The automotive industry today makes every effort to realize lightweight designs to reduce fuel consumption or to conserve resources. The technology center of Franken Guss Kitzingen has all the necessary resources to turn demanding design concepts into high performance castings.
A fast and efficient realization of this goal can only be achieved if the component designer and foundry experts collaborate closely. In this process, design changes are made to e.g. avoid cores, to save manufacturing costs, or to increase the load capacity of the part through changes in local wall thickness or a redesign of ribs.
Due to the fact that Franken Guss produces castings in both ferrous materials as well as in aluminum at one location, the technology center has the competence to develop optimized casting designs and the related processes for very different manufacturing technologies.
Usually the technology center receives new part data as STEP- or IGES-files through a direct exchange with their customers. The first assessment takes place supported by a simulation of the „naked“ part to identify critical areas related to the component´s design. If design changes are necessary, the CAD data in CATIA or Pro/E format are requested. Parallel to these modifications, several loops of FEM load analysis are often performed in CATIA V5. Once an optimized component design is available, the layout and optimization of the gating and feeding system is performed using MAGMA5. Usually, the simulation supported layout requires a few iterations, as in addition to quality issues the design is also economically assessed with respect to improved casting yield.
After design approval by the customer, e.g. after checking the space requirements of the redesigned component, a continued use of casting process simulation supports the series tooling design. In particular, the optimal pattern plate lay-out as well as further yield improvement are worked on iteratively.
The prediction of areas of insufficient feeding may still result in minor changes in the design contours of the component.
Especially for cast iron simulations, it is very important to use precise manufacturing data and process parameters, in particular temperatures and the water content as well as to the permeability of mold and core materials. The chemical composition, the metal treatment and the pouring temperature of the alloy used are adjusted to the expected manufacturing practice.
Large, volumetric chassis parts may show substantial distortion, which can be explained by residual stresses formed during casting. That is why a residual stress analysis for these components is performed using the MAGMAstress module.