new keyword allows a very comfortable description of composite layers using a ply-based concept. Within one part elements may have different number of through thickness integration points as well as different material angles in each layer. Because of that the model must not be split up in many parts, which makes pre- and also postprocessing much more practical. The ANSYS Composite PrepPost enables a comfortable way to generate layered composite structures using a ply-cased = manufacturing-based concept and export these data to LS-DYNA in the new format. It offers a common composite definition for both ANSYS and LS-DYNA simulations.