People and Projects

Development of Virtual Casting software for casting process simulation Savithri Sivaraman,
with Roschen Sasikumar and Elizabeth Jacob

Background : Solidification theory has played a big role in converting the casting process from an art into a science. Simulation programs for casting are used worldwide in foundries to verify casting process design, and have become trusted design tools to improve yield, reduce the time from blueprint to production, shorten lead times and reduce manufacturing costs and to reduce defects related to solidification shrinkage and mold filling. The Virtual Casting project was led by Dr. Roschen Sasikumar (now retired) to create a virtual environment to test out new designs and process innovations before actually implementing them on the shop floor.

Methods : : The software includes its own preprocessor and postprocessor. The heat transfer equations incorporating phase change are solved using Finite difference method. The mold filling simulation is based on quick analysis principle where mass conservation is taken care without solving full Navier Stokes equations. This software can predict and analyze the occurrence of solidification shrinkage as well as unfilling defects in castings.

Results : The location of hot spots and shrinkage porosity for a typical aluminum alloy casting are shown in adjacent figures. The results of mold filling and resultant defects also have been successfully benchmarked against various experimental castings.

Conclusion : Casting simulation software are not only for industrial process design, but also for teaching and learning. Students of foundry technology can use it as a virtual laboratory. By experimenting with different process variables and seeing the impact on the final outcome, they can acquire great insight into the design process.