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Casting process modeling software for windows opens door for diecasters

01 March, 2006

In today's competitive marketplace, companies are seeking ways to shave off costs in every aspect of the production process. Simulation tools have become one solution to which metalcasting facilities turn to reduce the costs associated with starting up a new order.

Modern Casting

Original casting process modeling software required expensive computer workstations, but over the years, the price for these tools has been reduced due to lower hardware costs and competitive pricing. However, most of today's powerful modeling software is Unix-based, and building up the infrastructure needed to run the software still can be a costly expense for smaller facilities.

In 2005, EKK Inc. released its Capcast Die Casting Essentials for Windows. Designed specifically for diecasting facilities, Capcast can help companies reduce startup time and costs. The Windows format allows any diecasting facility that has Windows 2000 or Windows XP and sufficient computer memory to reap the benefits of using simulation software.

The Windows version, which has the same graphical display tools as the Unix version, addresses critical diecasting problems. Capcast is a finite element-based casting simulation software that allows the surfaces of the die components to be most accurately defined. The software has full automatic mesh generation and fluid-flow analysis. In mesh generation, the computer replicates a CAD file by automatically creating the finite element geometry. The fluid-flow analysis allows engineers to view the cavity filling pattern when the molten metal is shot into the die. It has the ability to set up venting and vacuum parameters in its simulations, making it well-suited for diecasting facilities.

The simulation also can be set up to model a variable slow to fast shot velocity profile as well as heat transfer in the fluid while the cavity is filled. The newly developed trapped gas algorithm in the software allows diecasters to quantitatively evaluate casting quality by identifying areas of potential trapped gas in the cavity. Engineers can easily perform trial-and-error tests with Capcast before pouring a single drop of molten metal.

With Capcast Die Casting Essentials, diecasting engineers can develop optimal gating and runner systems at the design phase. Using the computer simulation to show the different casting scenarios saves the engineer and the diecasting facility time, money and energy because they can identify potential issues before die tools are cut. It is a powerful tool that some large companies have been utilising for years. With the Windows version, smaller firms can now cash in on the benefits of casting process modeling, as well.

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