The Foundry industry is currently facing several challenges: that includes steadily growing customer requirements and increasing complexity of modern cast components due to light-weighting. At the same time, rising energy costs and shortage of raw materials are putting enormous pressure on the foundries. Hence, more than ever before, foundry engineers not only have to ensure effective and cost-effective processes in a difficult ever-changing geopolitical situation but ensure to achieve sustainability targets. This is becoming an overriding principle for all foundries and major industries.
To address these multi-layered challenges facing the manufacturing industries, digital-based methods are coming to aid. Here, a simulation-driven design environment is becoming a key, helping them find the balance between design, manufacturability, and performance. Altair® Inspire™ is one such simulation-driven design environment that improves collaborative engineering between various stakeholders: such as designers, manufacturing engineers, CAE experts, suppliers, supply-chain professionals, etc. Within this environment, aiding the development of cast parts, Altair® Inspire™ Cast provides a fast, easy, accurate, and affordable casting simulation environment focused on creating high-quality metal casting components with increased profitability through a highly intuitive user experience. Solving the real-world production challenges Inspire Cast enables leading manufacturers to develop innovative and complex casting products while meeting all manufacturing constraints and performance targets leveraging the design freedom of modern manufacturing.
Inspire Cast: Benefits in all phases of the casting process
Inspire Cast is built on a CAD-based Parasolid core, and, with its highly intuitive user interface, requiring only minimal training, Inspire Cast is quickly becoming a new industrial standard in casting simulations for evaluation and optimization of cast parts. Hence, it can be used by beginners and experts alike, from product designers to foundry engineers. Right from the early design phase, the tool enables users to make quick geometry changes (e.g., modify rib pattern and thickness to improve castability in high-pressure die casting (HPDC) process) and visualize typical casting defects such as air entrapment, shrinkage porosity, cold shuts, or mold degradation and rectify them avoiding costly downstream design corrections.
Guided process templates offer five easy steps to simulate gravity die, gravity sand, investment, high pressure, low pressure die casting, and tilt pouring. Inspire Cast’s innovative experience allows for quick and easy analysis of a typical casting process, design evaluations, topology optimization, and a manufacturability assessment enabling users to increase product quality and design better castable components.
And the Altair solution offers even more: Engineers can use the Inspire Cast software as well as any other tool in the Altair suite they might need to develop a comprehensive digital design process chain via Altair's flexible unit-based licensing.
Practical use case: High-pressure die casting of an actuator housing
In a joint project with the casting experts Sydow-Druckguss GmbH, APS Wenden, Altair, and Böke Engineering, an actuator housing was evaluated for a high-pressure die casting process using Inspire Cast simulations and casting experiments. The existing actuator was cast using permanent gravity die casting and the benefits of high-pressure die casting include fast and automated production and the possibility to achieve small thicknesses.
Within the scope of the work, Inspire Cast was used to evaluate typical casting defects in high-pressure die casting, such as porosity, air entrapments, misruns due to early solidification, and mold wear. The team simulated the entire casting process in Inspire Cast – starting from the cycling process to obtain a temperature distribution within the mold, then the filling, solidification, and cooling of the actuator part. The simulation model was validated against the X-Ray results obtained from the casting trials for porosity and air entrapments. The comparison showed a remarkable resemblance between the simulations and real casting results, confirming Inspire Cast as a high-precision casting simulation tool for high pressure die casting process.
Explore Inspire Cast at EUROGUSS!
As the example shows, Inspire Cast can solve real-world casting problems by supporting engineers tackling today’s challenges of the foundry industry. If you need more information or want to discuss a specific manufacturing task with an Altair simulation expert at the trade show, please visit Altair at booth 8-425 (hall 8). To schedule a meeting with the Altair team at the EUROGUSS, please register here.