Collier Research Corp. (Hampton, Va.) has released HyperSizer v6.2 structural sizing and analysis software. The latest version of the product includes new modeling capabilities for airframe wing box designs and laminate zone and ply-count optimization enhancements to improve manufacturing efficiency. Collier notes that the creation of lighter, stronger composite structures is limited by many of today’s standard industry practices, characterized most frequently by overdesign. HyperSizer targets weight while serving as an independent and neutral data exchange hub for CAD, finite element analysis (FEA), and composite software packages. It iterates with FEA solvers, calculates margins of safety, validates failure predictions with test data, and sequences composite laminates for fabrication—avoiding weight growth as designs mature.
HyperSizer has been used on a variety of NASA spacecraft projects including the current Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, previous Ares I and V launch vehicles, the Composite Crew Module and the metal Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Commercial aviation customers include Boeing, Bombardier, Goodrich, Gulfstream and Lockheed Martin. Collier also says that HyperSizer’s capabilities are appropriate for applications in wind turbine blades, ship hull and superstructures, high-speed railcars and automobile body components.
New features and enhancements in HyperSizer v6.2 include:
- Discrete Stiffener Modeling: For airframe wing box and fuselage structures, the software automatically identifies in the FEM, skin shell and stiffener beam elements and optimizes their spacings, heights and laminates. This provides the flexibility for designing panel bays with non-uniformly spaced stiffeners of varying directions, dimensions, and materials, while also assigning margins to each unique stiffener panel segment.
- Laminate Optimization for Manufacturability: An improved, six-step process optimizes laminates (transition zones, ply-count compatibility, ply drops/adds, global ply tracking) while balancing strength, stability and manufacturability. This leads to fabrication efficiencies and factory-floor cost-savings.
- Other enhancements: New puck composite failure analysis for both 2-D and 3-D fiber fracture; new curved (skin) local buckling analysis; upgraded compression and shear postbuckling analyses; enhanced panel concepts (PRSEUS, reinforced core sandwich, and tapered tube beam); improved test data and other graphical displays and functions; and new methods documentation.