Dimension Composite Inc., a manufacturer of composite components, teamed up with Creaform in order to perform the structural validation and finite element modelling of a fiberglass train front mask manufactured for Siemens.
Composite material requires more data than metallic material in order to represent its strength and stiffness in stress analysis and numerical simulation. Creaform helped Dimension Composites with its expertise in material characterisation, especially with composite materials, in order to get all the data needed to properly simulate the train front mask.
Although the project started as a validation/certification mandate, it rapidly required more involvement from Creaform’s structural engineers when first results showed the lack of strength of the initial design.
Finite element models were built on Femap and computed with NEi Nastran to assess structural integrity to various load cases and environments. In service loads, such as inertia, front windshield impact, shock responses, random vibration responses as well as installation and maintenance operation loads were simulated using finite element technique.
In addition to modal and linear quasi static analysis, non-linear transient simulations with non-linear ply-failure evaluations on detailed composite structures models were required to address potential strength issues.
The end result: Creaform recommended modifications to the initial design to ensure its robustness with a precise and complete stress evaluation to meet Siemens requirements.
- Geometry preparation using CAD software
- Finite element modeling
- Static linear and non-linear analysis
Material qualification recommendations
- Modal, dynamic analysis (Sine and random vibrations)
- Transient non-linear analysis to simulate shock and crash
- Design modification recommendations and weight optimization
- Margins of safety calculations for metallic, composites and interface joints (rivets, bounding, fasteners, fittings)
TOOLS AND METHODS USED
Based on the client’s needs, Creaform used the following tools and methods:
- NEi Nastran
- Static/Modal/Sine/ Non-linear/Progressive Ply Failure/Shock and Crash