Reducing Carbon Emissions in Foundries

by Andre Bergmann-Kremer

Visiometa revolutionizes the foundry industry by reducing carbon emissions through optimized casting processes. By minimizing scrap rates, maximizing yield and reducing the need for physical prototypes, Visiometa helps finding sustainable solutions for a greener future.

Reducing emissions is crucial for relieving the impact of climate change, and melting processes are a significant source of carbon dioxide. Various measures can be implemented to avoid CO2 emissions in any foundry, starting from the design of new cast parts all the way to mass production. This article will show how Visiometa can be a valuable asset for your company in implementing these measures and ensuring compliance with environmental regulations.

By using Visiometa, foundry engineers are enabled to identify and correct potential oversizing. An example is the use of the solidification modulus analysis, which helps to determine ideal feeder dimensioning and positioning. This leads to a decreased mass of the gating and feeding system, thereby reducing costs and carbon emissions related to the energy used for heating and melting the casting material. Visiometa makes this optimization process very quick and easy because it enables a much faster workflow due to the integration of process planning and rapid analysis into a single software. The picture below shows the example of a process that was successfully optimized using Visiometa. Improving both, the geometric part design and the casting system, it was possible to obtain a 20% higher yield.

Image 1 - Optimizing the yield for the sealing flange of a powerful V12 car engine. Cast part by courtesy of Audi AG.

For the production of one single part shown above, almost 0.5 kg of carbon dioxide was saved due to the reduction of weight alone. Considering a serial production of 200,000 parts the emission of approximately 90 tons of CO2 would be avoided. This amount is equivalent to the pollution emitted by a regular passenger vehicle after driving 354,000 km.

Another avoidable source of CO2 emissions in foundries is the excessive number of prototype castings required to validate a new process. Such tests include the manufacturing of multiple castings with only slight changes in the gating and feeding system in order to obtain the best possible configuration. To get a rough idea - for a casting system with 10kg of total weight, 1.2 kg of CO2 emissions are released for every prototype manufactured. With Visiometa, an optimized casting system can be designed completely virtually without the need of making physical prototypes, thus saving time, costs, and a significant amount of carbon dioxide emissions. The image below shows the casting system of a cylinder head that was optimized quickly and easily using Visiometa, showing excellent performance in practice.

Image 2 - Visiometa's right first time approach enabled the rapid process planning and validation for the cylinder head shown.

With Visiometa's solidification modulus analysis, it is possible to significantly improve the quality and stability of casting processes and thus reduce the amount of scrap and rework, which in turn reduces pollutant emissions once more. Badly designed casting systems often result in a high scrap rate, frequently reaching double-digit numbers. However, through optimization this rate can be significantly improved. Let's consider the sealing flange (Image 1) as an example with a reduced scrap rate from 20% to almost 3%. In a series production of 200,000 parts, this improvement would lead to the saving of more than 15 tons of CO2 emissions.

These examples highlight the significant role Visiometa plays in reducing CO2 emissions in foundries and contributing to environmental preservation. With its capacity to optimize casting system designs right first time, minimize testing necessities, and diminish scrap and rework, Visiometa offers a compelling solution for significantly reducing your company's carbon footprint. To discover further advantages of utilizing Visiometa, feel free to contact our team.

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