The objective of this project was to provide computer-aided problem-solving tools for resolution of Navy/DoD casting problems by improving prediction and control of defects in castings.
Develop process analysis tools to aid foundry engineers in developing optimized casting process designs. The heart of these tools is three computer-based analysis and design tools: 1) an expert system to define casting orientation, riser sizes and locations and metal delivery system; 2) an easy-to-use finite difference-based analysis code including both comprehensive and approximate solution methods; and 3) a finite element-based analysis code to more accurately represent complex geometries. The analysis codes include mold filling, heat transfer and solidification effects and predicts common casting defects such as incomplete fill, shrinkage, gas porosity, and alloy segregation.
According to an article in Modern Casting, October 1997, those foundries that use casting analysis software have experienced a 30% reduction in labor and rework costs, a 40% reduction in lead and production times and a 25% improvement in yield.
These process analysis tools have been applied to approximately 50 castings of various metal alloys for specific NCEMT projects. In addition, several foundries have licensed RAPID/CAST ® -the finite difference-based analysis tool. New and innovative analysis techniques have been described in over 100 technical papers and presentations. In addition, these tools have been enhanced to solve problems for semi-solid, powder injection molding and heat-treatment processes.