Design of Casting Components by Simulation 2006-01-0845
Computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided engineering (CAE) have made great progress in the past two decades. Casting simulation software has become an important tool for foundry engineers to produce good castings and CAD-software is used by all modern designers. Time-to-market and quality could be further improved if designer and foundry man would work closer together, more specific if CAD and CAE software would be integrated.
Therefore, software has been developed to integrate design optimization and casting process simulation with finite element software for stress calculations. This software can be used as a complete virtual design and production algorithm, which consists of three steps. First, design optimization is used to create an optimal geometry. Subsequently, casting simulation software is applied to calculate a proper gating and riser system to produce a sound casting. When the virtual product is “created”, its mechanical performance can be tested in operational circumstances, using finite element based strength calculations. A major advantage of this procedure is the early detection of casting defects and the possibility to adapt the design in the early stages of engineering. Another advantage is that the posterior mechanical analysis can be applied to a part which carries its complete production history, e.g. the residual stresses due to casting.
Though the development and integration of the software is still in progress, it already has become a powerful tool for engineers and designers. The software is applied to two practical cases. The results will show that residual stresses, due to cooling of the casting, play an important role in the crack location in fatigue tests.