Metallurgy Research Centre

  • 12 de febrero de 2020

AZTERLAN strengthens simulation capabilities in the field of heat treatments

The Technology Centre specialized in metallurgy and metallic materials transformation processes has recently incorporated the capabilities of the program SysWeld. An additional tool that supports the wide experience with the specialized software Thermolcalc (design and optimization of heat treatments) and Dictra (prediction of the behaviour of metallic components during heat treatment).

AZTERLAN Metallurgy Research Centre has incorporated new simulation capabilities for the modeling of industrial heat treatments. The SysWeld program, developed by ESI Group, presents specialized functionalities that integrate within the simulation models the complexity of thermophysical and physicochemical transformations that occur during the heat treatments.  

As expressed by PhD. Garikoitz Artola, coordinator of the Forming Area of AZTERLAN, “the combination of the experimental and simulation capabilities offered by SysWeld will allow to develop precise models as well as to exploit productive processes, minimizing the heat treatment adjustment iterations on real components”.

Among others, this tool allows to deal with heat sources and cooling media ad-hoc, determining the evolution of tensions and deformations in components at every stage of the heat treatment sequence, predicting phase transformations in no-balance conditions and calculating the kinetics of diffusive processes such as steel cementation or decarburization.

Sysweld funcionalidades

Simulation capabilities incorporated by AZTERLAN (source: Análisis y Simulación)

“We are currently immersed in an ambitious work-plan along with experts from the company Análisis y Simulación (AyS) to exploit the possibilities offered by SysWeld with the aim of responding to the demands of our industrial environment”. This working program includes the participation of international professionals from ESI Group who will keep a close follow up and a continuous development of the software, by periodicall work meetings at AZTERLAN. It is “a great opportunity to settle links between our metal mechanical industry and some of the strongest international simulation software developing companies”, says Raún Arenaza, AyS Manufacturing Manager.

The bet of AZTERLAN in the field of heat treatment technologies has materialized with a wide industrial experience and new analytical and simulation tools that support this important working line. As described by PhD. Garikoitz Artola, “apart from SysWeld, to perform simulations we also use Themocalc (Thermodynamic calculations) and Dictra (diffusion-controlled reaction simulation). In the last years we have also made significant investments oriented towards laboratory research and industrial fieldwork”.

Among the new capacities added at laboratory level, the quenching dilatometry incorporated by the Technology Centre back in 2018 deserves a special mention. “This technique permits to implement the maximum level of correlation between material models and their real behavior in terms of thermal expansions”.

One of the last efforts has been orientated to get the “fine tuning of a radiotelemetry solution for monitoring ingot and billet heating”. This kind of equipment, where the data logger accompanies the component during its route through the furnace, is especially suitable for furnaces where data control cannot be extracted by wire connection. “The methodology developed at AZTERLAN has been successfully applied in various thermal homogeneity studies”. In the most extreme cases, billets have been monitored in reheating furnaces for lamination with maximum temperatures up to 1275°C and 6 hours of furnace time, using a combination of a thermal barrier and an ad-hoc evaporative case for the Datapaq system.

The commitment of AZTERLAN to support the industry and to offer technological solutions in the field of heat treatments leads the Technology Centre to have an active participation in the “TRATER DAY” technical meeting. A reference technical event that gathers technicians and companies from the sector since 2014 and offers an excellent environment to share technological developments and advanced experiences.