A new approach of casting simulation tools integrated in the production line

The use of numerical simulation tools in the foundry is absolutely extended and it has been a strong support for the foundries to reduce the launch time of new projects and to reduce the scrap rate.

Nevertheless, the use of simulation based in standard and fix conditions does not represent the actual conditions and does not cover the range arising during the production process. This means a handicap for the foundries, because they are not able to apply all the knowledge to improve the pattern yield and scrap rate associated to soundness defects beyond the limits marked by the standard simulation, as well as a perfect prediction of the main metallurgical features in the casting in real time.

The present work is focussed on the development of a new simulation system that integrates, as an input variable the solidification pattern of the metal measured by thermal analysis in the precise moment of pouring the casting.

The definition of the risk of contraction defects and the final structure of the castings has been reached by the implementation of new variables generated from the thermal analysis and algorithms to model the growing of the phases during the solidification period.

The simulation tool has been also adapted for different stages from the product development area for design activities to its use in the production line as and advanced process control tool integrated with other predictive systems in the Industry 4.0 concept.

This system offers predictions about the soundness, microstructure and mechanical properties of the casting during its production enabling the rapid detection of risky situations, reducing the response time and saving costs.

Gorka Zarrabeitia (AZTERLAN), Argoitz Zabala (AZTERLAN), José Manuel Gutiérrez (AZTERLAN), Iratxe Conde (AZTERLAN), Ander Areitioaurtena (AZTERLAN), Ramón Suárez (AZTERLAN).

structure, predictive simulation, thermal analysis, metallurgical quality.


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