Development of casting simulation technology

For thousands of years, people have mainly solved engineering problems through trial and error, especially how to produce high-quality castings. Because casting includes smelting, molding, pouring and post-treatment processes, each process requires professional knowledge and technology, but most factories complete all processes alone.

Since the 20th century, scientific research methods have been gradually introduced into the foundry industry. People realize the necessity of studying casting phenomena and predicting the results after taking measures, because it is difficult to solve complex casting technical problems only by trial and error method.

Since the mid-20th century, scientific research has increased greatly, especially the research on metal solidification. Scientific research refers to the research carried out by scientific methods, that is, putting forward hypotheses or conjectures, theoretical derivation and prediction, designing experimental schemes, and finally verifying hypotheses through experimental data and observation.

Because metal solidification is the basis of metal materials and related to many processes, it is a very huge scientific research topic. The hypothesis can be easily verified only when the sample shape is simple, because the sample with complex shape will not only increase the occurrence of accidents, but also make it difficult to repeatedly realize the initial conditions and boundary conditions. Therefore, it is difficult to prove the correctness of the hypothesis due to the repeatability of observed phenomena or measured data.

On the other hand, the scientific research of process design and its related phenomena such as casting defects is very difficult, because clear and repeatable initial and boundary conditions are usually difficult to obtain. Therefore, the scientific research progress of these disciplines is very slow. However, although there is no strict test, the research of foundry engineering has made great progress since the introduction of physical and engineering sciences such as heat transfer and chemical engineering in the mid-20th century.

Since 1960s, with the rapid development of computer, the quantitative analysis of casting phenomenon has been developed. Firstly, the factors such as solidification latent heat are considered in solving the energy conservation equation, and secondly, the front flow of liquid metal is considered in filling analysis. The long-term basic research has accumulated a large amount of data, which makes the input data required for simulation more and more accurate, such as the thermophysical properties of alloy and mold, the relationship between solid fraction and temperature, and the heat exchange coefficient between casting and mold. At the same time, great progress has been made in the research of various casting phenomena, such as the boundary phenomenon between casting and mold, heat and mass transfer in sand mold and so on.

Since entering the new century, casting simulation technology has become more and more mature, and all kinds of simulation software have also been applied to practical production. Such as ProCAST, magmacoft, FLOW-3D and AnyCasting abroad, Huazhu CAE and FT-Star in China.

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