Simufact Welding Application Modules

Simufact Welding offers process specific modules in order to provide the best possible user support during model setup.

The Simufact Welding Hub provides essential core functionality needed for thermal joining as well as basic functionality needed for all other application modules. It includes a material database and editing utility Simufact Material.

The Welding Hub includes functionality for modeling and simulation of Thermal Joining processes represented by the application modules Arc welding, Laser welding, Electron Beam welding, and Brazing). These modules are completed by a Stress Relief Heat Treatment module and a Cooling and Clamping capability, which allows to vary clamping and cooling conditions previous to or after a welding process.

The Resistance spot welding module allows modeling and simulation of a resistance spot welding process.

 

Thermal joining modules

Thermal joining modules

Simufact Welding comes with 4 thermal joining modules:

  • Arc welding module
  • Laser Beam welding module
  • Electron Beam welding module
  • Brazing module

All thermal joining modules are an integrated part of the Welding Hub.

In general, a thermal joining simulation contains:

  • Geometry of the assembly represented by a volume mesh
  • Material data of components
  • Geometry of tools (clamps, tables, fixtures)
  • At least one welding robot, containing information about
    • weld lines (position of heat sources over time including movement direction and velocity)
    • welding parameters (mathematical representation of welding heat sources including optional information about real process settings)
    • If needed, fillet geometries and material
  • Description of thermal initial and boundary conditions including
    • Information about initial temperature and temperature of surroundings
    • Convective, radiative and contact heat transfer
  • Information about clamping tools
    • Applied forces
    • Stiffness of tools
    • If needed, movement direction and velocity
  • Information about tables (bearings) and fixtures
  • Time schedule of the process
    • Pauses between single weldments
    • Deactivation times of tools
    • Cooling period

 

Arc (conventional) welding module

The Arc Welding module provides the possibility to model and simulate common arc welding processes. The default selected heat source is a Goldak double ellipsoid.

As an option it is possible to define geometry and material properties of fillet material. In many cases the geometry of fillets can be defined using internal fillet generator. The material of fillets is modeled in the way that previous to heating they do not have any significant stiffness, so they follow the base material if the material experiences bending and distortions. After heating fillets get usual material properties, getting stiffer during cooling.

The connection between components is established by means of glue contact, being activated after the melting temperature has been achieved locally.

 

App. Simulation of a suspension arm
Simulation of a suspension arm

Laser Beam / Electron Beam welding modules

Simufact Welding's Laser Beam and Electron Beam welding modules are closely connected. Both have a usual beam heat source model applied as default, either a volumetric conical model or a circular surface model. Those to models can be combined in one heat source.

Similar to arc welding module it is possible to define geometry and material properties of fillet material in a laser beam welding process. In many cases the geometry of fillets can be defined using internal fillet generator. The material of fillets is modeled in the way that previous to heating they do not have any significant stiffness, so they follow the base material if the material experiences bending and distortions. After heating fillets get usual material properties, getting stiffer during cooling.

Electron beam welding differs in the way that no fillet definition is possible. The other feature is the definition of vacuum chamber opening time, changing convective heat transfer from zero during welding to some appropriate value during cooling.

App: Laser welding of a car body side frame
Laser welding of a car body side frame

 

 

Brazing module

The main difference between brazing and welding simulation lies in the fact that the brazing module allows limitation of heat input to soldering material only. Furthermore, it is the only simulation module requiring fillets present in each weld line. Brazing simulations can be defined using both conventional and beam heat sources, or a combination of them.

App. Brazing with Simufact Welding
Brazing with Simufact Welding

Residual stress field during the simulation of the laser-plasma bead-on-plate brazing process: before (left) and after (center) unclamping as well as after cutting (right, cutting edge in front of the figure).

Combined Laser-Arc-Welding

The heat sources in arc and beam welding modules are preset to appropriate definition, however it is of course possible to define conventional heat sources in a beam welding simulation and vice versa. Using this option, it is possible to define hybrid processes that use both, a conventional arc and a beam welding heat source.

 

Stress Relief Heat Treatment module

Stress Relief Heat Treatment module

Product portfolio Simufact Welding -Stress Relief

The Stress Relief Heat Treatment module allows a definition of time-temperature curves for heating, holding and cooling phases with individual convective heat transfer to environment definition - applied to already welded components using prestate functionality.

Stress relief is modeled taking into account two mechanisms:

  •  Stress relaxation due to decreased yield stress of material during heating
  • Time-dependent creep properties of the material
App: Example of stress-strain curves defined with respect to peak temperature
Example of stress-strain curves defined with respect to peak temperature

Resistance Spot Welding Module

Resistance Spot Welding module

Product portfolio Simufact Welding - Resistance Spot Welding

Other than during transient welding processes where heat input takes place along a weld line, the heat input in resistance spot welding (RSW) occurs between weld guns that clinch two components together and heat them up in the contact area. The reason for heat generation lies in the current flowing between weld guns producing heat because of Joule’s heating.

For modelling RSW, Simufact Welding provides the following capabilities:

  1. Definition of reference points and orientations with respect to global coordinate system as well as definition of pause times
  2. Optional automatic definition of electrode orientation
  3. Electrical-thermal-metallurgical-mechanical coupled simulation
  4. Bay-Wanheim-equation for calculation of contact resistivity
  5. Heat transfer between components and electrodes are calculated with respect to pressure
  6. Definition of weld gun kinematics in a local coordinate system with automatic recalculation in global coordinate system
  7. Adaptive remeshing (refinement and coarsening) between electrodes
  8. Implementation of an electrode database
  9. Definition of weld gun forces and currents with respect to time
  10. Automatic creation of six load cases during the calculation

Coupling in the RSW model

Coupling in the RSW model
Coupling in the RSW model

The electrode database contains a number of standard electrode geometries, user defined geometries can be used as well. The weld gun kinematic can be modeled according to C-gun and X-gun kinematic.

The standard approach in a RSW model contains fully coupled electrical, thermal, metallurgical and mechanical steps, so the heat generation is calculated due to Joule’s heating coming from electrical current and resistivity between components.

Material data includes electrical properties of materials in question. Furthermore, the contact conductivity between electrodes and components has to be defined, as a constant value, as temperature-dependent table or due to automatic calculation.

The image shows a resistance spot welding process with clamping tools.
The image shows a resistance spot welding process with clamping tools.
The image shows a resistance spot welding process: A wheel house is joined by five spot welds.
The image shows a resistance spot welding process: A wheel house is joined by five spot welds.

These videos show the stress distribution / distortion of the von-Mises effective stress during the resistance spot welding process of a wheel well. 

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