Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Special 3D-simulation System for Fasteners Industries

In cold forming of fasteners the layout design for a progression of forming stages is based mainly on empirical rules and expensive "Trial and Error" procedures. A better process understanding and the use of modern tools for process layout can bring down the costs and increase the product quality. This is achieved by shortening the time to do the layout, by avoiding testing, by optimizing the progression and therefore increasing the tool life and by optimizing the product.

In this project a simple to handle simulation tool was developed on the basis of non-linear Finite Element Analysis ( FEM ) which gives the SMEs the ability to optimize their processes by using High Tech Tools and therefore result in enhanced competitiveness of the companies involved.

In the project an existing code was enhanced to make it usable by typical SMEs in the Fasteners industry. Special modules for Pre- and Post-processing were developed and integrated with the existing 3D- Simulation code.

The main topics in this development were:

-a specific Pre-processing module with a simple partly automated transformation of a simple tool-drawing into a FEM-model

-the precise representation of the tooling shape by using a
combination of geometric primitives ( partly developed for the existing 3D code)

-a post-processing module based on technological aspects which allows a simple automated analysis of critical results

A completely general pre-processing system for 3D modelling was outside the scope of this project.
To achieve the objective of producing a user-friendly system for non-specialists the geometry having been considered were restricted to those relevant to the Fasteners industries. These geometry were based on simple primitives such as hexagons, cylinders and other prismatic shapes to allow all 3D parts to be generated automatically from the design drawings. Because of these Geometry existing meshing/remeshing algorithms known from 2D FEM could be extended to 3D and added to the existing basic code.

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