Altair Inspire Cast Components: Chiller

Article by Shaun Bentley on Jul 23, 2020

Altair Inspire Cast features many component types that you can include in your casting simulation. One component that can be used to control the solidification of your model is the chiller.

Altair Inspire Cast Components

Altair Inspire Cast Chiller

 

What is a Chiller?

A chiller, chill, or chill block is a piece of material (usually a metal block at room temperature) that sits in the mold before casting is poured. The name “chiller” comes from the function of this material which is to help cool or “chill” the molten metal that contacts it. This gives foundries more control over the cooling and solidification process.

Figure 1 shows a simple schematic of how a casting may cool without a chiller.

Altair Inspire Cast No Chiller Schematic

Figure 1 – No chiller; as the casting cools, molten regions may split off from one another.

The regions in red show the molten metal which, as the casting cools, may split into two separate cooling regions leading to multiple porous zones in the casting.

Figure 2 shows the same casting with chillers added.

Altair Inspire Cast with Chiller Schematic

Figure 2 – With chiller (in blue); the molten material solidification pattern is pushed by the “cooling pressure” from the chillers.

The chillers exert a kind of “cooling pressure” onto the casting to eliminate one of the porous zones and the other porous zone might be aided with a riser.  With this additional control on the cooling process, we have more flexibility to achieve a good casting.

 

Inspire Cast Chiller

To add chillers to your Inspire Cast simulations, simply select roughly where you want to place them (Figure 3).  You can hold down the Alt key to override any undesirable snapping.

Altair Inspire Cast Add Chiller

Figure 3 – Add chillers to your castings.

You can then drag the position and set the material, initial temperature, and size in the dialog.

Altair Inspire Cast Chiller Settings

Figure 4 – Chiller settings; material, position, temperature, and size are set here.

The chiller body will overlap your existing casting (Figure 5) which Inspire Cast’s smart boolean features will automatically prioritize the casting body to resolve the overlap.

Overlap Between Chiller and Casting Bodies

Figure 5 – Overlap between chiller and casting bodies.

And now you are ready to run your casting simulation.

 

Inspire Cast Results

First, we ran the casting simulation without chillers for comparison.  A results animation showing the solidification region is shown in Figure 6.

Inspire Cast no chill animation

No chill porosity regions Altair Inspire Cast

Figure 6 – No Chiller solidification animation (above) and porosity regions (below).

These three separate solidification zones may each need risers to help reduce porosity levels.  Compare this to the results of using chillers on both edges of the part in Figure 7.

With Chill animation Altair Inspire Cast

Chiller Solidification Animation Altair Inspire Cast

Figure 7– Chiller solidification animation (above) and porosity region (below).

With the added chillers, we now have a single solidification zone which is much easier to manage.

Summary

With Altair Inspire Cast, you can test out chiller sizes and locations on your metal castings virtually with only a few clicks of the mouse. The ability to visualize the results on-screen can help lead to overall better design decisions when confronted with creating a new casting.

Related Content

Behind the Scenes: Altair Inspire Cast Meshing with SimLab

Altair Inspire Cast: Detecting Porosity Problems

Altair Inspire Cast: Choose an Element Size

About Shaun Bentley

Shaun Bentley is passionate about Applied Mathematics and Engineering which led him to pursue and understand real world applications of FEA, CFD, Kinematics, Dynamics, 3D and 2D modeling. He teaches simulation classes to both new and advanced users attending training at GoEngineer. Since 2006, Shaun has been working with simulation tools to solve real world engineering problems. With every new project, he seeks to find ways to push Simulation to its uppermost limits.

View all posts by Shaun Bentley

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