Multiscale Materials Modeling with SIMULIA

The world of materials is a much more complex one than many people realize. Materials are the building blocks of all products, but before they can be incorporated, they need to be created. Designing and generating a new material takes a lot of complex work. Materials are designed and synthesized at both the nano and micro scales, and the materials’ microstructure during synthesis determines its behavior at macro scale. Therefore, it is necessary to bridge multiple scales, which is known as multiscale materials modeling.

SIMULIA offers two types of multiscale materials modeling technologies: Mean Field Homogenization (MFH) and Representative Volume Element (RVE). Both of these technologies are useful for simulations of composites and materials used for advanced manufacturing processes. They are capable of predicting the effects of a material’s microstructure on its macroscopic properties.

MFH is a semi-analytical method of characterizing macro material properties based on microstructure qualities. It is especially useful for modeling components made with advanced manufacturing processes, such as advanced fiber reinforced thermoplastics. MFH has numerous advantages, including the facts that it is: efficient in concurrent analyses; predictive for linear composites; easy to implement in commercial software; and easy to customize through concentration tensor. However, MFH cannot predict localized stress/strain fields inside the microstructure constituent, and it requires calibration of free parameters for nonlinear materials. This is where RVE comes in.

RVE is a finite element model of a representative volume of a material’s microstructure. It is not subject to the assumptions inherent in MFH’s analytical approaches. RVE has been implemented as a plugin in Abaqus/CAE and has several key functionalities, including FE-RVE model generation; automated boundary conditions; upscaling/downscaling and post-processing.

SIMULIA multiscale materials modeling technologies have a number of benefits. They are simple to use, as the Abaqus user interface allows for easy production workflow development, and the native implementation in Abaqus enables an optimized performance. Their streamlined workflow includes native functionalities such as mapper and calibration. They have a customizable framework for user-designed FE-RVE and damage criteria for both microscale and macroscale damage. Finally, their end-to-end workflow is allowed by multiple solutions including SIMULIA Isight, Solidworks Plastics, and Biovia Materials Studio.

Multiscale materials modeling is not simple, but it is vital for the development of new materials, particularly now as materials become more advanced, with smart capabilities and composite properties. SIMULIA’s technologies allow these critical processes to be made accessible, enabling smarter materials development. To learn more about SIMULIA’s multiscale materials modeling technologies, check out the eSeminar “Multiscale Materials Modeling.” It can be accessed here.

Clare Scott

Clare Scott is a SIMULIA Creative Content Advocacy Specialist at Dassault Systèmes. Prior to her work here, she wrote about the additive manufacturing industry for She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Hiram College and a Master of Arts from University College Dublin. Clare works out of Dassault Systèmes’ Cleveland, Ohio office and enjoys reading, acting in local theatre and spending time outdoors.

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