Simulation of Low-Pressure Die-Casting of Copper Alloys

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The Enterprise

IMR Engineering&Technologies Spa has achieved world leadership in the production of equipment for both ferrous and non-ferrous casting, the design and construction of machine tools. The company has also international commercial and production structures: IMR Usa, IMR India and IMR Shanghai.

How HPC makes the difference

imr_copperalloys

The simulation keeps track of both the filling velocity an the thermal exchange between the mould and liquid metal

This success story is an outcome of Fortissimo project(*).

A computer model to simulate the flow of copper alloys is developed based on an open-source software package. This model produces a reliable simulation of the filling of a mould by the molten copper alloy at low pressure. It keeps track of both the filling velocity and the thermal exchange between the mould and liquid metal. The simulation results are validated by comparison with physical tests.

Running the simulation on a desktop system takes an unacceptably long time of over a day, which is not consistent with an efficient design process. Using an HPC system, the time for a simulation could be reduced to 3 hours, which is an acceptable time frame.

The use of HPC-based simulation reduces the number of changes to the mould prototype during its design. The simulation using HPC reduces by 20% the time for development of the mould and saves 20% of the cost of testing, before mass production can begin. The average cost for the design and testing of a set of moulds for a new product based on the traditional, empirical method, is currently about €41,000. The use of a HPC simulation, including all costs, such as set-up times and computing costs, saves about € 8,000 per set and 3 weeks of testing and modifications. IMR has about 8 sets of moulds per year to develop, so this represents a total annual saving of €64,000, not taking into account the benefits of a shorter time to market.

 

(*)The Fortissimo project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration undergrant agreement No 609029.