Gravity Die Casting of Motorcycle Components

A permanent mold casting study of the mold design and mold-casting process of an aluminum alloy single-sided-swing-arm

ABSTRACT

The advent of the Naked Motorcycle has changed the way we look at motorcycle parts. In addition to being of excellent quality, reliable, efficient and cost-effective, they now also need to be aesthetically pleasing because they are mostly visible to the naked eye.

This is a permanent mold casting study of the mold design and mold-casting process of an aluminum alloy single-sided-swing-arm developed through the collaboration of EnginSoft, experts in Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) simulation and GFT Battistini, experts in modeling and production of molds on behalf of a major European motorcycle manufacturer. 

This summary of the project illustrates the role that computer aided engineering (CAE) played in the design of the mold, and of the die casting process used to produce the single-sided-swing arm.

<h5>A naked motorcycle</h5>
A naked motorcycle

Starting from the mathematical model supplied by the customer we carried out a four step analysis:

  1. First we carried out a preliminary simulation of the solidification process in order to deduce the parameters to be used as guidelines for the design of the gating and feeding system.  The temperature distribution during the solidification phase was studied and the results provided the information needed to evaluate any massive zone and the computation of the corresponding thermal modules.
  2. Next we carried out a steady state simulation where the temperature and velocity of the filling phase were monitored, using the gating system and mold parts which were designed taking into account the deductions made from the preliminary simulation. We obtained information regarding the potential presence of cold shots, the effects of turbulence and entrapped air and the time it takes to solidify, and as a result made a number of modifications both to the casting geometry as well as the process parameters to improve the final quality of the cast.
  3. A further simulation was carried out to verify the changes made to the design and a general improvement of the critical areas established in the first simulation was observed.
  4. All of the data from the above steps were then used as input to produce the physical mold. The resulting mold was put through the first casting. The results from the simulation were then compared to those obtained from the first casting and the two sets of results were found to be consistent with each other.

Based on the production results and those obtained from the analysis of the first casts produced, we concluded that we had provided substantial assistance to GFT Battistini in the following areas:

  • time savings in the co-design of the model and the study of the tools used to produce it
  • production of a mold that is able to avoid air entrapment and the presence of oxides, as well as shrinkage porosities
  • provided verifiable data to support a request to make casting geometry changes
  • a cost reduction in mold production thanks to the need for fewer physical prototypes and fewer interruptions in the actual production cycle
  • time and cost benefits for the end customer resulting from the reduced time-to-market of the finished product

How can your company benefit from Gravity Casting Simulation?

EnginSoft has years of experience in the computer simulation of metal processing, having been involved in hundreds of projects world-wide. We would love to assist you with your permanent mold casting projects. Our experts are standing by to answer your questions: we can assist both in the design phase of a  new part as illustrated in the case study above as well as in the quality improvement of existing parts. 

A naked motorcycle

Identification of cold-shuts prone areas thanks to temperature and velocity contours

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