At ZI in Bergzabern, Germany, the new virtual experimentation capabilities in MAGMA5 were recently used to make a successful comparison of different production alternatives for a gear housing.
Even consistently applying casting process simulation, the increasing complexity of cast parts and the variety of quality requirements make it more and more difficult to come to an early and robust decision regarding the optimal design of dies and molds. One example is a high pressure die-cast gear housing produced at ZI in Germany. On receipt of the CAD data, a suitable production plan was to be developed using casting process simulation. Several experience-based proposals regarding casting positions and gating concepts were generated and prepared for analysis to identify the best solution.
Four different start designs were chosen by the ZI-team for detailed analysis. Special attention was paid to avoiding cold shuts and porosity. The evaluation of the filling and solidification simulation specifically considered the temperature distribution, melt velocity and air pressure over the course and at the end of filling the die. At a piston speed of 3 m/s, there were no longer indications for cold shuts, but all the designs showed locally entrapped air and macroporosity.
A direct comparison and assessment of the various criteria defining the overall part quality was carried out based on 3D animations and results. Due to the quite different casting concepts, the identification of the best design and a reduction or elimination of the remaining problems was not easy based solely on this visual analysis.