Composites for tomorrow

The facts and the project

Composite materials, such as glass fibre and carbon fibre, have certain specific properties (lightness, rigidity, etc.) that explain why they are increasingly used in a variety of industrial sectors. It is still however difficult to arrive at a detailed description of these materials because they are formed from at least two components (fibre and matrix). The numerical simulation made it possible to reproduce the laboratory created composite microstructures and to simulate their behaviour under stress, as well as their properties. This was the subject of the direct simulations carried out by a team from Mines ParisTech on a variety of complex microstructures, with the largest having some 100 billion unknowns, using GENCI’s Curie supercomputer.

The results

The numeric results were compared each time with available experimental data in order to validate the method. This work is aimed at identifying the best composites that could be used as substitutes, for example, for the steel that is still widely used in the aeronautic and automobile sectors. The potential benefits (reduced weight, increased strength, etc.) would be of considerable interest to industry.


200 000 core hours on Curie (CEA/TGCC)

Principal Investigator: Hugues Digonnet - Mines ParisTech