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The Composites Design and Manufacturing HUB: Advancing Composites Education in the Classroom

JOHNATHAN GOODSELL, and WENBIN YU

Abstract


The Composites Design and Manufacturing HUB (cdmHUB) offers novel and useful capabilities for composites education. The cdmHUB is a cloud-based platform focused on advancing the best practice use of composites simulation. The distinguishing feature of the cdmHUB is the ability to run composites simulation tools over the browser. As of January 2016, the cdmHUB hosts 20 simulation tools with models for cure kinetics, laminate theory, lamina analysis, micromechanics, strength prediction, shear lag and multi-scale structural analysis. In addition, the cdmHUB offers collaborative and management features for community building and classroom management including groups, announcements, projects, calendaring, and discussion threads. At Purdue University, we have used the cdmHUB in teaching the graduate-level Mechanics of Composite Materials and Experimental Characterization of Advanced Composite Materials courses, including in distance-education classroom formats. In the mechanics course, the simulation tools allow the students to interact more readily and thoroughly with the models and theories presented throughout the course, such as micromechanics, lamina analysis, laminated plate theory and elementary strength prediction. In the experimental course, the tools facilitate comparison of experimental data to theory, for example comparison of off-axis strength data to off-axis failure theories; and fitting of model parameters, such as reverse engineering fiber strengths from lamina data. Browser-based access to the tools on the cdmHUB increases the freedom of the instructor to present real-time examples and demonstrations, including on-thefly responses to student questions and interests, and allows students to focus on exercising the model and exploring what the model can teach them rather than on the computer implementation of the model. Providing students with cdmHUBaccess to the simulation tools gives them a portable toolkit companion for their career. In the present, we will focus on the use of computational models and simulation tools and briefly touch on the use of the collaborative and management features offered by the cdmHUB. 1

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