Success in the foundry market today not only depends on a good gating and risering design and a resulting good quality part. Moreover, the project design has to guarantee robust quality despite the process variations typical on the shop floor. To keep the business profitable, the solution also has to be a suitable compromise between quality and cost.
In order to achieve these goals, Schulz in Brazil started using the MAGMASOFT® capabilities for Autonomous Engineering and compared it with its traditional way of using the simulation tool. The outcome was more than convincing: it is possible to get better results in less time.
Most ductile iron parts have tight quality requirements. Achieving the specifications for internal soundness is crucial to avoid the component failing in the field. A suspension part with critical safety requirements was used to virtually evaluate the robustness of the process design and compare the outcome with the sequential step-by-step simulation approach used until then.
With an initial feeding system design selected manually, the cast part showed a significant level of porosity defects. A redesign of the feeding system was necessary to solve the porosity problems and improve the quality. Different layouts and feeder sizes were tested in the traditional approach: changes were decided upon by the experts up front. Each version was prepared, simulated and analyzed. Based on the results, the experts decided on the next changes, and this process was repeated.
After running 25 different versions manually and investing two weeks of work, the simulation results showed a decrease of the porosity level. Still, the remaining porosity indication in MAGMASOFT® was critical enough to reject the cast part in some cases of application (Fig. 1).