Simulate Welding with Simufact.welding

Simulation Tool for a Practitioner

Simufact.welding offers the possibility to calculate welding stresses, distortions, and the evolution of material properties from a graphical user interface. This means:

  • Identify possible problems beforehand
    • Identify distortions that might be critical for assembly or may cause imbalances
    • Ensure tolerances are met
  • Optimize process knowledge, including:
    • The ability to create a basis for  construction design, development of welding processes, and manufacturing, which together lead to an optimized final product
    • The convenience of a tool which supports you during planning of welding processes
    • The ability to gather experience and results from real and virtual try-outs and preserve your knowledge and competences independent from your staff
    • Make use of powerful tools for development and training

Simufact.welding Version 5 - available now

Simufact.welding 5

The new version of Simufact.welding is more closely towards the real welding processes and comes with a new application module Resistance Spot Welding.

What´s new

  • Methodical optimization of processes, such as:
    • Plan the position of welding seams while the design phase is underway, which will lead to the minimization of distortions based on construction design. Thus, you can also minimize the influence of a welding operator as well as welding equipment on distortions
    • Investigate and optimize clamping tools even before an investment in tools has been made
    • Identify optimal welding parameters and point sequences
    • Predict impact of shunting effects on the process as well as influence of unclamping sequences on distortions and residual stresses
    • Use a tool which supports you during planning of welding processes
    • Use virtual try-outs for situations which would be very expensive in reality
    • Investigate the behavior of new materials during welding
  • Verification of quality of welding seams, including:
    • Use a tool which helps you to be sure about the quality of your welding process, i.e. due to calculation of nugget size, brittle material proportion, hardness and influence of preheating
    • Gain knowledge about the development of the heat affected zone
    • Draw conclusions about several properties of a welding seam (i.e. residual stresses that affect fatigue strength and bulging), convert your results to an open format (Universal File Format), and use them for further calculations in other FE simulations
  • Investigate manufacturing process chains

 

Economic benefits by faster design of an optimal welding process

The faster design of an optimal welding process provides considerable economic benefits, such as:

  1. Higher efficiency of the development process due to a reduced number of expensive failed attempts
  2. Decreased expenses of prototype manufacturing
  3. Reduction of machining and straightening costs
  4. Reduction of development time, which leads to shorter time-to-market
  5. Decreased material and energy consumption for experimental investigations
  6. Reduction of manpower needed for experiments
  7. Efficient feasibility studies lead to more competitive bids

Aspects of Welding Simulation

Aspects of welding simulation (Radaj, 2002)
Aspects of welding simulations (Radaj, 2002)

Welding simulation in Simufact.welding uses the finite element method. This approach is especially suitable for calculation of elastic-plastic material behavior with hardening, thus being well suited for structural welding simulation. Complex processes during welding – induced by an arc or by evaporating metal inside a keyhole - are not taken into account. This means that process stability and weld seam geometry are not results of a simulation but input parameters.

Structural welding simulation calculates effects of heat input of the welding process from a mathematical description of heat flux during welding, namely, a description of the melt pool isothermal line by an equivalent heat source.  Complex process details such as the kind of the laser used or powder in a submerged welding process are unnecessary.

Many of the over 150 existing welding processes can be investigated by Simufact.welding, especially resistance spot welding, which is a process widely used in automotive and sheet metal working. It is possible to simulate structural welding as well as the welding process.

Typical Applications of a Welding Simulation

The main goal of calculations made by Simufact.welding is to predict welding distortions. Due to implementation of material models, we are also able to calculate phase proportions, material conditions, and resulting local material properties, as well as further effects like transformation-induced plasticity and transformation strains.

Welding distortions often are not completely avoidable. Nevertheless, they represent a challenge only if requirements of the welded structure are not fulfilled. Read below to learn more about typical fields of application in which Simufact.welding is used to control and minimize welding distortions.

App: Pain Points welding in different industries
Pain Points welding in different industries

How can Simufact.welding provide support during the design of a welding process?

The understanding of a process as well as reduction of development cycles by:

  • Visualization of process influencing values, especially temperature distribution, residual stresses, and deformations
  • Virtual try-out of clamping, welding sequences, intervals, unclamping times, effects of preheating, as well as variation of materials

Welding sequences and intervals are crucial if temperatures between layers are important. For mass production, short cooling times before unclamping are desirable in order to increase the output. Usually, the influence on welding distortions is a question of seconds.

When compared to experimental investigations, a further advantage is the ability to study different processing configurations before money is invested in welding equipment.

Simulation videos Simufact.welding

Wheel rim, welded from the inside, temperature field

 

Wheel rim, welded from the inside, distortions

 

Welding of a bearer structure, temperature field

 

Von Mises equivalent stress

 

Maximal temperatures of a resistance spot welded connection between B-pillar and the roof frame

 

Process chain Simufact.welding – Simufact.forming

Definition of result files as single SPR-files assigned to each component or exportable files in standard Universal File Format allows stepwise calculations that are based on previous results. This approach makes it possible to calculate welded assemblies, or to carry out process chain simulations. Therefore it is possible to integrate welding with pre- and post-processing in a common numerical framework. The easy transfer of data allows consideration of the material history with respect to a previous forming process, as well as the fatigue response of a calculated weldment.

Produktlogo Simufact.welding
Produkt Logo Simufact.forming

Functional Highlights

Modeling, simulation, and evaluation from a user interface

Modeling, simulation, and evaluation of results are done from within a single user interface.

 

Modeling Highlights:

  • Automatic definition of torch and laser incidence angles relative to components in a global or local coordinate system (without manual definition of reference lines)
  • Preview of heat sources and weld paths including orientation
  • Automatic mesh refinement and coarsening (no need to use user subroutines)
  • Non-congruent meshes for components and fillets are allowed
  • Automatic detection of contacts and consideration of friction
  • Clamps can be defined using their real geometry
  • Automatic consideration of heat losses due to radiation and convection (no manual definition of surface meshes)
  • Pre-State functionality provides the possibility of importing previous results (from Simufact.forming or Simufact.welding) from the GUI. This allows for calculations of assemblies and process chains.
  • The definition of “Local Joints” allows a direct connection of two components with each other (this provides the possibility of modeling of influences of spot welding, mechanical joining, or tack welds on stiffness of the assembly)
  • The fillet generator creates elements of a hollow weld
  • Automatic projection of weld path on the surface of weld seam
  • Manual calculation of heat fluxes is unnecessary to ensure a constant energy input over time
  • User-defined unit systems with automatic conversion reduce mistakes due to wrong input and output evaluation
  • Process sequences including cooling and unclamping can be presented as an Gantt-diagram
  • Each clamping tool as well as bearing can be removed after a predefined time
  • Simplified adaptation of database-based material data to real material properties results in high precision when it comes to the prediction of residual stresses and thereby to evaluation of distortions and effects of recovery.

 

Calculation Highlights:

  • Definition of contacts considers the residual stress situation of press-fitted components  in the initial state
  • Calculation of gap development if clampings are not sufficient
  • Activation of fillet elements by a moving heat source
  • Flow curves can be defined with respect to temperature and peak temperature. This allows the consideration of effects of precipitation and dilution
  • Hardness and tensile strength can be evaluated as a function of t8/5 times

 

Evaluation of Results:

  • Definition of local coordinate systems including cylindrical
  • Visualization of melt pool as a cross-section
  • Export of multi-stage videos (avi-format) based on increment number or process time
  • Definition of custom results variables using mathematical operators
  • Results management allows a direct visualization of calculated increments (single result files for each component and increment)
  • Export of results into the Universal File Format (unv-format) which is supported by current finite element software.
  • Smooth visualization of large models including results with one to two terabytes of data

Product portfolio Simufact.welding

Simufact.welding Product portfolio
Simufact.welding Product portfolio

Modular Structure

Simufact.welding is a modular software. This modular concept of Simufact products helps you choose functionality relevant to your needs. The approach is cost-efficient and provides the flexibility to adapt to changing requirements.

The product line provides process-specific functions for important application fields of welding simulation. Application modules allow simulation of single processing steps, but also allow a combination of such steps to simulate process chains.

Additional modules extend important functionality even further.

 

References Simufact.welding

A large number of customers, including leading manufacturers, have confidence in the simulation technology of Simufact. Users of Simufact.welding for structural welding simulation are, among others:

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