NEi Software Nastran Finite Element Analysis

Nastran Finite Element Analysis and Simulation Software

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NEi Nastran Composites Analysis

Key Composite Analysis Features

Composite materials analysis imposes a number of requirements that are significantly different when compared to isotropic materials. FEA software used for composite analysis must be designed to handle the anisotropic nature of composites and the failure mechanisms associated with their properties like cracks, delaminations, and fiber failure. In addition, high quality FEA software should include features that make it easy to use while providing the engineer with the power to get practical and valuable results to real world problems.

NEi Nastran provides composite designers with a number of features in model creation, material definition, meshing, post processing, failure criteria, and data presentation.

Click on a feature below to expand for more detail.

1.  User friendly definition of material properties
Clear, easy input of strength and stiffness terms with access to material libraries.

Composite Analysis: Definition of material properties

2.  Definition of ply lay-up
Stacking sequences can be quickly and easily entered into a table, and symmetry can be used to reduce entries. Modification and changes are easily made and the chance of error is greatly reduced.

Composite FEM: Definition of Ply Lay-up

3.  Easy orientation definition
Curved surfaces can complicate the orientation of fibers. NEi Nastran can project a cylindrical or spherical coordinate system onto a structure to get good representation of ply orientation. Advanced application can carry out draping analysis with Simulayt if this degree of fidelity is required.
4.  Outer mold line representation
Ensures mesh congruence during modeling process.

Analysis of Composites Outer Mold Line Representation

5.  Post processing visualizations that pinpoints problem areas
Enormous amounts of data can be involved in multi lay-up and multi ply structures. NEi Nastran provides a logical path from stress analysis of a structure to Failure Index results that can isolate problems and pinpoint them to definite regions on specific plies.

FEA Composite:Post processing visualizations that pinpoints problem areas FEM

6.  Failure Indices and Strength Ratio
NEi Nastran supports all the major composite failure analysis indices Tsai-Wu, Hill, Hoffman. Plus NEi Nastran includes the most modern forms of Puck and NASA Langley LARC02. In addition, the Strength Ratio is available for easy linear scaling and qualitative analysis.

NASA Langley has developed LARC02, a set of first-ply-failure criteria which have shown to be accurate and physically consistent. It is well suited for design purposes because it balances accuracy, material characterization requirements, computational effort, and ease of results interpretation.

Advanced Failure Criteria for Composites

  • LaRC02 Set of Criteria
  • Developed by NASA
  • First-ply-failure
  • Physically based
  • Hashin, Puck approach
  • No additional material properties required compared to Tsai-Wu
  • Failure mode taken into account
  • Extensive validation (WWFE)

advanced failure criteria
relationship between compressive strength and lamination angle 

Stability Index Output for Sandwich Structures

Theory based on Facesheet Wrinkling in Sandwich Structures, NASA-CR-1999-208994, 1999

Honeycomb Sandwich Material Properties

Modulus of Elasticity (msi)
Tensile Limit (ksi)
Compression Limit (ksi)
Shear Limit (ksi)
Aluminum Face Sheets
Honeycomb Core
Bonding Material

Composite FEM: Honeycomb Sandwich Material Properties

For more information see "Finite Element Implementation of Advanced Failure Criteria for Composites".

7.  Import 3D CAD models
Femap imports models from all major CAD systems. For SolidWorks users, NEi Works is embedded, completely eliminating the need to import files.
8.  Sensitivity and configuration trade off studies
NEi Nastran Editor feature is perfect for composite analysis because it provides an easy inexpensive way to do sensitivity and configuration trade off studies.
  • Features tabbed windows to give immediate access to all input and output files
  • Field markers make manual editing simple and increase productivity dramatically
  • Complete online documentation and context sensitive help
  • Permits batch queuing of jobs for sensitivity and configuration trade studies
  • Special real time controls allow changing solution parameters while running
  • Real time 2D xy-plotting and 3D deformed shape and contour plotting

NEi Nastran Editor for Composites Analysis NEi Nastran Editor for Composite FEM

Coming in NEi Nastran 10.1

  1. Full NL Support for 3D Layered Solid Composites
  2. Progressive Ply Failure Analysis (PPFA) Support for Layered Solids
  3. MCT Failure Model with Layered Solids
  4. Nonlinear Elastic support in a Layered Composite
  5. More Accurate Bond Shear Calculation

MCT Ply Failure Analysis

NEi Nastran incorporates Firehole Composites’ multiscale approach developed specifically for achieving more accurate results with composite materials when comparing analysis data to actual test results.


Progressive Ply Failure Analysis (PPFA™)

PPFA allows engineers to examine structural behavior beyond first ply failure (FPF) and understand post FPF events of the composite material in the nonlinear field.


Composites Modeler for Femap

Composites Modeler for Femap by Simulayt provides state-of-the-art fiber simulation, ply modeling, and draping analysis, with property verification, results utilities and direct integration with the Layup Pipeline.


Composites Modeler for SolidWorks®

Composites Modeler for SolidWorks provides advanced ply-based model building, draping analysis, and proven fiber simulation capabilities — all seamlessly integrated within SolidWorks.


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