ICARE : a research project to bring together simulation codes

25 September 2014

by M. Abbas, EDF R&D / AMA

ICARE (generalized interfaces and non-intrusive coupling ; coupling between research codes and all-purpose codes in structural analysis) is a project funded by the French national agency for research, which spans from 2013 to 2016.

Organized around Airbus Group and EDF which have the more advanced needs in simulation, the consortium brings together three academic partners specialized in numerical methods (the GeM at Ecole Centrale de Nantes, the LMT at ENS Cachan and the IMT at Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse) and a SME, DISTENE, driving the integration of the developed calculation chain towards major finite element software vendors.

The project aims to develop methods for the analysis of large and complex structures.

The scientific challenge is to investigate very localized areas, but potentially critical regarding the overall mechanical strength, within structures of large geometric complexity and large size. Classically, one implements at local and global scales, representations, discrete refinement, constitutive laws and numerical tools tailored for simulation needs of growing complexity. On the one hand, the global scale is solved with an all-purpose code (here Code_Aster but any other all-purpose code would do), by resorting to idealizations of topological nature (plate formulation, geometric simplification), behavioural nature (homogenization), statistical nature (deterministic framework) ; the local scale, on the other hand, requires the implementation of specialized tools (subroutines, dedicated codes) for an accurate representation of the geometry and material behavior (contact, heterogeneity, decays, uncertainties).

Couplage Code_Aster/Code_Aster pour XFEM (IMT-EADS)
Figure 1 : coupling Code_Aster/Code_Aster for X-FEM (IMT-Airbus Group)

The non-intrusive coupling unlocks this scientific and industrial challenge by putting forward a novel approach to bring together the different scales. Thus, a major benefit of the ICARE project will be to facilitate the dissemination of specific research tools : indeed, simplifying the coupling will make the deployment of specialized tools arising from R&D compatible with an industrial environment.

Couplage Code_Aster/Code_Aster pour plaque/massif (LMT)
Figure 2 : coupling Code_Aster/Code_Aster for plate/solid (LMT)

Two articles dedicated to the ICARE project were recently published :