Advanced composite materials have seen major market growth in recent years due to their high strength and low weight properties. These materials are often made using a process that creates a composite laminate by stacking several composite layers together. However, the design, analysis and optimization of laminate composite materials are often a labor intensive process when done manually. This thesis discusses CAD independent algorithms that are integrated into commercial CAD tools to streamline these processes. Methods have been developed to automatically create 3D ply geometry for a laminate composite lay-up, streamline the creation of a laminate composite finite element model and optimize the composite lay-up for a multi-layered laminate composite part. Integrating a CAD independent geometry kernel into the NX laminate composite design automation application significantly improves the run time of that application. In addition, the automated composite finite element tool creates laminate composite finite element models that are more detailed than those made with zone based methods. This tool will save engineers, who are making laminate composite finite element models manually, dozens of hours of work per model. The automated composite finite element tool can also be integrated into an optimization framework, used in conjunction with a method to automatically apply boundary conditions, to create an effective optimization of a laminate composite part.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





laminate composite design, analysis, optimization, automation