Composite aircraft component design

Simulation solutions for virtual testing of CFRP components for the aerospace industry

Carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) materials play a vital role in today’s aerospace industry by enabling more fuel-efficient, lighter-weight aircraft. Several parts of an aircraft’s structure rely on CFRP composites, including the fuselage and the vertical and horizontal tail planes. The complexity of CFRP materials, however, can make the manufacture and physical testing of the composite parts both time-consuming and expensive. 

Virtual testing lets engineers simulate the behaviour of CFRP components early in the design cycle. They can determine the CFRP’s allowables, which are the levels of stress, strain and stiffness allowed for a specific material, configuration, application, and given environment. By determining the allowables of composite materials before physical testing, engineers can reduce costs and create faster development cycles.

Hexagon’s advanced composite materials simulation software integrates micromechanical modelling, progressive failure analysis and non-linear finite element analysis (FEA) in a single solution. With Hexagon’s software, manufacturers can compare the stiffness and strength of laminates for aircraft parts virtually before developing physical allowables that are based on test parameters and ply data.


Our solutions

Explore hexagon solutions for composite component design

Virtual CFRP simulation software

Hexagon’s Digimat-VA materials simulation software simplifies and speeds up the development and testing of CFRP components properties.

Structural analysis software

MSC Nastran multidisciplinary simulation software gives aerospace engineers a high-performance tool with which to optimise composite aircraft component design.

Case studies

Read how the aerospace industry is using hexagon solutions for composite materials development


Computing allowable values for CFRP

See how the Leonardo Company Aircraft Division used Digimat-VA to reduce filled-hole components testing times and costs.

Carbon fibre ply simulation for aerospace parts

The complexity and cost of creating CFRP aircraft components mean manufacturers benefit from analysing and simulating the impact of manufacturing defects on part performance.

Inspection of aircraft pylons, winglets and fairings

Dimensional inspection of critical aerodynamic aircraft components such as winglets, fairings and pylons is essential to safe and efficient flight.