NASA STTR 2021-I Solicitation
Design Tools for Advanced Tailorable Composites
An Efficient High-fidelity Design Tool for Advanced Tailorable Composites
5413 Crus Corvi Road, West Jordan, UT 84081 - 5213
Purdue University-Main Campus
155 South Grant Street, IN
47907 - 2114
701 West Stadium Ave, IN
47907 - 0000
5413 Crus Corvi Rd, UT
84081 - 5213
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words):
Tailorable composites have been proposed to further lightweighting space structures with improved performance. However, no existing design tools are capable of exploiting the full potential of these advanced material systems. The theory underpinning existing design tools was originally developed for traditional composites with straight fibers while tailorable composites usually have curved fibers with varying orientations or more complex microstructures. To harness their full potential, it is imperative to develop theories and design methodologies for tailorable composites and integrate them into commercially available design tools.
We propose to develop an efficient high-fidelity design tool for tailorable composites featuring the following three innovations:
- Mechanics of structure genome (MSG) based composite models for calculating the location-dependent stiffness and strength of tailorable composites, which can rigorously predict effective stiffness and strength as well as layerwise stress/strain/displacement distributions.
- A versatile parameterization method that can expand the design space to achieve better design for tailorable composites along with general-purpose optimizers to produce highly tailorable designs with optimized load path.
- An integrated design framework with user-friendly GUI plug-ins in MSC.Patran/Nastran and Abaqus for the design of tailorable composite structures to leverage the versatile modeling capability in MSC.Nastran and Abaqus.
This project will benefit NASA and related agencies/industries by exploiting the potential of tailorable composites for designing better lightweight structures. The resulting efficient high-fidelity design tool developed in this project will shorten the design and analysis period of structures made of tailorable composites. Such a tool will ultimately reduce the cost associated with using tailorable composites and accelerate affordable space exploration by NASA and the private sector.
Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):
- Lightweight structures for satellite buses, landers, rovers and other exploration vehicles, solar arrays, and antennas.
- Cryogenic tanks, pressurized habitats, other primary space structure components, including dry & unpressurized, such as lander truss cages, landing gears.
- Next-generation airframe tech (hybrid/blended wing body); highly flexible wings.
- Highly fatigue and damage tolerant structures for revolutionary vertical lift aircraft.
Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):
- Better engineering and qualification of broader composite lightweight structures (with improved predictive capabilities).
- Validated design and analysis tools for the industrial realization of tailorable composites (aerospace, energy/wind, auto, marine, etc.).
- Improved designs for high-performance tailorable structures (prosthetics, fishing rods, golf clubs, tubes, etc.) with reduced cost & time.