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Allows direct interface to ANSYS structural analysis software

Moldflow Corporation : 27 April, 2006  (New Product)
Moldflow Corporation, the leading global provider of automation and optimization software for the plastics injection molding industry today announced the release of Moldflow Plastics Insight 5.1. MPI is the industry's most widely used plastics design analysis software. MPI 5.1 allows users to interface with ANSYS structural analysis software from ANSYS, Inc. to ensure the accuracy of the plastics material data used in a structural analysis.
Additional new features allow users to generate and validate MPI/3D meshes faster, leverage new diagnostic tools to evaluate cooling circuit and runner design components, simulate new processes, obtain improved solver predictions and access numerous post-processing enhancements.

MPI 5.1 Highlights
With the new ANSYS interface, users can export thermo-mechanical properties, fiber orientation and either process-induced residual stress or volumetric shrinkage data from MPI 5.1 to ANSYS software for more in-depth structural analysis. Fundamentally, the Moldflow data ensure that the structural analysis model has material properties that would exist in the part as a result of the injection molding process.

'We developed the ANSYS interface in direct response to numerous customer requests,' stated Ken Welch, executive vice president and general manager, Moldflow Design Analysis Solutions business unit. 'The use of plastics in high performance applications is increasing, and material properties, particularly for fiber-filled materials, are heavily influenced by the molding process and may vary throughout the molded part.'

The interface from Moldflow makes application-specific data available as input to ANSYS, including effects of grade-specific material properties, flow-induced material anisotropy and residual stresses due to processing. This unparalleled level of detail in structural analysis inputs is critical to accurately account for the effects of processing on the performance of injection molded plastic parts when subject to service loading.

'When analyzing the structural properties of plastics injection molded parts, the use of generic, isotropic material data can introduce significant analysis error,' said Mike Wheeler, vice president and general manager at ANSYS. 'To avoid this problem, the Moldflow-to-ANSYS interface can be used to ensure that structural analyses are run with the thermo-mechanical properties, fiber orientation and residual stress data based on grade-specific plastics material data and injection molding process conditions.'

Additionally, since plastic parts typically undergo post-molding deformation due to molded-in stress, the shape of the part as manufactured may differ from the original CAD model geometry, which can also be taken into account. ANSYS users analyzing plastic injection molded parts will benefit due to the improved accuracy made possible by incorporating grade-specific plastics material data and the effects of injection molding processing in structural analysis.

At Wavin M&T BV, a leading supplier of plastic pipe systems for potable water, hot-water floor heating, drainage and irrigation, located in Dedemsvaart, The Netherlands, both Moldflow and ANSYS analyses are used. According to Wavin's Aart Naaktgeboren, 'The new interface translates Moldflow's volumetric shrinkage predictions into useful stresses and strains for ANSYS analysis of plastic products, so I can gain an understanding of residual stresses that are caused by the mold filling process,' he notes. 'This is important because service load calculations normally are done on ideal parts that are stress free at the start of the ANSYS calculation. Now I can account for the combination of service loads on a part and the stresses already present in the part due to the molding process.'

Other Key Features

MPI/3D Meshing Enhancements MPI/3D meshes can now be generated up to 20-50% faster while using 10-40% less memory. There are new mesh diagnostic and editing tools, an automatic mesh repair wizard and an optional node biasing feature that allows users to adjust the size of tetrahedral elements through the thickness of the part.

General Meshing Enhancements These include a new batch meshing option, improved quality of meshes on complex curved surfaces and comprehensive diagnostic tools to evaluate cooling circuit and runner design components.

Solver Enhancements New solver capabilities in MPI 5.1 include the ability to simulate the thermoset injection-compression molding process and investigate the effects of overflow wells in the gas-assist process. Additionally, in-plane shrinkage predictions of MPI/3D warpage analyses have been improved.

Post-Processing Enhancements These include customization of weld-line plots with user-specified melt-front angle, enhanced warpage visualization tools to interrogate warp results, new MPI/3D result plots and reduced memory requirements when viewing analysis results for large 3D models.

In San Polo Di Piave, Italy, HRSflow, a market leader in the design and manufacture of hot runner systems for plastics injection molding, Moldflow analyst Claudio Dall'Acqua explained, 'MPI 5.1 has several new and enhanced features that improve the quality of MPI/Fusion and MPI/3D meshes. The new batch meshing option gives me the flexibility to generate meshes on dedicated computational servers or schedule meshing tasks for a later time. On the post-processing side, the option to create custom weld-line plots with user-specified melt-front angle allows me to estimate visibility of weld lines on the part surface for a specific material choice.'
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