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POLYFLOW 3.12 Improves Virtual Prototyping
Posted Tue October 07, 2008 @09:48AM
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News ANSYS, Inc., a global innovator of simulation software and technologies designed to optimize product development processes, today announced the release of ANSYS® POLYFLOW® 3.12 software for analysis of plastic and rubber processing, glass forming, and food processing.

This new version of ANSYS POLYFLOW technology is faster, more efficient and can handle larger problems than previous releases, since it includes several new solvers and modeling features tailored for specific applications. Newly built-in is the ability to provide data to structural analysis software from ANSYS, which improves the accuracy of virtual prototyping predictions.


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ANSYS POLYFLOW software is particularly well known for its capability in modeling viscoelastic materials, which include many plastics, rubber, pastes and dough. These materials exhibit behaviors in between those of fluids and solids and are, therefore, difficult to simulate. Applications for which ANSYS POLYFLOW software is commonly used include blow molding for manufacturing plastic bottles; thermoforming for optimizing medical and food packaging; extrusion and inverse die design for developing rubber seals; and glass forming for designing tableware.

“The improved depth of ANSYS POLYFLOW means that users can now apply the software to more design problems,” said Chris Reid, vice president, marketing at ANSYS, Inc. “And the release addresses two important demands from our industrial users: running much larger simulations faster and with less memory than ever before, and completing the manufacturing simulation model by virtual testing with structural analysis software.”

The addition of three efficient and robust solvers — fully coupled, multifrontal and iterative — means users can run simulations on much larger meshes than ever before. For example, 3-D simulations for dies containing more than 3 million elements have been converged on a standard high-end computer in just a few hours. Significant speed-ups regularly exceed 100 percent on large simulations compared to previous releases of ANSYS POLYFLOW software.

Faster simulation opens the door in complex rubber, plastic extrusion and coextrusion processes to optimization and automatic die balancing. This reduces trial and error time, since the die designer can query ANSYS POLYFLOW to determine which geometry leads to the best velocity profile across the die lip then finalize using the unique design capability of the code. The resulting data can be provided to structural analysis simulation software from ANSYS to perform mechanical tests and to investigate whether manufacturing or design adjustments are necessary.

Glass forming applications, whether related to gob forming, bottle blowing, pressing or drinking glass production, increasingly use engineering 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 large variations in temperature. Cooling, the most delicate phase of the process, may introduce residual stress leading to defects. The thermal stress relaxation model in ANSYS POLYFLOW enables users to detect emerging defects in the early cooling stages, providing information that can lead to improved design.

For glass applications, ANSYS POLYFLOW has added thermal stress relaxation and Narayanaswamy models (which are also available in ANSYS® Mechanical™ software). “The Narayanaswamy model is an important addition to better understand the evolution of residual stresses that could lead to some defects. Having these models in both ANSYS POLYFLOW and ANSYS Mechanical allows us to study the whole process, from forming to residual stress development and annealing,” said Matt Hyre from Emhart Glass Research Center, which is investigating new approaches toward a more efficient, more stable, and more consistent glass forming process. The organization’s parent company is one of the world’s leading suppliers of equipment, controls and parts to the glass container industry.

“The continuous evolution of the ANSYS POLYFLOW solvers, rheological library and interface to other leading post-processing codes has been a great help for innovation at Goodyear,” noted Minwu Yao from The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, one of the top three tire companies in the world today. Goodyear was one of the earliest users of the software.

About ANSYS, Inc.
ANSYS, Inc., founded in 1970, develops and globally markets engineering simulation software and technologies widely used by engineers and designers across a broad spectrum of industries. The Company focuses on the development of open and flexible solutions that enable users to analyze designs directly on the desktop, providing a common platform for fast, efficient and cost-conscious product development, from design concept to final-stage testing and validation. The Company and its global network of channel partners provide sales, support and training for customers. Headquartered in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., with more than 70 strategic sales locations throughout the world, ANSYS, Inc. and its subsidiaries employ approximately 1,700 people and distribute ANSYS products through a network of channel partners in over 40 countries. Visit www.ansys.com for more information.

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