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POLYFLOW 3.11 Extends Its Complex Physics in a User-Friendly Way
Posted Fri June 22, 2007 @11:36AM
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News ANSYS, Inc., a global innovator of simulation software and technologies designed to optimize product development processes, has released POLYFLOW(R) 3.11 software for the analysis of polymer processing and glass forming. This new version of POLYFLOW further extends the vast library of viscoelastic models by adding the Leonov viscoelastic model and a simplified viscoelastic model for extrusion.

For thermoforming and blow molding applications, POLYFLOW 3.11 offers a simple thermo-mechanical stress capability to calculate deformations during cooling.

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Finally, key enhancements to the 3-D adaptive meshing technique make the simulation of glass pressing and blowing faster and more robust than ever before. POLYFLOW technologies are now part of the ANSYS(R) suite, from the company's acquisition of Fluent Inc. in 2006. Companies who use the software have found that the quality of extruded, blown and thermoformed products -- such as rubber tires, ceramics and glass -- is greatly improved by running trial and error processes with POLYFLOW rather than on the production line.

"This new release of POLYFLOW offers a nice balance between our advanced technology, including new physically complex models, and a growing demand from industries involved in manufacturing tasks," says Thierry Marchal, industry marketing director for materials and consumer care at ANSYS, Inc. "For the latter, new features such as the simplified viscoelastic model for extrusion, transparent and robust 3-D adaptive remeshing techniques, or the extension of the polymer forming simulations to the cooling stage, either via POLYFLOW or through advanced structural codes such as ANSYS, will help them to speed up their design process and improve product quality."

POLYFLOW software has an unmatched library of viscoelastic and complex rheology models, and the addition of the two new viscoelastic models completes the highly advanced level of capability. The Leonov model is recognized for its ability to accurately reproduce the complexity of the viscoelastic behavior of rubber filled with carbon black, for example, typical in the tire industry. Additionally, the simplified viscoelastic model for extrusion is able to accurately reproduce large die swell typical of viscoelastic flow while running much faster simulations and requiring much less memory than traditional viscoelastic models. Benchmarking this new capability against traditional viscoelastic models revealed that the simplified viscoelastic model for extrusion requires six times less memory and could run 15 times faster for typical extrusion processes involving free surface.

Polymer thermoforming and blow molding is an application of growing importance to POLYFLOW users. Beyond the need to simulate the forming process itself, the industry now is demanding tools to calculate deformation and stress after cooling. POLYFLOW 3.11 software offers two new options. First, it creates a 3-D geometry out of the deformed shell and the calculated thickness that then can be used for advanced shrinkage and warpage simulation with structural codes. Second, it allows the user to conduct some simple thermo-mechanical stress and deformation analyses directly in POLYFLOW to obtain a qualitatively good estimation of these quantities.

Glass forming applications, whether related to gob forming, bottle blowing, pressing or making drinking glass, increasingly use numerical simulation to provide better insight into the complex deformations and thermal patterns that occur during the process. These simulations are extremely challenging since they involve very large deformations coupled with steep thermal gradients. POLYFLOW 3.11 enhancements to its 3-D adaptive meshing techniques help maintain a good mesh and results quality while reducing the computational time.

Particle paths
Particle paths colored by the velocity and deformation of the tread after the die lip (blue) for a for a viscoelastic flow simulated with a Leonov model in a typical tire tread geometry. Image courtesy of ANSYS, Inc.

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