Published in Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. Vol. 46 (9), pp. 1575-1591, 1999
The paper presents an up‐to‐date finite element numerical model for fully coupled thermo‐mechanical problems, focussing in the simulation of solidification processes of industrial metal parts. The proposed constitutive model is defined by a thermo‐visco‐elasto‐(visco)plastic free energy function which includes a contribution for thermal multiphase changes. Mechanical and thermal properties are assumed to be temperature‐dependent, and viscous‐like strains are introduced to account for the variation of the elastic moduli during the cooling process. The continuous transition between the initial fluid‐like and the final solid‐like behaviour of the part is modelled by considering separate viscous and elasto‐plastic responses as a function of the solid fraction. Thermo‐mechanical contact conditions between the mould and the part are specifically considered, assuming that the heat flux is a function of the normal pressure and the thermal and mechanical gaps. A fractional step method arising from an operator split of the governing equations is used to solve the non‐linear coupled system of equations, leading to a staggered product formula solution algorithm suitable for large‐scale computations. Representative simulations of industrial solidification processes are shown, and comparison of computed results using the proposed model with available experimental data is given.
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