Composites are materials created by combining two or more different substances. Thin layers of materials are stacked and bonded using a resin to achieve the desired material properties, tailored for specific applications. Carbon fiber, fiberglass, and Kevlar are all considered composite materials. Composites allow engineers to create parts with superior strength-to-weight ratios, improved durability, and reduced overall weight.
With Creo Composite Design and Manufacturing (CDM) extensions, engineers can design, simulate, and validate composite products without leaving the Creo environment. Creo helps in the production planning of composite parts, assists in managing ply definition, and automates ply book generation.
Engineers can design, simulate, and validate composite products without leaving Creo. With Creo, manufacturers can maintain an unbroken digital thread throughout the design process, improving quality and productivity.
Using Creo simulation, engineers can access the mass properties of composite parts created in the design stage and perform structural analysis of these complex parts.
Creo Composite Design and Manufacturing (CDM) simplifies ply definition and detailed instructions. Creo facilitates generation of cores, individual flat ply layers, transitions, draping, and splicing features.
Efficiently handle ply management using a dedicated laminate tree, including solid laminate and IML quilt options, while also calculating comprehensive laminate mass properties.
Creo Composite Design and Manufacturing (CDM) extension automates the generation of process documentation based on the definition and stack-up of individual flat ply contours.
Composite manufacturing is different from traditional manufacturing in several important ways. Composite manufacturing uses layers of various materials, such as polymers, metals, ceramics, and carbon, embedded in a resin matrix to create a material with specific characteristics. Traditional manufacturing, on the other hand, typically involves shaping, cutting, or forming a single material into a desired product. Other differences include material composition, material properties, processing techniques, design flexibility, strength-to-weight ratio, cost, and production rates.
Composites in design refer to engineered materials comprising two or more distinct components with distinct properties combined to achieve specific performance characteristics. These components typically include a reinforcement phase (like fibers or particles) and a matrix (usually a polymer or resin). Composites are renowned for their exceptional strength-to-weight ratios, corrosion resistance, and tailored mechanical properties, making them indispensable in various industries, including aerospace, automotive, energy, and sports equipment. By strategically selecting materials and configuring their arrangement, designers can create composites with customized attributes, enhancing structural integrity, and reducing weight—critical requirements in modern engineering and product development. Composites empower designers to push the boundaries of innovation and efficiency.
Composite fabrication is the process of defining the detailed instructions to manufacture composite parts, including generation of cores, individual flat ply layers, transitions, draping, and splicing features. CDMA provides all of this, plus support for automated ply book generation, seamlessly integrated in the Creo design environment. It allows for precise control over material properties, enabling the creation of strong, durable, and versatile products.
The choice of composite material depends on the specific application and the required properties, such as strength, weight, durability, and environmental considerations. The versatility of composites makes them valuable in various industries from aerospace and automotive to construction and sports equipment.
Creo Simulation users can access the mass properties of composite parts created in the design stage and perform structural analysis of these complex parts, taking into account each ply’s material characteristics and orientation, ensuring that the final parts meet the engineering requirements. Users can employ the software’s draping simulation feature to analyze the ply producibility and create the ply flat patterns.
Composites are valued for their ability to be tailored to specific requirements, making them a versatile choice in many industries where traditional materials may fall short in terms of performance, weight, or durability. The American Composites Manufacturing Association (ACMA) reports that wind energy is the leading consumer (25%), followed by aerospace (20%), sporting goods/recreation (10-12%), automotive (10-12%), compounding for injection molded plastics (5-8%), pressure vessels (5-8%), and construction and infrastructure (5-8%). Other market segments account for approximately 15% and continue to grow, as additional applications are identified.