Fluxtrol | Virtual Prototyping of Induction Heat Treating
Virtual Prototyping of Induction Heat Treating
Authors:Robert C. Goldstein, Valentin Nemkov and John Jackowski
Abstract:The time between a product’s definition and production is constantly shrinking. To meet these requirements, extensive use of virtual prototyping has replaced physical models in the mechanical design process. As a result of this, the induction heat treating process developer will often times not receive a quantity of parts for heat treatment until a few weeks prior to having to deliver samples. This makes it nearly impossible to produce good quality parts on time using a traditional test and trial method. The development focus shifts to “just getting a pattern” rather than developing a robust production process. To meet the modern development requirements, the same methods that have led to significant improvements in the mechanical design process are applied to induction heat treating. Virtual prototyping tools include electromagnetic, thermal and metallurgical finite element analysis along with 3-D CAD software. Virtual prototyping allows for the study of a much larger design space in a shorter period of time at lower cost. Final process validation is preformed on real equipment. A case story of an induction heat treating process of wheel hub hardening developed with virtual prototyping is presented. Savings achieved with the virtual tools are discussed.