Morgan Advanced Materials, Certech, has pioneered a new flow modelling technique for the design of ceramic cores used in the manufacturing process of high performance parts for the aerospace, automotive and medical markets. The use of the software is a major breakthrough for the investment casting process and will significantly optimise injection moulding of ceramic cores and enable the design of parts with more complex geometries.
While flow simulation software is commonly used throughout the plastics manufacturing industry, to date it has not been used by the ceramics industry in this way.
Morgan Advanced Materials is the first ceramics company to offer the software simulation as part of its service. The company has been innovating and investing in the software for the past 12 months and is now working closely with its customers to enhance the design and manufacturing process of their products.
By using the software, Morgan Advanced Materials' specialists are able to accurately predict how the ceramic core cavity will fill. Any areas of stress and potential breakage are highlighted early in the manufacturing process. The design of the core can then be refined to ensure it is filled in a controlled and uniform way, which improves the quality of the finished ceramic core and consequently the metal casting.
The whole process is more efficient than traditional methods because simulation is carried out before any metal is cast, saving precious time and resource.
Through better understanding of the way ceramic flows during injection moulding, engineers can design higher performance parts with more complex geometries, for example, turbine blades for aircraft engines or industrial gas turbines used in power generation. Tolerances of up to +/-0.1mm can also be achieved.
"This breakthrough in investment casting will enable the design of parts that will exhibit increased performance and we're already pushing boundaries in the aerospace and automotive markets," says Dr Robert Oscroft, Technical Manager, Morgan Advanced Materials, Certech. "Our customers can now realise the benefits of flow modelling simulation for the first time and we can offer them full technical engineering solutions and expertise to improve their whole manufacturing process, from design right through to production."