Dimond Roofing Brings New Product to Market using Matrix Virtual Prototyping

The Company

Dimond is New Zealand's largest manufacturer of steel roofing, cladding, structural and rainwater goods and are part of Fletcher Building.   Dimond has been the industry leader in innovation, product development, and technical backup for over thirty years.

The Challenge

Dimond proposed a brief to design a new roofing profile that would allow greater span and less susceptibility to damage from being walked on.  The roofing profile is developed from a flat sheet of steel to provide a net “covered” area.  The challenge is to have a profile that provides maximum coverage, maximum allowable purlin spacing, minimum weight and can take design structural loadings as well as human traffic during installation and inspection.

The Solution

Initial work was establishing parameters of accurate computer simulation using existing products and testing through Auckland University’s labs.  Using the existing profiles, Matrix was able to establish reasonably accurate predictions of load bearing capacity vs span width which gave confidence to use these techniques for new “virtual” profiles. 

Physical testing had established that current trapezoidal profiles were prone to buckle on the flat areas of the profile.  This lead to the concept of the “dolly” profile which consists of 3 curved sections.  Matrix was able to optimize this concept profile to obtain maximum coverage whilst maintaining a specified minimum stiffness.  The numerical simulation work was carried out using non-linear finite element modeling. Based on the simulation work, a one-off prototype was manufactured and physically tested prior to committing to final tooling.



The Result

The virtual prototyping and subsequent verification provided Dimond with the confidence to commit to an expensive tooling project.  Two years down the track the tooling has been perfected and the product just been taken to market.  It is proving popular with customers and end users alike.  Ian McClew, the Innovation Manager for Dimond Roofing, said “We were impressed with both the engineering design and analysis services provided by Matrix as well as their ability to organize and oversee a series of physical tests”. 

To learn more about Finite Element Analysis, click here.