Simulating casting processes

Simulating casting processes permits one to predict casting and solidification processes with respect to velocity, temperature, segregation and stress fields. As a rule, other criteria functions are available to further appraise the process simulation and thereby the process. The simulation is characterised by a high density of information and enables an in-depth analysis to be carried out.  Geometric and material data for the materials and tools involved, including the starting, boundary and the process conditions, are required in order to perform a process and component simulation.

Component development

Within the scope of the organised practical training development assignments in material optimisation, component design and process planning, students are introduced to applying process simulation software. A 3-day Magma5 training, which is cooperatively provided by the employees of Magmasoft and the Foundry Institute, is a key module of the practical training’s schedule. The students optimise a previously casting-compatible, redesigned component, which is subsequently manufactured and employed by the EcurieAix, the RWTH Aachen’s Formula Student Team. Within the scope of component development of the large practical in foundry technology, the students become familiar with this technology in which they optimise casting and feeding systems with the aid of process and component simulations for the sand casting process.  Assuming a given component for the region of a road vehicle’s chassis, a gating and feeding system is designed. The figures depict geometries and simulation results for a steering gear housing. It is assumed that three different materials will be employed for the design. The designed casting systems are implemented in the models. Sand moulds are produced and actual castings are poured. In doing this, emphasis is placed on a detailed measuring technology with which the melt’s quality is investigated prior to casting; corresponding to operational practice. In a final meeting, the performed evaluations are analysed and discussed.

Distortion simulation for pressure casting

To simulatively validate the numerous research activities, all the functionalities of the modular simulation software Magma5 are used within the framework of extensive research licenses. Here, the activities are not only limited to classical computations of mould-filling, solidification and cooling of the investigated casting process and materials but also those employed during the development of new types of special processes. This primarily concerns numerical access to factors which could not hitherto be established but which are significant for determining precision. For instance, in simulating hybrid pressure casting structures or manufacturing low-distortion cold-box cores; for which the modules such as “MAGMA Stress” or “MAGMA C+M (Core and Mold)” are employed, or in virtually experimenting with the flexible and wide-ranging possibilities and automatic optimisation. The figure shows the deflection of a hybrid structure of sheet steel and aluminium pressure casting (x10 magnification).