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Collier Research releases hyperSizer v6 with improved design and manufacturability optimization for composites

News International-French

28 May 2012

Collier Research has released HyperSizerv6.2 structural sizing and analysis software which includes new modelling capabilities for airframe wing box designs, and laminate zone and ply-count optimisation enhancements to improve manufacturing efficiency.

“Composites are booming due to stepped-up fuel consumption efficiency goals,” says Craig Collier, President of Collier Research. “This is pushing the movement towards light-weighting. But creation of lighter, stronger designs is limited by many of today’s standard industry practices. Weight is needlessly added because engineers have only a partial view of options.  They often overdesign to play it safe.”


Collier explains, to overcome such drawbacks, HyperSizer targets weight while serving as an independent and neutral data exchange hub for CAD, 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 works from preliminary design through flight certification,” says Collier.  “This gives the engineering team a more wide-open conceptual design space for performing trade studies involving thousands of alternatives.  They can find robust solutions that lead to significant weight and cost savings.  On average our customers reduce weight by 20 percent.”


“In the past, our designs were often overweight,” says Ian Fernandez, former Materials and Analysis Lead on NASA Ames Research Centre’s LADEE satellite project.  “HyperSizer has enabled our Centre to be more competitive in this regard.  It’s a robust analysis tool that allows us to complete our weight and strength studies in far less time, while finding optimal ply coverage.”


According to Collier, new features and enhancements in HyperSizer v6.2 include:

  • Discrete Stiffener Modelling – For airframe wing box and fuselage structures, the software automatically identifies in the FEM, skin shell and stiffener beam elements and optimises their spacing, 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 Optimisation for Manufacturability – An improved, six-step process optimises 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 2D and 3D fibre fracture; new curved (skin) local buckling analysis; upgraded compression and shear post buckling 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.