This simulation tool is designed for progressive failure simulation in composite laminates. It provides accurate results equivalent to those of a high-fidelity model without the associated cost and time. In doing this, the tool will generate more rapid results compared to high-fidelity modeling, be a viable evaluation method for industry, and allow for consideration of more complex problems that exceed the capability of currently available simulation methods.
The simulation tool is in the form of a subroutine for an enriched finite element. A user would create a numerical model with the enriched element in an initially low-fidelity form. The enriched elements then have the ability to increase fidelity locally to suit an ongoing damage process if necessary.
The simulation combines existing fracture mechanics-based damage propagation techniques with a discrete approach to modeling discontinuities in finite elements. Additionally, the use of an advanced laminate theory recovers deformation and stress information that would normally require a high-fidelity model.
To accomplish this, the same theoretic and analytical concepts that a high-fidelity numerical simulation tool utilizes for laminate damage simulation are placed in the context of a low-fidelity finite element. In taking this approach, a laminate can be modeled as a single-layer, low-fidelity shell mesh that has the ability to locally increase fidelity and represent a delamination-based damage process but only if it is determined that one should occur.