General Mechanical

General Mechanical

Material Designer introduced in 19.2

    • Sandeep Medikonda
      Ansys Employee


        In lieu of many recent discussions on this topic on the forum, I wanted to point out a new tool introduced in 19.2, which is the Material Designer.

      Numerical simulation of composite structures is challenging due to the differences in involved length scales. While the finite element method could be used to simulate the structural mechanics of this system (resolving all length scales), it is not practical. The number of elements required would be astronomically large, and computing the finite element solution would be infeasible, both on modern and near-future computing hardware.

      The standard approach to eliminate this problem of scale in finite element analysis for composite materials is homogenization. Material properties for a composite material are averaged, rather than simulating the full complex microstructure. With homogenized material data, structures only need to be simulated at the macroscopic scale, making composite simulation significantly less computationally expensive.

      An accurate approach is finite element analysis of the microscale structure of the material, which is the approach implemented in Material Designer. In Material Designer, the homogenization process starts with modeling the RVE. This requires the creation of a simplified geometry, as well as the definition of material properties of the constituent materials. Subsequently, the geometry is meshed for finite element analysis. The RVE is then exposed to several macroscopic load cases, and its response is computed. The homogenized material data is computed from the results of these responses.

      Using this tool, you can calculate the effective properties of an RVE based on a lattice structure, UD Composite(UD), Random UD Composite, Chopped Fiber Composite, Woven Composite or specifyan user defined RVE as shown.

      All you would have to do is setup a Material designer and link it to an Engineering Data of the analysis system to transfer the calculated homogenized properties of the RVE.

      Material Designer assumes that the material under consideration has a representative microscale structure: the representative volume element (RVE). This is a small volume of the material that is still large enough to exhibit the correct macroscopic material properties. In this example, I've used the simple Octet lattice structure.

      It has to be noted that the Repeat count of the RVE can be adjusted to analyze the structure of interest.



      For the sake of this discussion, only 1 RVE has been chosen. Once all the settings have been set (and meshed), i.e., once the RVE has been exposed to a set of load cases and the forces results have been extracted. 

      The homogenized (averaged) material properties are then calculated:

      Note that many of the output material parameters and geometric parameters of the RVE can be parameterized and a design study can be carried on to fulfill the desired design objectives.

      For additional details on the Material Designer, please refer to the manual specified in the first link of this post.

      Additionally, checkout this video:

      Best Practices to post on the Student Community

    • avlahinos

      Where and when do you import geometry for a Custom RVE?

    • avlahinos


      The options panel (for material, geometry, mesh, etc.) does not appear, I tried Spaceclaim Options but it didn’t work. Any suggestions?


    • Sandeep Medikonda
      Ansys Employee


      First of all, you would need to create an RVE CAD in Micro-units in SpaceClaim. If you have a SpaceClaim document in macroscale units, Material Designer will not import it, since mixing of macroscale and microscale documents is not allowed. Change the unit system in the current document by clicking File > SpaceClaim Options > Units. In this case for demonstration purposes, I created a random RVE with the 2 cylinders and a matrix phase (Make sure that they don't intersect):

      Open Material Designer and you first need to provide some information about the phases of your RVE.

      Next, assign the materials to these phases:

      Copy and paste the RVE geometry from your SpaceClaim document to your Material Designer document, possibly including coordinate systems, by the following steps:

      • In the Structure tab, select all bodies and coordinate systems and copy them with CTRL+C.

      • Switch to the Material Designer document and paste them with CTRL+V.

      Specify a name for the User Defined RVE if you wish and Click on the Phase, then click on the corresponding solid geometries in the working space and click the Assign Bodies button.

      Next, for the Coordinate system assignment:

      You can assign a coordinate system to one or more bodies.

      • Click + to add a new assignment.

      • Select the coordinate system to be assigned and then click the Assign Coordinate System button.

      • Select the corresponding solid(s) and click the Assign Bodies button.

      • Click x to remove the assignment.

      Specify, the Mesh and the Setting as discussed in the first post. In this case, it would look something like this:

      And upon running the analysis, you would end up with the following Homogenized properties:

      Please note that:

      • You don't need to specify the coordinate system for all bodies. The global coordinate system will be used for all bodies that are not explicitly assigned a coordinate system.

      • Material Designer doesn’t support variable material analyses for user-defined RVEs.

      Hope this helps.


    • RaulBernardo



      Is there this option in the student version?
    • mashi65

      Hi Sandeep, I'd like to also clarify whether Material Designer is available in the student version of ANSYS 19.2? I've downloaded the student version but I can't find it in the toolbox (it is under Component Systems according to the video). If not, could you provide me with a link to where I can download the tool? 

    • sofieneing



      I have done same example, but the values are "NaN". If some one can help. thanks.

    • Goddy

      Hi Sandeep,

      I have a problem with material designer.

      Here is the link to the thread I asked the question

      I thought replying to this message might draw your attention to it faster.


    • viv123

      Hi Dear SandeepMedikonda sir,

      After completing the solution it is showing NAN and 0 in the result file.

    • viv123

      Hello, Dear sofieneing,

      Have you solved that Nan and 0 result problem?



    • rajamannar322

      Dear Sandeep,

      I am facing an issue with the Meshing while solving UD composite problem. Can you help me in this regard.

      Thank you

      Mesh error _ Material Designer



    • VikramSR
      Where is material designer in the student version workbench? If it is not there, is there a way to get some tool to upload it ??n
    • VikramSR
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