Reduce the time and cost to plan, optimize and run your ingot or continuous casting process.
Transvalor THERCAST® is the best available solution to quickly and accurately simulate your metal casting process, whether you want to optimize one that’s already in operation or to plan a new one.
Easily simulate, plan and optimize your ingot casting with THERCAST®.
It includes many specialized capabilities for ingot casting, including the prediction and prevention of air gaps and voids, simulation of exothermic powders, prediction of ingot shapes, and optimization of strip-out times.
In this ingot casting example, THERCAST® precisely predicts the temperature at every point as the metal cools in the mold. That has many advantages for quality, efficiency and cost savings.
Easily and accurately simulate your ingot casting process
Ingot casting sites all over the world have discovered the power, accuracy and flexibility of THERCAST® to simulate their casting processes, allowing them to improve productivity and quality, reduce cost and prevent surprises. THERCAST® features specific to ingot casting include :
Prediction of air gaps
Air gaps occur as an ingot cools in the mold, and can present many problems. They can affect the dimensions and other attributes of the ingot, and they also insulate the cooling ingot from the mold, affecting hear transfer and potentially causing surface or internal defects. The powerful thermo-mechanical model employed by THERCAST® accurately predicts the occurrence of air gaps, so their effects can be minimized or avoided.
Ingot shrinkage is taken into account in the heat exchanges with the mold. As the liquid is drawn-in by the solid matter in the paste area, this shows up in a change of direction by the liquid's speed vectors which "turn" towards the solid:
Complete coupling:Liquide phase: High speeds - Low pressure, Solid phase: Small displacements - High stresses
Prediction of voids
Incorrect cooling can result in internal gaps or voids within the ingot. Voids are very problematic because they can't be seen or located, they can affect the strength of the ingot, and they can cause severe defects and even safety hazards in later operations like forging or machining. THERCAST® simulations show where and how voids can appear, so you can adjust your process in order to prevent them.
While filling the ingot, the interaction between the still liquid ingot core and the already solid surrounds is perfectly rendered:
Simulating ingot shrinking in the casting with the related deformation of the exothermic powder.
Predicting mold behavior
THERCAST® also allows studying the behavior of molds during casting. This allows access to the deformations and stresses suffered by the ingot molds during the process. Hence the plastic deformations, and any cracks in the molds are simulated. This optimizes the service life of the ingot molds.
Left: Allowing for distortion and stresses in the current mold
Center : After filling,
Right: The final shape of the ingot once it is completely solidified with an illustration of the deformation affecting the covering powder.
Predicting the internal structure of the cast product
Thanks to its specific module, THERCAST® also allows studying the internal ingot structure. It allows access to the size and shape of the grains after solidification. In the same way, calculating the segregation affecting the various components of the alloys will yield an accurate map of the respective concentrations of carbon, manganese, silicon and molybdenum, etc.
Left: Distribution of carbon segregations (Positive in red & Negative in blue)
Center: Grain structure in cross section within an ingot
Right: Grain structure in volume under driven solidification conditions
Simulation of exothermic powders
Special powders are used to coat the parts of an ingot not in contact with the mold, in order to prevent rapid or uncontrolled loss of heat, which can in turn cause defects. THERCAST® modules specifically model the behavior of these powders, allowing you to use them most effectively in your process.
Prediction of ingot shape
THERCAST® precisely predicts the dimensions and other attributes of ingots after they have completely cooled, avoiding surprises, and allowing you to compensate for shrinkage by adjusting your molds as needed.
Optimization of strip-out times
THERCAST® can predict the moment at which a cooling ingot has the structural integrity to be removed or stripped out from the mold. This allows the mold to be moved as soon as possible to the production of the next ingot, saving time and boosting production rates. Without this capability, most ingot casters leave the ingots in their molds much longer than necessary.