Simulation, solidThinking

What You Can Do With Altair Inspire Cast

By Emmy Wolfe on December 20, 2018

Companies are always looking for new ways to increase their pace, getting their product to the market faster, without wasting precious resources all while keeping the high-quality customer expectations. With the help of Altair Inspire Cast, you and your company can make smarter, more informed decisions in the manufacturing process, saving you both time and money.

Altair Inspire Cast 

Altair Inspire Cast, formerly Click2Cast, is a simulation-driven design environment software offering complete casting simulation in five easy steps in a highly intuitive user experience. They focused on making casting simulation as easy as possible by using foundryman's language in the software. This means every word in the interface comes from the casting process world. 

The software is the fastest growing casting simulation in the market and enables users to increase product quality and design better products with a quick ramp-up and only a few hours of training. 

>> Learn more about all Altair products 

Gravity Casting 

Gravity Casting Process in Altair Inspire CastTo set up a gravity casting simulation, you'll start by opening up a CAD model, assign part material and the direction of gravity. In our example in the video playlist below we used a grade of cast iron and a line of gravity direction normal to the bottom service of the part. Next, you need to set gate location, size and shape- we put ours on the face of the part. After you have those setup, it's time to define the secondary mold components which are easy to do in Altair Inspire Cast. In our example, we created a core for the complex internal geometry of the part and define a mold. With the basic process setup, you can determine how to control the flow of material into the part. Once we have the initial velocity setup we can run the analysis. For the gravity casting simulation, you will want to run both a filling and solidification analysis with an element size of 2 mm.

Gravity Casting in Altair Inspire CastAfter the analysis is complete you will have two different results to examine, the filling and the solidification. First, take a look at the filling outcome. You can understand how your part will fill using the dynamic animations, clear visuals and accurate results provided by the software to check for defects and issues before physically pouring a casting. Then you can take a look and evaluate the solidification phase. During our tests, we discovered there was a minimal amount of internal porosity, but there was a substantial amount of pike shrinkage, or sink, on top of the part. This defect would be unacceptable in a physical cast. To fix the problem we had to go back to the initial setup tools and make a few modifications. We created a runner system for the material with the comprehensive geometry manipulation tool to more accurately represent what will pour in the real world. After that we redefined our gate location to the top of the new runner and added a few additional components such as a chiller and a riser. After we made all the changes we needed to, we ran the analysis again. With the new additions, we discovered the part filled just fine and the riser removed the pip shrinkage which solved the defect.

Investment Casting 

Investment_Casting2After you open a CAD model in the software, the first step to set up an investment casting is to assign your cast parts, part material properties and gravity direction. Select all the parts and then choose a material. In our example in the playlist below, we chose a grade of cast iron and a line or gravity direction parallel to the main stem. After that, you'll want to define a runner system and select a gate location. Also, define the main stem and branch gates as the runner system and place a pour location at the top of the system. To determine how to control the flow of the material into the part use the gravity process parameters setup tool. You can manage this with fill time and select the investment casting option and the material for your mold. Finally, you can run both the filling and solidification analysis with a default element size.

Investment_Casting4After the test is complete you can examine the results that are split between filling and solidification. In our simulation, we discovered turbulent flow from our gating system, which can cause cold shuts in our casting aka uneven cooling. To fix this defect you need to go back to the initial setup tools to change the gate location and shorten the branch runners. After making these changes, rerun the simulation. The modifications you made should have corrected the issue.

Tilt Pouring 

Tilt Pouring in Altiar Inspire CastTo perform a tilt pour casting simulation you'll start the same as the other tests by opening a CAD model, assigning part material properties and assigning gravity direction. In our example in the video playlist, we used a grade of aluminum and aligned our gravity direction parallel to the main runner, which will be the ending position of our tilt pour rotation. Then you need to set a gate location, size and shape and define your secondary mold components. Using the process parameter tools you can determine how to control the flow of material into the part. Now, select tilt pouring which can easily be manipulated through the table adjacent to it. This requires an axis and point of rotation. We used the y-axis and place the rotation point just below the y basin. Finally, its time to run the analysis, both the filling and solidification testing, with the default element size. Looking at the results you can discover if there are any defects or issues and can make any changes to minimize any problems.

High-Pressure Die Casting

High-Pressure Die Casting in Altair Inspire CastThere are only five steps to set up a model for high-pressure die casting. You'll start by defining the casting temperature and any predefined material from the library. Available materials can be used and viewed in different systems. Next, you need to define the direction of gravity plus the position and size of end gates for high pressure digesting. Altair Inspire Cast is Parasolid based, which means geometry can be imported from CAD systems and edited. For fundamental findings through the first run, we skip the end gate system, overflows and cooling. A simplified tool is created and material and temperature are assigned. The final step before starting the simulation is to define the gating speed.

High-Pressure Die Casting in Altair Inspire CastWhen running a high-pressure die cast you will receive many results including temperature, last air, filling time and mold degradation. Thanks to the visualization of material flow the position for overflows can be found. The solidification results enable you to locate porosities, overheated areas in the cavity and reviewing the hear transmission in the mold. To construct the mold or prepare production, the model has to be completed and be as detailed as possible. A representative geometry of the mold is edited and cooling lines are sketched. Before defining the last parameters, the medium and temperature of each cooling line are defined. The velocities of the first and second phase are entered, the location of where to switch can be defined manually. A high resolving result is available which enables a detailed examination of the casting quality.

Low-Pressure Die Casting

Low_Pressure_CastingTo set a low-pressure die cast simulation you'll start the same way as the high-pressure die cast simulation by assigning part material properties, creating a small stem and specifying the direction of gravity. Then you'll want to use the low-pressure process parameter tools to determine how to control the flow of material. Since you've created an entire stem on the run you'll need to define a distance the material travels and a pressure timetable. After that, you can run your analysis and then look at the results that are split between filling and solidification. This helps you understand how your part will react once it's cast.

Want to see all of this in action? Check out our video playlist to get a walk-through of all the steps above.