Page 9 - GlobalEyes Edition 5 Oct 2011

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globalEyES / Edition 5
The high specification,
low volume work requires
stringent quality standards,
without extensive product
sampling. Computer
simulation provides the
opportunity to create
castings virtually.
“Troubleshooting scenarios
prior to actual production
results both in time and
cost savings,” Jerrod said.
“These results have been
achieved through use of
the MAGMAstress module
for stress (crack) reduction
and distortion prediction.
One of our major goals is to
produce patterns based off
predicted distortions for
better casting dimensioning.
“MAGMA and the cluster
in particular (with its
advanced capabilities),
also demonstrates to
our customers that
Bradken, through our
investment in the latest
technologies, is committed
to quality.”
The MAGMAstress module
offers the ability to predict
stress, strains and distortions
during the casting process.
This leads to reduction of hot
tears and stress cracks, as
well as increased dimensional
stability. The result is improved
net-shape castings.
MAGMAsteel is used to
predict alloy segregation
and casting microstructure,
while MAGMAfrontier is an
optimisation module that takes
numeric entries from users
(such as feeder sizes,
quantities and locations)
and simulates possible
combination; to achieve
desired casting properties
such as “soundness”.
“Each of these modules has
been used to improve process
and production in many of our
foundries,” Jerrod said.
Bradken’s Energy business
produces a wide range
of castings based on
customer designs and
requirements, often in
relatively low volumes.
A unique software
package has
given Bradken
the technological
edge, enabling
the consistent
production of
MAGMAsoft is used
to simulate filling and
solidification, allowing us
to better predict casting
quality. With this technological
edge, our foundries have been
able to consistently produce
gating systems that fill mould
cavities smoother and
feeding methods that
generate sound castings;
leading to superior overall
casting quality.
The process starts with
a model of the casting to
be created. Following this
the gating system, chills,
feeders, and all other mould
components are added to the
simulation. The software takes
into account thermal and
physical properties of all
materials put in the model:
sand type, sleeves, casting
alloy, etc. It then models the
fill as defined by the user,
often expressed as a fill-time
or pour rate.
Once the mould cavity is filled,
the solidification simulation
begins. The results of both
operations can be reviewed
at any point in the casting
process; with the casting
being viewed as a solid entity,
a selective x-ray view applied,
and/or user defined cross-
sectional view. This allows
users to see what is
developing in the mould/
casting at any given time
and make adjustments to
the simulation as needed.
Methoding can be quickly
changed in the model and
re-run, until the desired
casting results are obtained.
All this can be accomplished
prior to pattern construction.
Senior Engineer of Process
Development Jerrod Miller
said a cluster computer was
put in place at Bradken’s
Tacoma, Washington (USA)
foundry in Autumn, 2009.
“This cluster is used to run
the most advanced modules
MAGMA offers: Steel, Stress
and Frontier,” Jerrod said.
“All Bradken foundries with
access to MAGMAsoft also
have access to the cluster
to run simulations using
these advanced modules.
The efforts of all the MAGMA
users in Bradken contribute
to the improvement of casting
analysis on the cluster,
returning results back to
foundry process engineering.”
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