Implementation of Casting Simulation for Increased Engine Performance and Reduced Development Time and Costs – Selected Examples from FORD R&D Engine Projects

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr.h.c. R.J. Menne, Dr.-Ing. U. Weiss, Ford Forschungszentrum Aachen GmbH, Aachen; Dr.-Ing. A. Brohmer, Ford-Werke GmbH, Köln; Dr.-Ing. A. Egner-Walter, Dipl.-Ing. M. Weber, P. Oelling, MAGMA GmbH, Aachen


The application of CAE is continually gaining in importance in all areas of engine development. This is especially true for the simulation of the casting process as well as for the following heat treatment. Although the durability analysis of the finished component has long been an established part of the development process, CAE-technologies for the simulation of the manufacturing process have only recently come into focus.

The advantages of simulation at an early stage are obvious. Only by using the simulation of the manufacturing process is it possible to determine the distribution of inhomogeneous mechanical properties (hardness, elongation and yield strength) as well as residual stresses and to consider these properties in the design optimization process, especially in FEM calculations. The quality of the CAE analysis is significantly improved, therefore the full potential of the cast material can be taken advantage of in early design stages. On the other hand, through the optimization of heat treatment using simulation, the performance of the engine can, for example, be increased without cost-intensive design changes within the existing design concept.

In this paper the involved companies, using selected examples from continuing R&D projects, will illustrate the potential to reduce the development time while simultaneously increasing the quality of the component. The methodology of simulating the casting process has been integrated as a key technology into the development process of cylinder heads and blocks at Ford Motor Company and has led to a significant reduction in development times and costs.


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