Dune-composites – A new framework for high-performance finite element modelling of laminates

Anne Reinarz, Tim Dodwell, Timothy Fletcher, Linus Seelinger, Richard Butler, Robert Scheichl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (SciVal)


Finite element (FE) analysis has the potential to offset much of the expensive experimental testing currently required to certify aerospace laminates. However, large numbers of degrees of freedom are necessary to model entire aircraft components whilst accurately resolving micro-scale defects. The new module dune-composites, implemented within DUNE by the authors, provides a tool to efficiently solve large-scale problems using novel iterative solvers. The key innovation is a preconditioner that guarantees a constant number of iterations regardless of the problem size. Its robustness has been shown rigorously in Spillane et al. (2014) for isotropic problems. For anisotropic problems in composites it is verified numerically for the first time in this paper. The parallel implementation in DUNE scales almost optimally over thousands of cores. To demonstrate this, we present an original numerical study, varying the shape of a localised wrinkle and the effect this has on the strength of a curved laminate. This requires a high-fidelity mesh containing at least four layers of quadratic elements across each ply and interface layer, underlining the need for dune-composites, which can achieve run times of just over 2 min on 2048 cores for realistic composites problems with 173 million degrees of freedom.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-278
Number of pages10
JournalComposite Structures
Early online date30 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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