DLR uses MultiMech to advance crack prediction of ceramic matrix composites

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) selected MultiMechanics, a developer of multi-scale modeling and simulation software for advanced materials that performs advanced crack prediction in the fabrication of ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components.

The simulation team at the DLR Institute of Structures and Design in Stuttgart has begun to simulate the pyrolysis process, which is an intermediate step in the production of ceramic matrix composites. In this process, the carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) is heated to a temperature of up to 1600 degrees Celsius and then cooled. The team wanted to understand how temperature changes affect the microstructure of the material and thus the behavior of the material. This analysis is critical for future CMC components produced by DLR, including nozzles for rockets and thermal protection systems for reentry vehicles and other applications.

Neraj Jain, head of the DLR Ceramics Composites and Structural Simulation and Engineering Group, said:

“MultiMech allows us to model microstructural cracks and determine how they affect the entire composite part. Because of it, we can actually see where the crack develops, how the crack will change our material, and how it will affect the material. The final microstructure.”

Using MultiMech, engineers can change the interface strength between the fiber and the ceramic matrix and evaluate how this parameter affects crack initiation and propagation. This insight enables them to optimize and customize materials based on microstructural mechanics – a key step in understanding the overall behavior of the part more accurately.

Dr. Flavio Souza, President and Chief Technology Officer of MultiMechanics, said:

“DLR is a global leader in aerospace and aerospace research, and we are proud to support their advancement in understanding and designing CMC parts. We have been working at MultiMechanics for the past decade to accurately predict the microstructure of advanced materials. Connecting to the overall part performance and its manufacturing, we are happy to see our users see the advantages and high value of TRUE multi-scale modeling.”

Jain said:

“The efficient integration of MultiMech with our other FEA tools such as Abaqus and Ansys has increased our productivity and brought us closer to our goal of virtually optimizing CMC materials. We are able to perform crack modeling and multi-scale simulation in many projects. There are many opportunities in it.”