Open-Source, Distributed Computational Environment for Virtual Materials Exploration

Period of Performance: 09/15/2015 - 09/15/2017


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

28 Corporate Drive Array
Clifton Park, NY 12065
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT:The structural design community regard materials models as fixed inputs to a finite element-based design process, using materials lookup tables to provide data from experimental and/or simulations performed by others. However the accuracy of multiscale materials modeling has improved significantly over the last few decades, yet these simulations have seen little application in structural design. The project will change the paradigm by which structural design tools in finite element modeling operate by providing an interface to materials simulations, extending them to make use of simulation data, and adding support for location specific properties in single parts. These tools will enable designs that make use of materials science and engineering (processing, microstructure and performance) in the finite element model, independently triggering simulations as required, providing a smart caching strategy, to facilitate pervasive solutions that accommodate a range of structural materials. These tools will enable more efficient designs that leverage the latest advances in materials engineering, giving designers the ability to seamlessly draw on the most accurate information at every stage of design, validation and production. Integrated approaches using existing commercial tools will result structural designs making the best use of material properties.BENEFIT:The proposed work will offer commercial applications across many sectors, including manufacturers of aerospace components, medical devices, and automotive parts. Currently, these manufacturers are limited by their ability to design precision parts, resulting in inefficient design and use of expensive techniques for entire parts. The proposed work directly addresses this issue, and would result in a paradigm shift, from whole-part design based on standard material properties tables to the use of actual variables in dynamic, active material design The open-source framework will enable designers to move beyond materials as fixed design inputs to active variables that can be manipulated as part of the structural design process, ultimately leading to structural design driving the materials requirements. With the ability to explore material properties and compositions, and adjust parameters to accommodate specific requirements, designers will able to use these insights to improve designs. Examples of such modifications are increases to part life, or reductions in weight without compromising the structural integrity of the part.