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Composites Simulation and Optimization

Altair provides a comprehensive set of tools to design, analyze, and optimize your composite material structural parts and assemblies for laminated, chopped fiber, and particulate composites.

Development of an electrically powered ultra-light airplane Ultra-light airplane maker ACENTISS developed an all electric powered aircraft while using the Altair HyperWorks product suite. One of the focal points was the composites optimization of the wings. Read the ACENTISS Case Study
Specialized Wins at Le Tour de France with Altair HyperWorks Learn how Specialized analyzed and improved the aerodynamic performance as well as optimized the weight and structural efficiency of the new S-Works Venge frame.

Altair offers a comprehensive suite of design and analysis tools for composites:

  • Develop concept designs in less time: OptiStruct can efficiently optimize composite lay-ups that minimize weight and maximize strength

  • Set up composite models efficiently in HyperMesh and post-process the results in HyperView for all leading FEA solvers

  • Quickly analyze designs with OptiStruct for structural performance or RADIOSS for dynamic or impact performance

  • Evaluate the micromechanical response and life prediction of complex composite materials by using Multiscale Designer

  • Rely on Altair Expertise: Utilize the 30 years of experience of Altair Product Design to help you design, analyze, and optimize composite structures

  • Add functionality through the Altair Partner Alliance: Access partner applications for micromechanical analysis, failure modeling, detailed stress analysis, and injection molding simulation

“The concept optimization process... managed to produce a cabin that was 42% less than the target weight.”

ThyssenKrupp Elevator

View Case Study


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HyperForm composites forming capability Composites optimization process with OptiStruct 3D ply visualization including ply angles in HyperMesh Post-processing of free sizing optimization results in HyperView Bird strike damage evaluation on a composites wing with RADIOSS Weight comparison of an airplane door surround frame OptiStruct as essential part in the Fiber Patch Preforming Process (FPP) at Manz in Germany C-Class catamaran of ETs
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Concept Design for Composites

Composite design synthesis with OptiStruct allows the numerous design variables to be handled in an efficient manner to develop truly optimized composite designs. This method allows designers to quickly develop a composite detailed design that will meet performance and safety specifications.

  • Determine optimal location of ply drops and ply build ups

  • Develop ply cut-out patterns

  • Define optimal stacking sequence

CoDA from Anaglyph enables concept designers to study potential composite materials, beam and plate sizes and thicknesses, and support conditions to be selected for further detailed investigation.

Model Set-Up and Results Visualization

Generating and evaluating an FEA model with composites adds another dimension to the pre- and post-processing requirements, which is efficiently handled in HyperMesh and HyperView for all leading FEA solvers.

  • Generate laminate definitions efficiently

  • Visualize stacking sequence, ply orientation, and draping angle deviations on FE model

  • Efficient and powerful mapping of geometry ply shapes to element sets

  • Perform sophisticated post-processing at the laminate or ply level with Results Math


Analysis can be carried out in OptiStruct for linear and non-linear structural problems under static, dynamic and thermal loadings, and RADIOSS for highly non-linear problems under dynamic loading and results can be post-processed in HyperView.

  • Analyze stiffness, strength, durability, and stability of your composite structure

  • Utilize included or custom failure models for delamination, crack propagation, and fiber and matrix failure

  • Understand the impact performance of composites

The Altair Partner Alliance provides HyperWorks users access to additional composites analysis software.

  • ESAComp from Componeering is software for analysis and design of composites. Its scope ranges from conceptual and preliminary design of layered composite structures to advanced analyses that are applicable for the final verification of a design. ESAComp has a vast set of analysis capabilities for solid/sandwich laminates and for micromechanical analyses. HyperWorks integration allows users to perform advanced failure criteria to structures using ESAComp, and to visualize the failure results’ contours in HyperView or through the thickness plots in ESAComp.

  • LAP from Anaglyph is used to analyze any type of composite laminate subjected to in-plane loads and moments. LAP is used in preliminary design for tailoring a stacking sequence, then analyzing the composite component with other methods such as finite elements, and finally optimizing the design by inspecting the laminate behavior layer by layer.

  • STRENGTH2000® from Airbus Defence & Space is a toolbox for performing aerospace strength and stability analysis and generating stress reports for certification purposes. STRENGTH2000® accelerates the strength and stability assessment of metallic and composite structures to adhere to various industry and handbook standards.

  • StressCheck from ESRD is a comprehensive finite element analysis software tool that support advanced solution methods in linear elasticity, multi-body contact, geometric and material nonlinearities, modal and buckling analysis, fracture mechanics, laminate composite analysis, and steady state heat transfer, including temperature-dependent material properties and radiation.


Multiscale Designer includes solutions for micromechanics, microstructural optimization, and life prediction of complex materials which integrates modeling, simulation, testing, uncertainty quantification, and optimization of composite materials and structures at multiple spatial and temporal scales.

  • Systematic model reduction technology to simplify complex models

  • Mathematical rigor free of scale separation assumptions

  • Equipped with an extensible library of parametric unit cell models

  • Utilizes stochastics that translate geometry and material uncertainties to component uncertainties

The Altair Partner Alliance provides HyperWorks users access to additional micromechanics software.

  • CONVERSE from PART Engineering bridges the gap between injection molding simulation and mechanical simulation. It leads to significantly more reliable results with regard to stiffness and strength of short-fiber-reinforced injection molded parts, as well as more realistic simulation of the thermo-mechanical behavior of molds and inserts. Users can create material cards for OptiStruct, which include the degree of orientation dependent anisotropic material data for short-fiber-reinforced plastics.

  • DIGIMAT from e-Xstream is a nonlinear multi-scale material and structure modeling platform that includes tools for material engineering, advanced analysis of composite materials and structures, and advanced analysis of reinforced plastics parts.

  • KTex Family from CEDREM is a set of tools dedicated to modeling composite materials precisely at the scale of the yarns. KTex Family simulates composite processes, automatically calculates mechanical properties of a given weave and generates associated cards for RADIOSS and OptiStruct.

  • MultiMech from MultiMechanics is a complete software package for multiscale FEA of composite structures. It includes a two-way coupled implicit/explicit finite element solver and microstructural FE model generator.

  • SwiftComp Micromechanics from AnalySwift enables users modeling complex composites to improve structural designs, estimate a given structure's capabilities, or engineer a new material with enhanced desirable performance characteristics.

Complementary Solutions

HyperMesh High-performance finite element pre-processor to prepare largest models, starting from import of CAD geometry to exporting an analysis run for various disciplines. Overview Video | Learn More
OptiStruct Industry proven, modern structural analysis solver for linear and non-linear structural problems under static and dynamic loadings. The market-leading solution for structural design and optimization. Overview Video | Learn More
Multiscale Designer Multiscale Design is a software used for seamless integration of modeling, simulation, testing, uncertainty quantification and optimization of composite materials and structures at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Learn More
ESAComp ESAComp is software for analysis and design of composites, ranging from conceptual design of layered composite structures to advanced analyses. Overview Video | Learn More
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