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KyleL March 1, 2010 18:49

OpenFoam for mold flow analysis
Hello all,
I am a complete newbie when it comes to cfd software.I am trying to figure out if OpenFoam can be used as a tool for doing a mold flow analysis on an injection molded 3D part made out of plastic. I have read both the programmers guide and users guide to OpenFoam but as a newbie I am completely lost. Any help at all in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

johannes March 2, 2010 07:55

Hi Kyle,

you picked out a challenging but very interesting task for cfd modeling. To make it short: at the moment, there's no out-of-the-box solution on this topic.

But it seems that nearly everything you need to create a solver for thermoplastic injection molding cases is already there. I would recommend you to do forum search on "injection molding" and you'll get a glance on what what has already already done in the past.

Most efforts started with one of the existing multiphase solvers and added heat transfer and non-newtonian viscosity models. But as you probably know, there are many more aspects to consider, so I'll mention just a few of them:

- viscoelastic fluid properties, e.g. viscous heating (see viscoelasticFluidFoam by Jovani L. Favero)
- multi-region heat transfer (see chtMultiRegionFoam)
- fiber transport and orientation (see fiberFoam by Kerstin Heinen)
- ...

So that's an uncomplete list of features to be combined to an injection molding solver just for the filling process. All of the following process steps (cooling, demolding, etc..) would require a second or maybe even a third solver which takes care of nonuniform heat transfer, thermal stresses and warpage depending on the previously used molding conditions.

As you may have expected, there's still a lot of work to do and I'm not sure if there are current developments going on on this topic. But that should not at all prevent you from starting something new. I'm sure there are several OpenFOAM users still beeing highly interested on injection molding applications and will gladly support your efforts.

Best regards,

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