Creating bamboo material in SolidWorks 2011 for FEA
I'm helping a friend out with a project by doing some FEA work on a bamboo bicycle frame. The actual FEA is relatively straightforward but I'm having a difficult time creating an orthotropic material for bamboo. The physical properties my friend gave me for bamboo won't cover the inputs SolidWorks needs and I'm not finding very much data online. Also, I assume I'll have to build this as an assembly to have different grain orientations for different pieces?
Last, I also have access to NX and I know it has better analysis tools (I'm more comfortable in SolidWorks so it's my go to). Should I switch to this program?
Simplest way to run the analysis would be to use the transverse tensile strength of the bamboo (the lowest value) as your isotropic material strength. If you're lucky the assembly will still have a positive M.S. even with the isotropic material assumption. That would be the most conservative analysis.
If you end up with one or two locations where the M.S. is just below positive you may be able to reason that it's still safe because you know the bamboo is stronger in the longitudinal direction than the transverse properties that you used.
Also, If you run the whole project with the transverse strength and see only a few pieces that have negative M.S. you could probably model just those individual pieces with the orthotropic material properties and use the force results of the assembly as your input forces. Or do it by hand. ;)