This guest post on Innovation Intelligence is written by Håkan Fransson, Chief Executive Officer at NovaCast Systems AB, developer of NovaFlow & Solid CV. NovaCast is a member of the Altair Partner Alliance.
It is well known that pouring a casting with good quality is very complicated and demands aids such as feeders and chills to reach industry standards. More often than not, the castings are not optimized for casting, even though that may seem like a given. Castings may contain inbuilt difficulties and hot spot areas that are difficult or impossible for the foundry to fix.
In order to reach a higher level of quality and efficiency in cast parts, design engineers should take advantage of casting process simulation. If optimization and simulation take place early in the process to verify the casting design, problem areas can be detected and corrected before too much time and effort is lost.
Optimization tends to be given a lower priority than other types of simulation. In fact, by working with the design and simulating the casting process, the casting can be made lighter, the yield increased and of course a more cost-effective solution achieved. The need for feeding aids and the scrap rate both decline as well. It is during this early stage that a casting can really be improved.
With casting process simulation, one can detect defects caused by solidification or mold filling in the form of shrinkages or porosities. The casting can also be checked for the ability to be filled based on the thickness of the part, as well as how the yield can be optimized by testing different feeders and chills to compensate solidification shrinkage. In short, it is best to design castings utilizing simulation software specialized for the task, like NovaFlow & Solid CV.