Collier Research Corp. (Hampton, Va.) has released HyperSizer v6.2. The latest version of the structural sizing and analysis software includes new modeling capabilities for airframe wingbox 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 reportedly 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 Ares 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 hulls and superstructures, high-speed railcars and automobile body components.
New features and enhancements include Discrete Stiffener Modeling for airframe wingbox and fuselage structures, which automatically identifies all skin shell and stiffener beam elements in the finite element model (FEM), and it optimizes their spacings, heights and laminates. This provides the flexibility for designing panel bays with nonuniformly spaced stiffeners of varying directions, dimensions and materials, while also assigning margins to each unique stiffener panel segment. Also new is Laminate Optimization for Manufacturability, an improved six-step process that optimizes laminates (transition zones, ply-count compatibility, ply drops/adds and global ply tracking) while balancing strength, stability and manufacturability. This leads to fabrication efficiencies and factory-floor cost savings. Other enhancements include new Puck’s theory-based 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.
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The project’s goal is to reduce product development and certification timelines by 30 percent for composite aircraft.