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Laminate load response

Laminate loads consist of external mechanical loads and internal thermal or hygroscopic loads. In order to solve real-world problems, COMPOSITE STAR defines a constant and a variable load. Typically the constant load is a preload (e.g. thermal loads resulting from curing, an external static mechanical load). The variable load is used to define a dynamic external mechanical load. This permits the calculation of the extent to which the dynamic external load can be increased until failure occurs.

A new failure criterion and simulation of the failure process

COMPOSITE STAR uses the ply-by-ply failure analysis in its most modern and advanced form. Besides the standard failure criteria (maximum stress, maximum strain, simple Puck, modified Puck, Tsai-Hill, Tsai-Wu, Hoffman, Hashin), COMPOSITE STAR introduces one of the world's most detailed and sophisticated interactive criterion, Puck's action plane criterion. This criterion distinguishes between the different fracture modes (tensile and compressive fiber-fracture, tensile, shear and compressive inter fiber fracture), calculates the fracture plane angle for inter-fiber fracture and can predict catastrophic wedge effects.

Progressive failure analysis allows strength prediction after first ply failure. COMPOSITE STAR offers progressive failure calculation according to Tsai or the latest failure process and non-linear ply degradation model from Puck. The load will be increased step by step. If a failure occurs, the corresponding ply will be degraded and the new resulting laminate with the new stress and strain distribution will be calculated. All laminate properties, stresses and strains can be observed at every important moment of the load increase. Consequently, the progressive failure calculation results in a real simulation of the failure process.

Puck's action plane failure criterion and degradation model has been tested thoroughly by university and industry research laboratories throughout the world and shows a unique conformity with reality. Furthermore, it is the new standard in VDI (Association of German Engineers) guidelines 2014 and is recommended by the IKV (Institute for Plastic Processing), Aachen, Germany and leading composite design experts worldwide.

The graph engine

COMPOSITE STAR's sophisticated graph engine allows display of any X-Y or polar graph, including any ply property versus the ply's orientation angle, carpet plots, ply-by-ply stress and strain diagrams and failure process diagrams.

The material database

COMPOSITE STAR stores all data in a state-of-the-art, full-featured database. The database stores the data of fibers, matrices, plies, laminates, stacking sequences, loads and structures.

The user interface

The quality and efficiency of software is only as good as its user interface. Therefore, great importance has been placed on the calculation and database user interface. The different database tables are shown as grids. As with the so efficient spreadsheet programs, the user can change any value at any time and press one single calculation button, which will update all calculations results instantly. Although very sophisticated, the software can be used intuitively without complicated menus, windows or dialogs. Every function is just a mouse-click away.


MATERIAL has been providing engineering services and software for the composites industry since 1990. It's software system CADWIND has become the industry's standard for filament winding technology. MATERIAL's engineering team has had many years of experience in the design and manufacturing of composites, and can provide you with help and training courses for CADWIND and COMPOSITE STAR as well as engineering services to meet your specific design needs.

System requirements

COMPOSITE STAR runs on any computer with Windows 7, 8.1 or 10.

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