When analysing automotive parts, established image-based approaches are now being extended to use our recent breakthroughs in calculating effective material properties using homogenisation methods through our Physics Modules. Homogenisation aims to approximate a complex heterogeneous material, such as a metallic alloy, with a homogeneous material whose response to external loading resembles as closely as possible that of the original material. With this approach, materials image data is analysed by working with 'effective' material properties that link micro and macro-scale modelling.
A built-in finite element solver calculates the response of a cuboidal sample of a material to a sequence of boundary conditions, enabling effective properties such as stiffness, elasticity, absolute permeability and electrical conductivity to be obtained. Researchers are using this approach to rapidly and accurately obtain material properties from their image data, with specific application to inspecting and characterising composite parts for permeability, stiffness and other material characteristics.