Cloud native EDA tools & pre-optimized hardware platforms
Nathanael Turner, Advanced Research Engineer, NDT, The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC)
“Simpleware software was intuitive to use and the in-built tools made it easy to process complex data sets and perform useful analysis, such as wall thickness calculations in the click of a button.”
The “hot box” used in this study is a test jig used to determine performance of a particular structure before a customized heat exchanger is created. The part has a lattice structure through which air passes, as well as cross-corrugated channels for liquid coolant, making it a complex design to create using conventional manufacturing. In addition, physical inspection of the interior of the “hot box” is impossible without cutting open the part.
The 3D image data of the part was imported to Simpleware ScanIP to carry out image processing and meshing. Automated segmentation tools in the software were used to determine surfaces, while a local surface correct filter was applied to counter beam hardening effects. To understand the difference between the “as-built” and the “as-designed” versions of the parts, the Simpleware Surface Deviation tool was used to compare the CAD surface and AM surface.
The mesh was imported to COMSOL Multiphysics® for simulation and comparison of thermal behavior, including coupled heat transfer and laminar flow. The temperature distribution the coolant flow through the channels is shown in Figure 3, with deviations in the “as-built” geometry most evident towards the base of the heat exchanger. Furthermore, the overall cooling from inlet to outlet regions is greater in the “as-built” geometry, and less uniform in the vertical axis. As a result, the study was able to identify that the “as-built” part created using AM performs worse than the original, “as-designed” part, the result of geometric differences.
This industrial use case is valuable for demonstrating the importance of using X-ray CT and image-based modelling to enhance understanding of what occurs between a CAD design and the actual manufactured part. Using this workflow, manufactures can close the design loop and potentially save on costly retesting by understanding how unexpected defects and inconsistencies affect real-world performance from this simulation data.