Metal manufacturing

Ferrous and non-ferrous metal manufacturing constitutes the core activity of modern industry. Whether it is a steel mould for plastic manufacturing or a sand aluminium casting for further processing every manufacturing sector relies on metal fabrications at some point of their process. Simulation tools are available to replicate metal forming operations on the computer, so that you can see the result of applying heat and force to different kinds of metal without having to use expensive machinery to experiment with new ideas.

Metal manufacturing process simulation

A large variety of processes are grouped into the category of metal manufacturing, but all of them rely on the same principles: melting, bending, cutting or assembling metal elements. PRE Technologies possesses a strong background in metal manufacturing, helping both designers of metallic products and structures and also supporting metal manufacturers in their processes.

Metal stamping FEA

For a metal part or structure designer it is critical to understand the mechanical performance in terms of stress, fatigue and vibrational performance as early as possible in the development stage. For a manufacturer, imperfections if the finished parts due to faults during the process may cost lots of money and time, as well as reputation. Simulation technologies play a very relevant role for both designers and manufacturers helping them get a valuable insight to optimise both product designs and manufacturing processes.

Metal cutting techniques, such as sawing, milling, punching, shearing, torching, laser or water jet use very high energy sources to remove material. This energy source varies from electromagnetic or thermal energy to kinetic, hydraulic or mechanical energy. No matter the energy source, mathematical modelling is a great tool to investigate the root causes of the quality problems in your processes. Thermal expansion, tolerance analysis, residual stress and vibrations during the process can be modelled in order to remove the cause of the technical issue.

Automotive equipment simulation

Other manufacturing techniques rely on hot and cold solid metal deformation, such as stamping, bending, hydroforming, drawing or extrusion. In all of these processes a plastic permanent deformation takes place and with it strong residual stresses and potential surface and internal cracking. These effects could lead to fatigue and corrosion issues and can be prevented by correctly designing temperature, friction, flow or speed in the process.

Metal melting technologies have a completely different set of characteristics. Casting, brazing, soldering or welding are examples involving liquid metal. In these processes density, viscosity, capillarity and shrinkage and warpage are the main concerns. Simulation has a long tradition in predicting all these effects and the use of CFD technologies is broadly extended in industry.

Finally for metal assembling techniques such as riveting, bolting, welding, brazing or using adhesives, finite element analysis (FEA) can be of great use as well. Contacts, friction, stress, mechanisms and structures vibration and fatigue are examples of typical studies in this field. A proper evaluation of these factors early in the design stage can save the designer lots of trouble along the development process.

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