SIMULATION: Molding Simulation Software Takes the ‘Pain’ Out of Meshing

Automatic adaptive meshing is a key feature of new software from France.

At the recent Fakuma 2015 show in Germany, Transvalor S.A. of France (U.S. office in Chicago) presented its new 5.0 release of Rem3D software for injection, compression, and PUR foaming process simulation. This is the first version of the software that is widely available—until now it has been offered only to a group of development partners, which include Dow, Arkema, Rhodia (now part of Solvay), and Schneider Electric. Rem3D has been developed over two decades by these partners, Transvalor, and a French research lab (Cemef).

Transvalor is known for its Forge and other software for simulating metal forming. Its new Rem3D 5.0 can simulate a wide range of injection molding processes, including water and gas assist, multi-material overmolding, co-injection, and thermosets, as well as injection-compression molding of thermoset SMC/BMC and injection foaming of PUR foams in a closed cavity (reportedly unique).

Rem3D is based on a native 3D design and is said to provide realistic prediction of flow, cooling, shrinkage, and other phenomena through the thickness of the part (not just an average of the full thickness), even when the part includes large thickness variations.

This software also promises reduced computation times on standard workstations, servers, or PC clusters, thanks to implementation of a high level of parallel computing, which can utilize 64 or more CPU cores).

One of the key distinctions claimed for this software is eliminating the “painful meshing step,” according to company spokesmen. Potentially time-consuming meshing of a 3D model is no longer a necessary step prior to calculating simulation results. Instead, this software automatically initiates meshing at the start of calculations. Only the model geometry and process parameters are required as inputs.

The software’s Automatic Anisotropic Adaptive Meshing technology concentrates mesh near interfaces, such as cavity walls or interfaces between gas or water assist fluids. Mesh elements are also automatically elongated in the direction of flow. In addition, this “adaptive” meshing technology dynamically refines the mesh during the simulated process based on material velocity. More accurate results are said to result.

Standard software modules simulate filling, packing, cooling, and warpage. Three additional optional modules simulate water/gas assist and co-injection, injection of fiber-reinforced materials, and PUR foams. The reinforced materials module, in particular, calculates both fiber orientation and concentration and how they vary through the thickness of the part. Fiber concentration is represented by spheres, and the elongation of those spheres into ellipses shows the direction and degree of orientation during flow (see photo).