Multiple sectors are facing the heavy challenge of producing critical parts where a severe level of safety is combined with high performances and a robust lifetime assessment. It becomes essential to accurately predict the stress-strain state of the loaded component, model the damage processes, and estimate fatigue crack initiation and propagation.
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This field encompasses various issues within structural mechanics, supporting the design of industrial components, optimizing the weight-to-performance ratio, and facilitating production while minimizing waste.
The objective is to visualize the crack surface mesh and corresponding crack fronts, review of crack growth profiles linked to fatigue cycle numbers, and plotting of energy release values or Stress Intensity Factors along the specified crack front.
Z-set enables simulation of innovative materials and replaces real component tests, reducing costs and time while facilitating efficient design exploration.
The finite element solver Zébulon addresses a wide array of problems encountered in structural mechanics. Zébulon efficiently handles implicit static and transient dynamic problems while also serving as a modal analysis solver.
Simulation of bolted assembly
Simulation of crack propagation
Utilizing the Z-cracks tool provides a generic and efficient framework for 3D crack analysis, encompassing both static crack stress intensity factor (SIF) computation and mixed-mode propagation simulations. Z-cracks significantly reduces the number of man-hours required to analyze various crack initiation scenarios.
Features and functionalities of Z-cracks GUI for fracture simulations:
Using 3D finite element modeling, realistic constitutive equations can ascertain stress and strain distributions within the component. These equations, tailored to experimental findings, may accommodate cyclic viscoplasticity, hardening, creep, aging, and other mechanical influences. Subsequently, damage models incorporating creep-fatigue interaction serve as post-processors in the finite element analysis to pinpoint potential initial failure sites and estimate the component's lifetime.
To improve the predictability of life simulation chains, it is therefore necessary to take into account these aging phenomena in the constitutive model of the material behavior. On the other hand, extensive experimental procedures including hardness tests for different aging times, low-cycle fatigue (LCF) and thermos-mechanical fatigue (TMF) tests must be proposed and used to calibrate these material models. Z-mat proposes a collection of models and tools for the prediction of ageing evolution and simulation of its impact on the mechanical behavior of the material.
Advanced post-processing tools
Z-set is a key tool in the aerospace industry to ensure the quality of critical parts, such as engine or gearbox components, that are exposed to high cyclic thermal or mechanical gradients involving fatigue, creep, and crack propagation.
Z-set is utilized by key producers worldwide to improve the lifespan of engine components. It is employed for various purposes, such as predicting residual stresses in the cylinder head of an internal combustion engine or incorporating aging phenomena into the constitutive model of aluminum cylinder heads in the engine.
The mechanical modeling of components made of grey cast iron is a challenging task, particularly when they are subjected to non-isothermal thermo-mechanical loading conditions. Z-mat library offers a range of models that consider elasto-plastic deformations and time-dependent creep processes.
Managing fatigue crack propagation in high-power helicopter gearbox components subjected to specific thermo-chemical treatments and rotating at high speeds.
Implementing Z-cracks module simulations across the product lifecycle to predict and manage crack initiation, ensuring safety, reliability, and defining effective inspection intervals for these critical components.
"The Z-cracks plugin, with its automatic incremental adaptive remeshing process, its ability to handle the multi-cracks propagation and coalescence, the contact at crack lips and the material gradient dependency of the crack propagation law, is the state-of-the-art of 3D crack simulation tools. At Airbus Helicopters, it is found at the best compromise, able to tackle full crack propagation at the scale of industrial components, while containing the computational cost. It became a standard tool for safety assessment and residual lifetime prediction in critical components of helicopter gearboxes."