The production of ingots used to provide billets for many forging operations is a highly evolved process. However, it is very difficult to find additional improvements to maximize the useable volume of the ingot. The goal is to minimize the areas affected by shrinkage defects and to avoid segregation, as it leads to inhomogeneous material properties.
The processing conditions for ingots appear quite simple initially, but are very challenging for simulation tools, as they sometimes involve very low melt velocities, significant solidification during the filling process, and melt movement throughout solidification due to solutal and thermal convection effects. Therefore, only simulation tools considering these aspects throughout the entire process can be used. MAGMASOFT® satisfies these requirements and is currently used by ingot casters to optimize process parameters, filling processes, alloy composition, and cooling processes to squeeze even more out of ingot casting technology. The increasing cost of raw materials is one of the drivers for continuous improvement of this process.