Non Ferrous

Reliable Decisions: Simulation in Non-Ferrous Casting

Casting is a complex manufacturing process that involves many critical variables. Multiple aspects have to be considered simultaneously, so that in the end you can deliver a high value product. From design to production, process steps and parameters need to be systematically optimized and validated to minimize production risks.

To produce permanent mold or light metal sand castings with reproducible quality in an economical manufacturing process, foundry engineers have to use their expertise to optimize the casting processes: Microporosity and shrinkage cavities have to be avoided, the formation of local microstructures have to be predicted reliably and the mechanical properties have to be quantified in the as-cast state or after heat treatment. Casting process simulation is the answer to these challenges and the key to realizing the full potential of light metals.

Process chart in MAGMA  5: Example of a non-ferrous casting

In non-ferrous castings, optimization by understanding entails:

  • Realistic and detailed mapping of all process steps

  • Faster and more robust layout of ingates and runner dimensions, as well as vents,  risers, chills and other feeding aids

  • Optimization of the filling process to provide a controlled flow

  • Reduction of quality-related expenses by avoiding casting defects that arise from misruns, oxide and slag entrainment, gas porosity, and shrinkage

  • Reduction of reduces manufacturing risks by assessing the influence of the metallurgical treatment and composition of the melt on casting quality

  • Reduction of cycle times by optimization of cooling circuits

  • Reduction of die costs by evaluating the mold design with regard to the lifetime of the mold

  • Minimization of start up costs caused by modifying gating, riser, and process layouts

  • Prevention of straightening costs through adjustment of cooling conditions, quenching, gate and riser cut off and heat treatment

Prediction of structures and properties

MAGMA, MAGMAlpdc, MAGMApermanent mold and other task-specific modules offer extensive possibilities to simulate nonferrous casting processes in a realistic and reliable way. Among these are:

  • Comprehensive process mapping of low pressure die casting, permanent mold casting, tilt casting, rotacaster and roll-over processes in simulation

  • Filling and pouring from ladles and automatic pouring furnaces

  • Consideration of pressure conditions during filling and solidification for in low pressure die castings

  • Consideration of melt surface tension and fluidity as well as venting

  • Calculation of air flow through cores, as well as consideration of vents in sand and permanent molds

  • Assessment of porosities, oxide and slag inclusions

  • In-situ process control with time- or temperature-controlled regulation of heating and cooling system, mold open and quenching in the simulation

  • Consideration of actual melt composition, melt treatment, grain refinement and hydrogen content and their impact on casting quality

  • Prediction of local microstructures and mechanical properties

  • Crack prediction, stress and distortion of the casting during solidification shake-out, after removal of the gating and risering, as well as during subsequent cooling and machining processes

  • Prediction of casting stresses and distortion during quenching and heat treatment

  • Consideration of mold stresses including mold life time assessment

Quantitative prediction of mechanical properties of aluminum castings