Process simulation is to be understood as a virtual sequence of the process that aims to determine geometrical, metallurgical and technological process results. The simulations allow faster and more precise handling of a great variety of testing scenarios. However, in applications such as welding , the very complex process makes it very difficult to find solutions.
As OCAS and its customers are keen to predict and overcome the occurrence of possible issues − such as residual stresses leading to distortion, or the metallurgy of the heat-affected zone influencing the hardness − OCAS decided to team up with the welding and joining institute of RWTH Aachen University (ISF).
In this partnership, OCAS is seeking to further develop ISF’s SimWeld® software model. SimWeld® enables the reliable simulation of the welding process for many geometries and materials with variable parameters. SimWeld® specifies the welding process via three sub-models which are constantly interacting: the model of the arc; the model of the heat transfer inside the material; and the model of the 3D-surface of the molten pool.
Together, OCAS and ISF succeeded in developing a tool that accurately predicts the weld bead shape and the actual welding heat input. This allows OCAS to respond to welding requests more efficiently and quickly. Before, a large number of experimental tests was needed to adequately respond to the requests of our customers. From now on, it will be possible to significantly reduce the number of experimental welding tests and still gather enough data to provide technical support for, for example, optimising welding parameters to minimise distortion due to local heat input.
”We believe modelling will considerably reduce the number of experimental welding tests needed.”