Improved analysis of composite structures

Paul Boughton

Firehole Technologies is releasing Helius:MCT, which the company describes as the most advanced composite analysis software package commercially available.

Helius:MCT gives engineers the ability to analyse complex composite materials in a manner similar to that of traditional materials using composite simulation techniques that provide more accurate and efficient results compared to currently available alternatives.

Helius:MCT enables the design of composite structures without the numerous expensive testing cycles traditionally deployed, allowing for a faster time-to-market and more reliable designs.

Jerad Stack, chief executive of Firehole Technologies, comments: "Numerous industries are turning to composite materials in an effort to improve their products while simultaneously reducing production costs. However, composites are relatively new materials for designers, and traditional software tools have not readily adapted to the unique complexities of these materials, resulting in less than optimal designs and increased product costs. The Firehole team recognised the need for a simple, accurate and reliable analysis tool for composites and developed Helius:MCT."

Helius:MCT is claimed to be unique among commercially available alternatives in that it is based on Multicontinuum Technology (MCT), an analysis technology for composite structures that decomposes stress and strain fields of a composite material into stress and strain fields for the fibre and matrix components. This additional information provides insight for understanding sources of structural level behaviour and it allows for a more fundamental basis for predicting initiation and progression of material damage. Helius:MCT provides accurate simulation capabilities while at the same time being numerically efficient and simple to use. Using Helius:MCT, engineers can reliably predict the performance of prototype or concept composite structures prior to actual fabrication and testing, thereby reducing the total cost and time of the development cycle while simultaneously increasing structural reliability.

During its development, Helius:MCT was used by various organisations, including the US Air Force, to provide accurate composite simulation and identify potential cost reductions in composite structures. Jeff Welsh, chief of the research, development, technology and engineering division of the Air Force Operational Responsive Space Office, noted: "With innovate analysis technologies such as Helius:MCT from Firehole Technologies, I am convinced that the mass of many composite space structures could be reduced by as much as 40 per cent, which translates into tremendous savings for space applications."

For more information, visit

Recent Issues