I am trying to create a solid model using a single element per ply around a curved section containing ply drops in Abaqus. I have attempted a number of techniques whereby I have divided the geometry into separate volumes for each ply and then using solid elements, orientations and sections.
Am I correct in saying that if I apply a composite layup and global orientation and assign each ply geometry to the ply section I wanted that I can only mesh using hex elements? I have attempted to mesh using hex-dominated as in the region of a ply drop I am unable to mesh without incorporating wedge elements, however, the analysis is aborted as the element type is not allowed with a layered section.
I seam to avoid this problem if using a homogenous section and applying a local orientation to each section however in the curved area of the geometry the orientations do not follow the element axis around the corner but the coordinate system I have assigned.
Has anyone else attempted this and found an appropriate solution?