DLR Advances Crack Prediction in Ceramic Matrix Composites Using MultiMech

Research designed to reduce development time of novel CMC materials.

Research designed to reduce development time of novel CMC materials.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has selected MultiMechanics, a developer of multiscale modeling and simulation software for advanced materials, to perform advanced crack prediction during the manufacturing of ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components.

The simulation group at DLR’s Institute of Structures and Design in Stuttgart has begun to model the process of pyrolysis, an intermediate step in production of CMC. Within this process, carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP) are heated to temperatures up to 1,600 degrees Celsius and then cooled down. The team wants to understand how temperature change would affect the material’s microstructure and the material behavior. This analysis is crucial for future CMC components produced by DLR, including nozzles for rockets and thermal protection systems for re-entry vehicles among other applications.

“MultiMech allows us to model microstructural cracks and determine how they would affect the overall composite part,” says Neraj Jain, group leader in Simulation and Engineering at the Department of Ceramic Composites and Structures at DLR. “Thanks to it, we can actually see where a crack is developing, how the crack will change our material, and how it will affect the final microstructure of the material.”

Using MultiMech, the engineers can vary the interface strength between fiber and ceramic matrix and evaluate how this parameter would influence crack initiation and propagation. This insight enables them to optimize the material and tailor it according to microstructural mechanics.

“DLR is a global leader in aeronautics and space research and we are extremely proud to support their advancement in understanding and designing CMC parts,” says Dr. Flavio Souza, president and chief technical officer of MultiMechanics. “Our work at MultiMechanics for the last 10 years has been dedicated to accurately connecting microstructural behavior of advanced materials to the overall part performance and its manufacturing, and we are pleased to see that our users are seeing the benefits and high value of TRUE multiscale modeling.”

“MultiMech’s efficient integration with our other FEA tools like Abaqus and ANSYS increases our productivity and brings us closer to our aim to optimize CMC material virtually,” says Jain. “The way we are able to conduct crack modeling and multiscale simulation holds lots of opportunities in many projects to come.”

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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