Published in Journal de Physique IV, Vol. 3 (C7), pp. 1171-1180, 1993
This paper summarizes the recent work of the authors in the numerical simulation of casting processes. In particular, a coupled thermomechanical model to simulate the solidification problem in casting has been developed [7,8,9]. The model, based on a general isotropic thermoelasto-plasticity theory and formulated in a macroscopical point of view, includes generalized phase-change effects and considers the different thermomechanical behaviour of the solidifying material during its evolution from liquid to solid. For this purpose, a phase-change variable, plastic evolution equations and a temperature-dependent material constitutive law have been defined. Some relevant aspects of this model are presented here. Full thermomechanical coupling terms have been considered as well as variable thermal and mechanical boundary conditions : the first are due to air gap formation, while the second involve a contact formulation. Particular details concerning the numerical implementation of this model are also mentioned. An enhanced staggered scheme, used to solve the highly non-linear fully coupled finite element equations, is proposed. Furthermore, a proper convergence criterion to stop the iteration process is adopted and, although the quadratic convergence of Newton-Rapshon's method is not achieved, several numerical experiments demonstrate reasonable convergence rates . Finally, an experimental cylindrical casting test problem, including phase-change phenomena, temperature-dependent constitutive properties and contact effects, is analyzed. Numerical results are compared with some laboratory measurements.