The improvement of material properties and simultaneous reduction of the production time are of a great interest in manufacturing of lightweight metal products. Here, the material properties of the final products are directly related to the development of the materials microstructure during the production line. The plastic deformation as well as the heat treatment cause significant changes of the materials microstructure. Consequently, the most important mechanical material properties, e.g. the strength or formability are directly affected.
In order to construct the cost- and time-efficient production processes and thereby to be able to manufacture the products with specific material properties, a deep going understanding of the production process is needed. Since the industrial investigations are costly, numerical simulations of the production process show a great potential for improving the understanding of underlying mechanisms and an efficient design of production processes.
The LKR Leichtmetallkompetenzzentrum Ranshofen GmbH has intensively worked during the last years on the prediction of the microstructure development in various manufacturing steps. In order to develop an approach a deep going understanding of the fundamental mechanisms at different length scale levels is required. The scientists at LKR master the corresponding modelling techniques and for the validation of simulation results they refer to the long-standing expertise of LKR on the material characterization and semi-industrial processing.
OUR RESEARCH FOCUS
Advanced simulation and model development for microstructure evolution in lightweight materials during thermo-mechanical processing across the length scale.
- Multi-scale modeling and simulation: from calculation of electronic structure up to the real size objects (testing samples, sheets, foils, profiles, ...)
- Simulation of precipitation kinetics (formation\dissolution\transformation of multi-component phases) by using state-of-the-art techniques
- Physics based modeling of microstructure development (incl. recrystallization and grain growth)
- Coupling with simultaneous evolution of local microchemistry
- Application of a data-driven modeling
- Integration of advanced materials models into Finite Element solvers
- Linking of simulation results along the production line towards Through Process Modeling: casting / homogenization / (multi-step) deformation (rolling, extrusion, ..) / post-deformation heat treatment (annealing, solution heat treatment, ageing, …)
OUR MODELING EXPERTISE
Well-established commercial and open-source simulation packages as well in-house development of material models.
- Quantum chemistry computer programs WIEN2k and VASP for calculation of materials ground state properties
- CALPHAD-based software packages MatCalc and Thermo-Calc for calculation of thermodynamic materials properties as well for thermo-kinetic simulation of precipitation evolution
- In-house developed material models for microstructure and their interaction with local microchemistry
- Finite Element based solvers DEFORM and LS-DYNA enhanced by advanced material models.
- Software coupling for simultaneous calculation of precipitation kinetics and microstructure evolution (herein, MatCalc and LS-DYNA)
- Modelling of microstructure development (sub-grain and grain size) during multi-pass (hot) rolling (down to thin foils) and hot extrusion processes.
- Implementation of simultaneous microstructure (work hardening, recrystallization, grain growth) and microchemistry (phase precipitation\dissolution\transformation) evolution.
- Establishment of linking between subsequent processing steps (casting-homogenization-deformation-annealing) at a microstructural level.
- Appling of smart techniques (e.g. spatial clustering) for high-performance numerical simulations