UNIT 3: Setting Up a Fluid Flow Simulation Run


The first step in running a fluid flow simulation using FLOWCast is to load a casting model in SOLIDCast. An example casting is shown here:



The first thing to note about the model is that you must have at least one piece of Fill Material present in the model. Fill Material tells the system where the hot metal will enter the model as the simulation proceeds. This model has a piece of Fill Material attached to the top of the pouring cup. Notice that there is a filter in the gating system, below the sprue.


The next step is to go to Model…Materials List…Other and enter a Pour Time, as shown here:



The Pour Time is used by the system to determine the initial filling velocity for the metal.


The third step is to click on Model…Mesh and create a suitable meshed model. The screen below shows a typical setup. This mesh will contain approximately 5,000,000 nodes. The mold shape will be rectangular, with a minimum of 1 inch of Silica Sand mold material around the casting, with the top of the pouring cup open to the atmosphere.



The final step is to start the fluid flow simulation itself, which can be done in one of two ways, depending on if you want a fluid flow simulation only, or want the results of the fluid flow simulation to be piped into a SOLIDCast solidification simulation. Both options are on the Mesh menu, as shown here:



If only a fluid flow simulation is required, click on Start FLOWCast. This will minimize the SOLIDCast window and load the FLOWCast program and data. From there you can start the simulation.





If you would like the results of the FLOWCast filling simulation to be the basis of a SOLIDCast solidification analysis, then click on Start Simulation… You will see a window similar to this:



With FLOWCast installed, you actually have a choice of 3 mold filling algorithms:


SOLIDCast – Simple, fast, order-of-fill algorithm supplied with SOLIDCast that gives temperature data.

FLOWCast Quick – Relatively fast, cascade method, which gives temperature and velocity data. Note that this method is NOT recommended. For fastest filling, use the SOLIDCast algorithm.

FLOWCast Full – Full CFD. Provides temperature, velocity and pressure data. Longest calculation time. This method is recommended for most simulations, as it provides the most accurate results.


If you select either of the FLOWCast algorithms and click on OK, the SOLIDCast window will be minimized and the FLOWCast program and data will be loaded and automatically start. Once the filling simulation is complete, the data will automatically be loaded back into SOLIDCast and the solidification simulation will run.