The capabilities of the FE code Abaqus can be extended by Python scripts and user written Fortran subroutines. ALE has developed an Abaqus tool with Graphical User Interface to obtain material properties of heterogeneous materials from the properties of the individual constituents. For example, the material properties of fibre reinforced plastics can be determined from the individual properties of the resin and the fibres. Using the tool, stiffness properties and coefficients of thermal expansion can be obtained. For fibre reinforced plastics the tool also gives the possibility to determine ply strength values.
Heterogeneous materials often show orthotropic material symmetry, i.e. the stiffness depends on the direction in which the material is loaded. Apart from the stiffness properties of the constituents, the orthotropic behaviour also depends on the shape and orientation of the inclusions. Various inclusion shapes can be handled by the tool, ranging from long fibres to spherical constituents. The inclusions can be oriented in any 3D direction.
An advanced homogenization scheme is implemented in the tool, resulting in accurate property prediction. The results have been checked by Finite Element simulations on Representative Volume Elements.