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Digimat, modeling software from e-Xstream engineering, changes the way aerospace and automotive composite structures are designed by drastically reducing the time and cost of obtaining composite material properties, and expanding the design space of possible layups to take full advantage of the unique ability of composites to be tailored to achieve design goals. The technology won an R&D 100 Award in 2016.

Composite materials are increasingly being used to reduce weight of aircraft and ground vehicles; however composite materials require extensive testing and characterization before being inserted into an application. Composite material properties depend on a wide range of parameters including type of matrix, type of reinforcement, stacking and environmental conditions. There is also inherent variability of the composite material properties due to varying constituent properties and process variations. To cope with this challenge, composite materials classically have been tested over extensive campaigns to determine material allowables and design values. A typical campaign for a single material requires hundreds or thousands of tests, millions of dollars and test programs spanning years, hindering the affordability of composites.

Each year for more than 50 years, R&D Magazine has honored the 100 best innovations in research and development. We are currently accepting applications for the 2017 R&D 100 Awards. Innovators with an exceptional product developed between January 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017 should apply. Submissions close April 14, 2017

For information on the 55th Annual R&D 100 Awards and to enter visit http://www.rd100conference.com

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