Technically, the roots of SIGMASOFT® Virtual Molding go back to a MAGMA R&D project in the mid-1990s, which was focused on a new coupled heat flow / fluid flow solver for non-Newtonian flow of semi-solid aluminum. Today, after 20 years of ongoing development, the SIGMASOFT® Thixo module allows the prediction of all relevant phenomena occurring at mold filling and solidification of semi-solid processed Aluminum and Magnesium. The covered processes are Rheocasting, Thixocasting, Thixomolding®, Metal Injection Molding etc…
SIGMASOFT® Virtual Molding Thixo includes the following features:
Typically, all semi-solid metal casting processes have critical small process windows. Mold concept and layout of the casting process have to be developed much more accurately than in “normal” metal casting – and preferably hand-in-hand with the part design. Using a comprehensive process Virtual Molding technology covering all aspects of the semi-solid casting process like SIGMASOFT® Thixo is the only access to the answers of success critical questions as:
- What are the right casting temperature, fraction solid and flow velocity?
- What are the suitable mold tempering approaches?
- How do melt viscosities, flow velocities, local fraction solids and local temperatures of the melt develop during filling?
- How do the local temperatures of the entire mold develop during one cycle – at the beginning of the production cycle and in steady state?
- What is the shortest possible cycle time?
- Which are the most critical process parameters influencing part quality, process stability and efficiency?
- Where is the best position for temperature sensors to control mold tempering?
SIGMASOFT® Thixo combines the metallurgical competence of MAGMASOFT® with the non-Newtonian flow competence of SIGMASOFT® Virtual Molding in a comprehensive way. It is an easy-to-use tool that answers those questions by reproducing exactly the same working conditions as in the casting machine and runs several cycles one after other. Electrical heating devices can be simulated exactly as in reality, with all the information about their material, power and control system. In this way, the thermal layout of the mold can be understood and optimized.
SIGMASOFT® Thixo uses an intuitive graphical interface to guide the user through the setup step-by-step. An intelligent meshing algorithm generates a 3D mesh for a complete mold in less than 5 minutes. No mesh stitching or triangle moving is necessary, not even for an entire system. The possibility to load in complete mold geometries allows SIGMASOFT® Thixo to truly look into the process.