Composites analysis

Software Tour

Analysis software for composites engineering

laminated composite lug analysisLUSAS Composite contains a comprehensive range of unrivalled engineering analysis facilities to cater for all types of composite design. 

From simple failure prediction using a number of failure criteria including Tsai-Hill, Hoffman and Tsai-Wu through to advanced delamination failure modelling, LUSAS Composite will help shorten your design and checking times giving reliable results every time.

For structural and bridge applications, model Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP), laminated glass, reinforced concrete using the smeared reinforcement technique, and carry-out gradual through-thickness masonry arch cracking assessments using layered shell elements.

The intuitive Windows user interface gives easy access to the full range of powerful modelling and results processing facilities, together with on-line help. Regarded as a leader in engineering analysis, LUSAS Composite is rich in powerful and advanced features to meet your analysis needs and extend your design capabilities.

Many real-life illustrative uses of the software can be seen by visiting our engineering case studies page.


Why use LUSAS Composite?

Ideal for all types of composite analysis

Advanced analysis and design

Easy lay-up definition

Advanced analysis technology

Advanced composite elements

Composite failure

Composite matrix failure modelling

Composite delamination

Comprehensive nonlinear analysis

Impact and contact analysis

Dynamic analysis

Working from CAD data

Structural applications

Why use LUSAS Composite?

  • Provides cost-effective structural modelling and analysis of all types of composite component, in one software package. 
  • Feature-based modelling that allows mixing of element types in the same model. 
  • Benefit from advanced nonlinear geometry, material and contact modelling
  • Customise the softtare using the LUSAS Programmable Interface. 
  • LUSAS is a long-established and trusted provider to industry leaders, and LUSAS Technical Support is stated, by its users, to be simply: "The best in the business."

Ideal for all types of composite analysis

By using the unrivalled state-of-the-art element libraries and material models of LUSAS Composite a host of composite engineering problems can be solved.

  • Built-in associativity ensures that if the model geometry is amended, all assigned loadings, supports and other attributes are automatically moved to suit.
  • Extensive GUI results processing facilities allow extensive contouring, graphing and plotting of composite specific results.
  • By using the advanced scripting language facilities, user-defined menus and forms can be added allowing specific repetitive analysis tasks to be performed with a minimum of user involvement.
  • Complete analyses from modelling to results processing can be automated - and all tailored to your way of working.

Advanced analysis and design

Advances in composite technology require advanced software solutions. LUSAS Composite offers these solutions now to give you the edge over your competitors. LUSAS Composite gives you:

  • An advanced element set.
  • Use of all LUSAS material models.
  • Fast Iterative Solver Technology.
  • Access to advanced analysis options.

A software key system means that you can call us at any time for a key to unlock these powerful options so that you can tackle new analyses straightaway.

Easy lay-up definition

LUSAS Composite offers a quicker and simpler way than ever before to define composite lay-ups independent of the component to be analysed. The properties of each laminate are defined in a table and each layer given a unique name for use in results processing - extremely useful where ply drop off occurs. A lay-up icon provides a useful visual check before the lay-up is automatically assigned to the underlying geometry. These unique lay-up procedures dramatically reduce the chance of errors.

Advanced analysis technology

Because composite components have different failure characteristics to non-composite components and are often a complex combination of materials, they pose unique analysis problems. The use of traditional modelling techniques for composites can be prohibitively expensive due to the large number of elements required. Whilst some analysis systems allow laminate properties to be integrated together to form an homogeneous material matrix, such systems can only predict failure with a linear analysis. To model failure correctly, and to assess the residual strength, nonlinear analysis with LUSAS Composite is necessary in which the individual laminate behaviour is modelled.

Advanced composite elements

In addition to shell elements, the LUSAS 3D solid composite element reduces the model size by allowing a number of laminates to be modelled by a single element. Where complex 3D components are built from a number of composite blocks butted together LUSAS Composite can be used to automatically generate constraint equations to tie dissimilar meshes together. This powerful facility can also be used to provide rapid mesh grading of elements in high stress areas giving you faster solution times. In addition, linear and nonlinear modelling of adjacent laminates is possible, allowing you to analyse mixed material lay-ups.

Composite failure criteria

Composite failure criteria provide a means of predicting composite failure from the linear stress distribution. Within LUSAS the commonly used Tsai-Hill, Hoffman, Tsai-Wu (with Cowin extension), and Hashin (fibre and matrix) composite failure criteria are available.

Composite matrix failure modelling

The Hashin composite damage model has been implemented to model matrix/fibre failure in composite materials. The model can be used with the LUSAS solid composite elements. A set of failure criteria have been used to represent fibre and matrix failure. These failure criteria result in a degradation of the Young’s modulus, shear modulus and Poisson’s ratio where the damage has occurred. Unlike the composite failure criteria, matrix failure modelling can model progressive failure using a nonlinear analysis.

delam_res.gif (8410 bytes)Composite delamination

Both 2D and 3D composite delamination interface elements are used in LUSAS Composite. These elements enable composite delaminations to be modelled using an incremental nonlinear analysis. Interface elements are embedded into the finite element model and assigned delamination properties using a nonlinear material model. If the strength exceeds the strength threshold value in the opening or tearing directions the material properties of the interface element are reduced linearly as defined by the material parameters and complete failure is assumed to have occurred when the fracture energy is exceeded. No initial crack is inserted so the interface elements can be placed in the model at potential delamination sites where they will lie dormant until failure occurs.

impact analysis of composite panelComprehensive nonlinear analysis

LUSAS Composite has superior nonlinear problem solving capabilities.

  • Powerful facilities for geometric, material and boundary nonlinearity are available for problems involving large deformations, plasticity and collapse.
  • Fully automatic load incrementation, automatic recovery from convergence failure and restart features are all designed to enable newcomers to nonlinear analysis to quickly become proficient in solving a wide variety of nonlinear problems.
  • Results processing facilities provide automatic load-displacement graphs and viewing of yielded material.

Impact and contact analysis

For low or high speed impact and contact problems, contacting elements are automatically detected and specially developed ‘slidelines’ and ‘slidesurfaces’ handle the interaction that takes place at contacting regions greatly simplifying your analyses in 2D or 3D.

Dynamic analysis

Forced response, vibration and transient dynamics problems can be solved quicker with LUSAS Composite and, if you wish, by calculating the response for selected loadcases using the Interactive Modal Dynamics (IMD) results processing facilities. This gives shorter analysis times and reduced disk usage compared to a full transient dynamics assessment.

Working with CAD data

Model information can be exchanged with a wide range of CAD systems using industry standard exchange formats such as IGES and DXF, as well as directly with specific CAD systems using proprietary data exchange formats.

Structural applications

For structural and bridge applications, modelling of Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP), laminated glass, reinforced concrete using the smeared reinforcement technique, and gradual through-thickness masonry arch cracking assessments can be carried out using the advanced layered shell elements. 

Software products

LUSAS Composite is available as only one software product version, Composite Plus. The Windows user interface provides for easy and rapid model generation, load application and combining of loadcase results.

  • Separate details list the capabilities of the LUSAS Composite software product. Find out more.


  • Use Composite Plus for more advanced analyses using the appropriate purchased option(s).

Element sets

Element set Composite Plus
2D/3D line elements (bars, beams, grillages...)
2D/3D surface and volume elements, others...
Advanced high-performance elements

= Element set is included in this software product.


Software options

The finite element analysis capabilities of LUSAS Composite can be extended by purchasing additional software options.

  Software product

LUSAS Software Options

LUSAS Composite Plus
Fast Solvers
Vehicle Load Optimisation n/a
Steel Frame Design n/a
RC Frame Design n/a
Steel and Composite Deck Designer n/a
IMDplus Analysis
Nonlinear Analysis
Dynamic Analysis
Thermal / Field Analysis
Heat of Hydration Analysis n/a
Rail Track Analysis n/a
Key to table
= Software option is included in this software product for new sales.
= Software option must be purchased for use with this software product. 
n/a  = Software option not available for use with this software product.
Contact for more details.


LUSAS High Precision Moulding

To accurately predict the distortion of laminated composite parts during manufacture and provide reverse engineered surfaces to create "right first time" tooling LUSAS offers a consultancy service using its specialist LUSAS High Precision Moulding (HPM) software product.

By using this service considerable savings can be made in time to market, manufacturing time and costs are less, assembly stresses are lowered, and the time-consuming fitting of any shims is eliminated. 

Global coverage and support

LUSAS software is marketed and supported globally by LUSAS and also through a network of distributors and resellers that cover every continent.

Used by thousands of users, LUSAS is highly regarded in industry, as demonstrated by an impressive list of clients, which include many of the top international consultancies. LUSAS software is also used extensively by government agencies, local authorities and smaller to medium-size consultants, many of whom find that the advanced analysis facilities not only expand their capabilities but also give them a competitive edge. 

Universities and research institutions throughout the world use the academic version of LUSAS, which provides a steady supply of proficient LUSAS users to support your use of the software in your industry.

Find out more

Contact us for a quotation


Software Information

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LUSAS is a trademark and trading name of Finite Element Analysis Ltd. Copyright 1982 - 2022. Last modified: September 30, 2021 . Privacy policy. 
Any modelling, design and analysis capabilities described are dependent upon the LUSAS software product, version and option in use.