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New PreVABS preprocessor for VABS composite blade simulation software

AnalySwift, LLC, a provider of efficient high-fidelity modeling software for composites and other advanced materials, announced that a versatile new preprocessor called PreVABS is now available to users of the powerful VABS composite blade simulation software.

VABS is a cross-sectional analysis tool for computing beam properties and recovering 3D stresses and strains of slender composite structures, such as wind-turbine blades. VABS can calculate the ply-level details with the accuracy of 3D FEA in seconds on a typical laptop computer.

The VABS software is an engineering code for rigorous simulation of composite slender structures, especially for helicopters and wind-turbine rotor blades, and the new PreVABS greatly improves the user experience. Students in the Multiscale Structural Mechanics (MSM) group at Purdue University developed the new PreVABS under the direction of Dr. Wenbin Yu, professor in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

PreVABS helps engineers in the early stages of simulation of composite slender structures, commonly called composite beams. It is designed to reduce the workload of preparing input files for VABS and to make the process automatic for design and optimization purposes.

“Cross sections with general and airfoil shapes can be created,” said Wenbin Yu, professor at Purdue University. “This replaces an earlier program, also called PreVABS, which had been discontinued and was no longer available. PreVABS is a completely new code, which has many improved capabilities. Unlike the previous program, PreVABS is now free and open source.”

Some of the features of PreVABS include:

  • Capability to create nose mass in an airfoil type cross section
  • The post-processing function to visualize the recovered strains and stresses in Gmsh
  • Capability to read stacking sequence code
  • Design-oriented parametric input files to draw the cross section naturally
  • Isolated material database file to enable reusability
  • Global transformation capability to release the burden of calculating geometries by hand

PreVABS is available for free download through the Composites Design & Manufacturing HUB site, hosted by Purdue University.


Date: April 5, 2018