Die-casting is one of the key processes for the production of automotive components. This casting process offers a competitive manufacturing route for mass production, as a high productivity goes together with high precision components.
One of the key drawbacks of the process is the inherent high metal flow velocity resulting in an extremely turbulent filling behavior. This can lead to air entrapment or incompletely filled parts. Therefore, establishing a robust process design is crucial in order to establish an optimized process window. This ideally takes place simultaneously with the tool design during the planning phase.
Tecnopress S.p.A., Italy, has applied the methodology of virtual experimentation with MAGMASOFT® to enhance production processes of automotive components for many years. This allowed the company to reach required quality levels without affecting production costs. One automotive casting designed by the Italian engineers is a cover for a pneumatic valve in a braking system, mainly used in heavy duty machines. The component is not subject to heavy mechanical loads, but has to have perfect pressure tightness with high reliability. It is therefore subject to strict quality tests carried out in every production phase, from casting to final assembly.
A first analysis confirmed the design considerations of the Tecnopress engineers regarding velocity and temperature distribution during filling. The assessment also highlighted some concerns, especially regarding air entrapment in some areas of the casting (Figure 1).