A good reason for the use of optimization in a casting process

Volker Kokot (MAGMA Giessereitechnologie GmbH)

With the introduction of casting simulation software in the beginning of the 90ties the foundries have to be convinced of the value of the new technology. There were many doubts about what can be achieved with the simulation. In our days the use of a casting simulation in a foundry is almost a matter of course, because it can reduce production times and costs.

A logical step in the further development of simulation is the coupling to an optimization tool to do design optimization. The simulation itself is used in this sense since the beginning, because with the software different designs of a project are calculated to decide what is the best way to realize it. We can say that the user of the software is the optimizer: he evaluates the results and adapts the parameters to get (hopefully) to better designs, a trial and error procedure. Due to the current available computer power even such complex design optimizations based on casting simulation can be done automatically and efficiently.

In this presentation, we will show the benefit of using design optimization in a real casting problem. The task is to set up the feeder system and the pattern lay-out of a cast iron part to increase the yield and the number of parts in the sand mold. The design parameters of the project are not only the dimensions and the position of the riser, but also the distance between the parts in the mold. Beside the volume of the feeders and the soundness of the cast also the material properties are taken into account for design evaluation. The results of the optimization lead to a design where the costs per part are reduced massively. For the optimization the module MAGMAfrontier was used, which integrates the optimization tool modeFRONTIER in the casting simulation software MAGMASOFT.