Laminate Tool

Use the Laminate tool to calculate fiber angles and thickness changes with respect to an element material system.

This tool creates a distribution table of drape angle changes, change the thickness of each ply, and flatten the shape of a ply that needs to be fabricated before laying on the mold.

Fiber angle changes with respect to a material system when a flat composite sheet is laid on surfaces of a part which is highly curved in bi-directions. This also changes the ply thickness. It is no longer the nominal ply angle ( 0,45,-45, 90). If the change in angle or thickness is significant, it will lead to a change in the stiffness of a part.
Note: The Laminate tool is available in the OptiStruct and Abaqus user profiles.
Note: This tool requires installation of Draping Tools by Anaglyth.
  1. Create a ply shape (elements) by realizing the plies.
    Each ply must have elements associated with it. If it has been draped already, delete the Table entity associated with that ply.
  2. In the Model Browser, right-click on the ply/plies to be draped and select Drape > Laminate Tools from the context menu.
    The Laminate Tools Drape dialog opens.
  3. In the Drape Calculation tab, define draping simulation settings.
    1. Using the Application Point selector, select a node to indicate where the ply is first placed on the surface.
    2. Using the Reference Direction selector, select two nodes to indicate the reference direction (zero degree ply direction).
      The starting/initial ply angle is automatically determined based on this reference direction.
    3. Using the Application Direction selector, select a vector to indicate how a ply is placed. If this direction (vector) is not selected, the element normal will be used as the application direction.

      Figure 1.
    4. In the Implicit Step field, enter a draping step length.
      The average element size at that point could be a good step size.
    5. In the Max strain field, enter a value to color the drape lines.
      If the % shear is above this value, yellow and red contours will start appearing on the drape line, which indicates you may need to cut the fiber in order to relieve strain/wrinkling.
    6. Click Apply.
  4. In the Review tab, select a review option to read the results.
    Option Description
    Drape Lines Initially an unidirectional ply start with a 90 degree angle between the weft and wrap lines. As the ply is draped over a curved surface, this angle changes. If the shear is more than max strain, than the color changes from blue to yellow to red.

    Figure 2.
    Flat Lines Review the flat ply shape that is needed to cover the surface.

    Figure 3.
    Drape Thickness Contour the distribution of thickness changes.

    Figure 4.
    Drape Orientation (shear) Contour the shear (angle changes from 90 degrees).

    Figure 5.
  5. In the Export tab, export the flatten ply shape as geometry (STEP format).
    The Flat ply shape can be exported one ply at a time as STEP geometry.

    Figure 6.