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In the realm of manufacturing, casting solidification and melting processes are critical for creating high-quality metal parts. These processes, integral to industries ranging from automotive to aerospace, necessitate precise control to ensure structural integrity and performance. ANSYS, a leading engineering simulation software, offers robust capabilities to model and optimize these complex thermal processes, significantly enhancing efficiency and quality in production.

Comprehensive Simulation and Process Optimization

ANSYS provides a suite of tools that allow engineers to simulate the intricate dynamics of casting solidification and melting. With its powerful finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) capabilities, ANSYS can accurately predict the thermal and fluid flow behavior within molds. This predictive power is crucial for identifying potential defects such as porosity, shrinkage, and residual stresses, which can compromise the integrity of the final product.

One of the standout features of ANSYS is its ability to optimize the casting process. By simulating different scenarios, engineers can adjust variables such as cooling rates, mold materials, and pouring temperatures to achieve the best possible outcome. This level of optimization reduces the trial-and-error traditionally associated with casting, leading to faster development cycles and reduced costs.

Enhanced Material Properties Analysis

ANSYS also excels in analyzing material properties during solidification and melting. It allows for detailed examination of phase changes and the resulting microstructures. This capability is particularly valuable for designing alloys with specific properties, ensuring that the final casted parts meet stringent performance criteria.

User-Friendly Interface and Real-World Applications

The user-friendly interface of ANSYS and its ability to integrate with other design and manufacturing tools streamline the workflow. Engineers can import CAD models directly into ANSYS, set up simulations with intuitive tools, and visualize results in 3D. This seamless integration enhances collaboration across different teams and departments, fostering a more cohesive development environment.

Examples of ANSYS in Casting Applications

  1. Automotive Engine Blocks: In the automotive industry, ANSYS has been instrumental in designing engine blocks with optimized cooling channels. By simulating the solidification process, engineers can identify hotspots and adjust the design to improve thermal performance and durability.

  2. Turbine Blades: In the aerospace sector, ANSYS helps in creating turbine blades with superior mechanical properties. Simulating the casting and cooling processes ensures the blades can withstand high temperatures and stresses during operation.

  3. Medical Implants: ANSYS is used to simulate the casting of medical implants, ensuring biocompatibility and structural integrity. The software helps in optimizing the mold design and cooling rates to produce implants with precise dimensions and mechanical properties.

  4. Industrial Pumps: For industrial pumps, ANSYS aids in casting impellers and casings with optimized flow paths and structural integrity. This ensures efficient performance and longevity in harsh operational environments.

  5. Ship Propellers: In the marine industry, ANSYS simulations help in designing ship propellers with improved hydrodynamic performance and reduced cavitation. The casting simulations ensure that the propellers are free from defects and have the required strength.

Demo setup

We will not take a look at the procedure to setup a solidification and melting model in Ansys Fluent. In this problem we will be using multiphase VOF model to simulate the liquid movement profile and also dynamically change boundary conditions representative of actual industrial problems. 

In this demo case, the mass flow rate is varied in time. The mass flow rate increases linearly to 4 gram/sec between 0-1 sec flow time. Then the mass flow rate stays constant till 25 sec. The mass flow rate is then reduced to 0 gram/sec as a step function. At the same time the wall heat transfer coefficient is increased to 300 W/m2K to accelerate solidification. The calculation is continued till all the liquid is solidified. 


The solution animation is shown below. The animation showcases the filling of the liquid metal colored by temperature filling the cast. At the end of the filling process the analysis shows that there will be air bubbles trapped inside the cast. The solution proceeds to solidification and the temperature drops below 1000 deg C over time.  


The below video showcases the solidification profile of the fully filled cast using liquid fraction.




In conclusion, ANSYS stands out as a pivotal tool in the casting solidification and melting landscape. Its comprehensive simulation capabilities, process optimization features, material properties analysis, and user-friendly interface make it indispensable for engineers aiming to innovate and improve manufacturing processes. By leveraging ANSYS, industries can achieve higher quality, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness in their casting operations, paving the way for advanced manufacturing solutions.

Few References

  1. Continuous Casting - Computational fluid dynamic simulations of solidification for enhancing speed of continuous cast copper

  2. Optimization of Casting Process Parameters - Numerical Simulation of Casting Filling Process Based on FLUENT

  3. Computational Modeling of Solidification Processes - Prediction of the solidification mechanism of ZA alloys using Ansys Fluent

These references provide in-depth insights and case studies on how ANSYS and similar simulation tools are applied in casting solidification and melting applications.

Post by Somenath Chatterjee
July 8, 2024