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Defining Composite Shells

Defining a Multi-Layered Composite Shell

To define a multi-layered (2-50 layers) composite shell (non-sandwich):

  1. In the Shell Definition PropertyManager, under Type, select Composite.
  2. Under Composite Options, set Total Plies to the number of total layers in the composite laminate.
  3. Select Symmetric to define a symmetric ply arrangement about the laminate mid-surface.
    Only half the number of total plies are available for editing in the Composite shell plies table. For odd number of total plies, the middle layer is also available for editing.
    To define an unsymmetric laminate, clear the Symmetric check box. Now, all of the plies are available for editing.
  4. To apply the same material properties to all plies, select All Plies Same Material and click Select material .
  5. Set Unit for ply thickness.
  6. To define ply Thickness, Angle, and Material in Composite shell plies, do the following:
    1. Select a ply number.
    2. Enter a value for Thickness of ply.
      To set all plies to same thickness, first, select appropriate Unit and type Thickness for the two Composite shell plies. Then, change Total Plies.
    3. Enter a value for Angle to specify ply-orientation, or move the Ply Angle slider at the bottom of the table to adjust the ply-orientation.
    4. To define material properties for each ply separately, click in the Material column of ply to launch the Material dialog (only available when the All Plies Same Material option is cleared.)
  7. Make sure Show preview is selected and check the preview in the graphics window for all faces to see if ply angles are defined as required.
  8. Adjust the Composite Orientation options if necessary for individual faces or shells.

Defining a Sandwich Composite

To define a sandwich composite:

  1. In the Shell Definition PropertyManager, under Type, select Composite.
  2. Select Sandwich under Composite Options.
    The following events occur:
    • The Total Plies option is automatically set to 3 and cannot be edited.
    • The Symmetric option is selected and remains unavailable for editing.
    • The third ply is unavailable for editing in Composite shell plies table.
  3. To apply the same material properties to all plies, select All Plies Same Material and click .
    A sandwich composite typically does not have same material properties across different layers.
  4. Set Unit for ply thickness.
  5. To define ply Thickness, Angle and Material in Composite shell plies table, do the following:
    1. Select a ply number.
    2. Enter a value for Thickness.
    3. Enter a value for Angle to specify ply orientation, or move the Ply Angle slider at the bottom of the table to adjust the ply orientation angle.
    4. To define material properties for the first 2 plies separately, click in the Material column for the ply to launch the Material dialog (only available when All Plies Same Material option is cleared.)
  6. Make sure Show preview is selected and check the preview in the graphics window for all faces to see if ply angles are defined as required.
  7. Adjust the Composite Orientation options if necessary for individual faces or shells.


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