Software for castability optimization and casting system design

Visiometa offers an innovative and unique software product, that allows for the detailed planning of casting processes to be carried out extremely quickly and precisely. For proper use, no prior experience with CAD software or simulation technology is required. With Visiometa, the preparation of a qualified delivery quotation and the necessary detailed planning is quick and easy. This creates a decisive competitive advantage for the user. The completely new geometric approach of the software allows the robust design of the casting system with regard to safe mould filling and controlled solidification. The casting geometry can be modified and analyzed in real time using an intuitive toolbox. This results in a significantly reduced simulation effort by avoiding unnecessary trial-and-error loops.

Import and Export of 3D CAD-Data

Import and Export file formats

Visometa is ready for import and export of stp, igs and stl 3D files. The user has a wide range of display variables at his disposal:

  • Different colors according to the calculation results
  • Opaque or variable lucent
  • Monochrome display in all RYB colors
  • Control of the 3D display on the monitor is possible with a standard computer mouse

3D modulus calculation

A core element of Visiometa consists of the completely new calculation approach of the local solidification module. Completely based on geometry and in real time, at any time and automatically, after the user has made a geometrical, or process technical change. This is made possible by the also completely new discretisation (mesh generation) of the geometries.

What is the solidification module?

Basically, the module is the quotient of the volume and the surface of a body. However, transferring this relationship to the solidification module is a challenge. Only for a sphere this is easily possible, because everything that describes a ball depends only on the radius of the ball and the proportionality between content and surface of the ball is therefore always given. In addition, the heat dissipation conditions at each point of the sphere are identical, provided that the expansion of the environment is the same everywhere.

Even with a prism, this is no longer the case. At the edges and especially in the area of the corners, the heat can flow off more quickly because there is more surface available for the heat flow for a partial volume of the prism. Here it becomes clear that there is a close connection between the solidification modulus and the solidification time. This realisation is not new, Chvorinov already described this correlation in the forties of the last century.

Visiometa's completely new numerical calculation approach enables the reliable calculation of the local solidification modulus even within a complex geometry. For the first time a geometric, analytical and thus very fast calculation of the solidification modulus is available to the foundryman. On this basis, the Visiometa user can develop a resilient casting concept within a very short time.

The corners and edges of a casting mold heat up disproportionately during the solidification of the casting material. This effect is also expressed on a geometric level by the Visiometa calculation principle. This provides the basis for an efficient and goal-oriented design of the casting. The aim is controlled solidification and thus a technically dense casted matrix.

Also new within the numerical approach of Visiometa is the so-called multiblock strategy of discretization (mesh generation). This means that only the locally affected cells have to be recalculated for each mesh change during planning. The smaller the number of elements to be calculated, the faster the result is available.

Even the target-oriented processing of very complex parts is thus possible for the user in hardly perceptible calculation times.

 

castable design

Decisive for the success of a casting project is the suitable casting adaptation of the geometry, which is usually designed by the designer to be largely functional. Very often, marginal changes can avoid additional effort in terms of solidification control and feeding. This reduces manufacturing costs and at the same time ensures that customer requirements are met by robust solutions.

Through the combination of the unique module calculator, the completely new multi-block meshing and the so-called sculpting, Visiometa is the ultimate tool for casting-suitable design. Sculpting goes back to the term "sculpture. A three-dimensional representation within the fine arts is described as such. Sculpting is the transfer of a sculptor's approach into 3D software. He works the sculpture out of a block with various tools, or he builds it e.g. out of clay step by step.

Visiometa provides the user with a number of tools with which he can change the geometry locally:

  • Application
  • Removal
  • Smoothing
  • Rounding

Visiometa immediately calculates the new solidification module with the completed geometric change and the user recognizes without time delay whether the selected design leads to the desired result, i.e. usually to controlled solidification.

mold parting line generator

For a reliable design of the project, the mold parting areas must already be carried out during the prototype phase, because the filling and feeding system of a permanent mold is always bound to division surfaces. This also applies to a lost mold made with a permanent pattern equipment. Therefore for goal-oriented planning Visiometa provides the user with a toolbox for building the division faces within the mold.

undercut analysis

tool to check the moldability which highlights undercuts. Geometry modification is necessary or alternatively new parting lines and mold parts are necessary.

Part of this toolbox is the undercut analysis of a geometry based on the previously defined division faces. For complex molds with various joint faces, the user first defines the main parting level. If required, the geometry analysis runs in the background with reference to the defined dividing surface and immediately indicates areas without a draft angle or those that even represent an undercut. This allows the best possible pitch for the geometry in question to be determined with the aim of minimizing the number of additional contour-giving mold elements.

Feeder generator

On the basis of the module calculation, the user defines feeder areas. The locally occurring maximum module is decisive for the design of the corresponding feeder consisting of the body of the feeder and the feeder neck as the interface between feeder and casting. The user has an additional toolbox at his disposal for the parameterized 3D design of the requested feeder type:

  • Side feeder
  • Top feeder
  • Cylindrical shape
  • Trapezoidal shape
  • Heine-feeder
  • Insolating or exothermal feeder type

            

 

Feeder neck generator

As for the feeder body Visiometa calculates feeder necks based on the solidification modulus. Robots are also available for the design of the feeder necks shaped like this:

  • Trapezoidal
  • Cylindrical
  • Segment type
  • In one or in either mold halves

Feeders flow out during solidification of the casting. Visiometa checks each feeder to ensure that it has the required static outlet height and can provide the required feeding volume for the corresponding feeding area. The result is a feeder that is as slim as possible, but providing locally technical saturation of the casting.

      

Casting system generator

Reliable mold filling is a question of casting time, which depends on:

  • The casting weight
  • The mean wall thickness or minimal respectively
  • The casting material
  • The superheat contained in the melt
  • The flow length within the mold
  • The mold material and its temperature
  • The permeability of the mold

Visiometa calculates a gating system according to pipe flow mechanics and the resulting casting time based  on the geometry and the choice of material data  by the user. For a gravity mold, the casting system consists of the following elements:

  • Down sprue
    • Standard according to Nielsen, cylindrical, rectangular or trapezoidal cross section area
    • User defined
  • Distribution channel (runner)
    • Cylindrical or trapezoidal cross section area
  • Ingate
    • Cylindrical or trapezoidal cross section area
  • Pockets for
    • Foam ceramic filter
    • Ceramic- or sand filter
    • Strainer (sieve)

In a low-pressure mold, the gate consists of one or more conical gate elements with integrated filter or sieve chamber.

 

Chill designer

An excellent procedure of controlling solidification within a sand mold is the positioning of so-called chills, preferably at the end zones of a feeder. Their influence on the local solidification depends on the:

  • Contact area to the casting
  • Chill mass
  • Heat conduction and heat capacity of the chill material

Visiometa makes these standard geometries available to the user as parameterized 3D generators:

  • Prisma
  • Cylinder
  • Truncated cone
  • Segment

The user can assign the following materials to these standard chills:

  • Cast iron
  • Steel
  • Copper alloy
  • Silicon carbide
  • Graphite
  • Aluminium

Visiometa recognizes these elements within the mesh and calculates the reduced local solidification module as a result. If the selected combination of geometry, material and contact surface proves to be insufficient, the user can modify it and immediately recognize the resulting change.

core print generator

Sand cores and sliders in casting molds require space for centering elements:

  • Prints for sand cores
  • Guiding elements for sliders

There is no space for gating and feeding systems or the feeders and runners must be adapted to these contours. Therefore, the early determination of these casting suitable geometry elements is very important for a robust planning. Visiometa and its 3D functions allow the user to design these centering elements on the basis of standard geometries, but also in the form of solutions based on the casting geometry.

databases

A precondition for a fast and as far as possible automated planning of a casting project is a comprehensive database consisting of:

  • Physical properties of the casting materials
  • Physical properties of all auxiliary materials
  • 3D data of exothermal feeders
  • 3D data of insulating feeders
  • 3D data of breaker cores
  • Filter geometries and their resistance numbers
  • Sieve geometries and their resistance numbers
  • Chill geometries
  • 3D data of user defined elements for gating, feeding and solidification controlling
  • Mold frame dimensions
  • Cost rates and purchase costs
  • Technical standards
  • VDG information sheets

calculation matrix

Visiometa creates a standard calculation of the expected manufacturing costs from the 3D design of the project and the purchase components used:

  • Casting geometries: Material- and melting cost
  • Sand core geometries: Material- and manufacturing costs
  • Chills: Purchase- and handling costs
  • Feeder cups: Purchase costs
  • Filter and sieves: Purchase costs
  • Fettling costs

Thus two concepts, which both expect the same quality of the casting, can be compared in monetary terms to ensure not only the quality but also the economic efficiency of a project.

Contact Us

Get in Touch

Address & Location

Visiometa GmbH
Zur Parmke 14
57392 Schmallenberg
Germany

Phone: +49 (0)2971 / 96 198 91
Fax: +49 (0)2971 / 96 198 87

Email: info@visiometa.com

Business Hours

  • Mon - Thu 08:00 – 17:00
  • Fri 09:00 – 15:00
  • Sat 08:00 – 12:30

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