Development of Computational Fluid Dynamics Tool for Modeling the Blowing and Steaming of Expandable Polystyrene (EPS) Patterns for Lost Foam Castings
The lost foam casting process produces clean, high quality castings with close tolerances. The most important advantage is that no cores (with binders) are required. One challenge in lost foam casting is maintaining the uniformity and quality of the expandable polystyrene (EPS) pattern. This has often been the cause of defects in casting. It is estimated that 60% of lost foam defects can be attributed to the pattern, or the so-called “white-side.” Foam molds are complex and beads must flow through complex passages to completely fill the mold. The process is further complicated by the expansion of the beads.
In this project, Flow Simulation Sciences in conjunction with the American Foundry Society and the metal casting industry will extend existing flow modeling software to simulate the air-driven blowing of pre-expanded beads into a mold, and the subsequent steaming (expansion) of beads as they form a lost foam pattern. They will develop a CFD Tool for improving design and development of expandable polystyrene patterns for lost foam castings.