November 2, 2023 10:00–15:30 CET

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COMSOL Day: Material Processing

See what is possible with multiphysics modeling

The development of innovative lightweight materials and new material processing techniques is key to reducing the carbon footprint of the manufacturing industry and effectively addressing its other environmental challenges. In the aerospace industry, composite materials are increasingly replacing metals in a wide range of applications. And in some cases, metal components are now being manufactured, or rapidly prototyped, using additive manufacturing methods instead of conventional machining processes. This development is also spreading to other industries, such as the automotive and energy industries.

As requirements for decarbonization and efficient use of energy rapidly change, modeling and simulation have become important tools in both manufacturing and the use of manufactured products.

COMSOL Multiphysics® is increasingly being used for the analysis of lightweight composite materials and their manufacturing processes. For instance, it can be used to analyze the impact of lightning on composite structures as well as the injection into and curing of epoxy in a carbon fiber structure. The software is also frequently used in the analysis of additive manufacturing processes, which requires heat transfer, material phase change, structural mechanics, and other phenomena to be accounted for in a single multiphysics model.

Join us for this COMSOL Day to learn more about how our software can be used both for modeling and simulation of material processes that involve heat generation and heat transfer, including metal processing, polymer processing, phase change, and curing, as well as in manufacturing processes such as additive manufacturing. Through examples and keynote talks from our customers, you will also learn how COMSOL Multiphysics® has been used for research and development in the manufacturing industry.


Modeling Material Processing with COMSOL Multiphysics®

COMSOL Multiphysics® is widely used to understand, design, and optimize material transformations and operating conditions in material processing.

The software's multiphysics modeling and simulation capabilities can be used to account not just for critical phenomena related to thermal processes (such as temperature levels, homogeneity, and history) but also for structural effects and electromagnetic fields, enabling users to accurately predict the composition and properties of a product. This insight allows for optimal selection of raw materials and operating conditions in order to produce high-quality and high-performance materials.

This session gives an overview of the specialized modeling and simulation functionality that COMSOL offers to support innovation and reliability in material processing.

Keynote Talk
How Numerical Simulation Can Be Used to Improve the Densification of Materials by SPS

Thibaut Viné, Norimat

Spark plasma sintering (SPS) is an energy-efficient technique that involves Joule heating and uniaxial pressure to densify a wide range of materials, including ceramics, metals, and composites. The key to this technique is the ability to determine and control process variables, such as electric current, temperature, pressure, and time, to produce materials with the desired microstructure.

In this keynote talk, Thibaut Viné of Norimat will present a thermoelectric–mechanical model that describes some of the typical phenomena occurring during SPS. The model is implemented using COMSOL Multiphysics®. It can simulate the evolution of temperature and current density at any point of the process and evaluate the mechanical stress within the SPS tooling. The model has been successfully tested with different machine configurations and on various materials, such as stainless steel, alumina, zirconia, titanium aluminide, and ultra-high-temperature ceramics (UHTCs).

A built-in COMSOL application intended for use by SPS machine manufacturers and material engineers has also been implemented. The application is easily configurable and has a user-friendly interface. It makes it possible to reproduce the thermoelectric behavior of the user's machine and to optimize process parameters for a large number of materials to be sintered.

To conclude the talk, Viné will present a real user case that illustrates how the model can be used to design temperature cycles and tooling dimensions to improve the homogeneity of the temperature of the samples and to limit the undesirable mechanical stresses in the tooling. The spark plasma sintering technique represents a major breakthrough in the field of material science and engineering; you are invited to join this session to explore its many possibilities.

Metal Processing

Metal processing is essential to the fabrication of the metallic products we rely on every day. When subjected to thermomechanical treatments involving heating and cooling, metals undergo phase transformations that will strongly affect their resulting mechanical and thermal properties. These phase transformations can be deliberate (such as steel quenching and carburization) or unintended (in welding, for example). In both cases, modeling and simulation can help predict the metallurgical phase composition of a component to improve its performance.

COMSOL Multiphysics® includes functionality and dedicated features to analyze phase transformations in metals while accounting for the effects of latent heat, thermal radiation, transformation-induced plasticity, and thermal and residual strains. The effective thermal and mechanical properties can be computed based on the phase composition. This makes it possible to optimize the material performance by tuning the thermal loading based on a detailed physical description of the process. Protective and decorative plating can also be simulated based on electrochemistry — a unique multiphysics approach in the field of metal treatment.

In this session, we will demonstrate how to create models to study phase transformations and related phenomena in metals such as steel and cast iron. We will also provide an overview of the software’s capabilities for multiphysics modeling, such as thermal stresses, thermal radiation, and induction heating.

Polymer Processing

In the field of polymer processing, COMSOL Multiphysics® is used to study processes such as extrusion, injection molding, resin transfer molding, and slot-die coating. Users leverage the software's modeling and simulation capabilities to optimize both their processes and the resulting parts, virtually testing the design of the processing equipment, operating conditions, and polymer properties.

COMSOL Multiphysics®, along with its add-on products, offers a broad range of modeling features for studying polymer flows and mixtures. These capabilities provide deeper insights into the thermal, rheological, and chemical facets of polymer processing.

In this session, we will demonstrate how to build simulation models using COMSOL Multiphysics® and highlight modeling features with examples relevant to polymer processing. Additionally, we will give an overview of the software’s multiphysics modeling capabilities, focusing on couplings related to fluid flow.

Break for Lunch
Introduction to COMSOL Multiphysics®

In this session, you will learn the fundamental workflow of the Model Builder in COMSOL Multiphysics®. We will go through all of the steps for setting up a multiphysics model, including the definitions, geometry, materials, physics, mesh, study, and results. You will learn how to set up a multiphysics model that accounts for electric currents, heat transfer, and structural analysis as well as the multiphysics phenomena of Joule heating and thermal expansion.

Keynote Talk
Multiphysics Modeling of Additive Manufacturing, Welding, and Cutting Processes

Stephen Cadiou, IRDL, Université de Bretagne Sud

In this keynote talk, Stephen Cadiou will cover the physics that need to be accounted for when modeling processes involving molten metal, such as welding, cutting, and additive manufacturing. After providing a quick overview of the equations needed for such modeling cases, he will focus on the development of three models:

  • A predictive model for the wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) process

    • In this example, Cadiou will share how the results from a molten pool-scale model can be used to determine distortions and residual stresses at the component scale.
  • A model simulating laser overlap welding to address weldability issues

  • A model of laser cutting within the scope of nuclear facility decommissioning

    • This type of laser cutting focuses on the laser energy that does not interact with the material being cut, known as "residual laser energy".
Forming and Manufacturing Processes

Material forming and manufacturing processes must comply with stringent requirements to meet the quality standards of the industry. The path toward high performance and efficient mechanical components comes with many challenges, such as meeting tighter-than-ever manufacturing tolerances and controlling the residual stress level in the material. By enabling quick virtual testing and allowing engineers to better understand their processes, modeling and simulation have become important assets in the field of material manufacturing.

COMSOL Multiphysics® and its add-on products provide a broad range of functionality to model the forming and manufacturing of materials, such as advanced nonlinear material models and specialized features to investigate any residual stresses. The platform product comes with built-in multiphysics couplings enabling the simulation of processes involving structural mechanics, heat transfer, fluid flow phenomena, and more — all interacting in a single simulation.

In this session, we will demonstrate the COMSOL® software's capabilities for modeling processes such as die forming, extrusion, compaction, casting, and additive manufacturing. We will also provide an overview of the features available in the Structural Mechanics Module, Nonlinear Structural Materials Module, and Heat Transfer Module that are relevant to the study of material forming and manufacturing.

Heating & Cooling Processes

Thermal management is a crucial component of material processing. A well-controlled heating or cooling process may be required to ensure the quality of a resulting material, as well as to minimize the overall losses and energy consumption of the process. By enabling researchers and engineers to virtually test multiple configurations, numerical simulation can help engineers in the material processing industry to optimize existing and future processes in a cost-effective way and thus provide high-end, high-performance materials to the market.

COMSOL Multiphysics® and the Heat Transfer Module offer a wide range of features to model heat transfer that occurs through conduction, convection, and radiation. The software includes specialized functionality for studying surface-to-surface radiation as well as conjugate heat transfer involving laminar and turbulent flows in forced or natural convection configurations. Combined with the software's unique multiphysics modeling capabilities, which enable the study of a broad range of processes, this functionality makes COMSOL Multiphysics® and the Heat Transfer Module particularly useful in the material processing industry.

In this session, we will demonstrate how to build models and simulation applications using COMSOL Multiphysics® and illustrate some heat transfer modeling features with examples relevant to material processing and thermal management. We will also provide an overview of the software’s capabilities for multiphysics modeling, with a focus on couplings involving heat transfer phenomena.

Concluding Remarks

Register for COMSOL Day: Material Processing

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COMSOL Day Details

Local Start Time:
November 2, 2023 | 10:00 CET (UTC+01:00)
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Invited Speakers

Thibaut Viné Norimat

Thibaut Viné received his Dipl.-Ing. degree in mechanical engineering from the Arts et Métiers Institute of Technology in 2016 and his PhD in energy and process engineering from the Paris-Saclay University in 2020. From 2021 to 2023, he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Fractionation of AgroResources and Environment research unit of INRAE, Reims, France. He is currently a modeling and simulation engineer at Norimat, working on the development of digital solutions to understand, predict, and optimize spark plasma sintering (SPS).

Stephen Cadiou IRDL, Université de Bretagne Sud

Stephen Cadiou is an associate professor at IRDL, Université de Bretagne Sud. He works on the multiphysics modeling of welding and metal additive manufacturing processes.