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Efficient numerical simulation of injection mold filling with the lattice Boltzmann method

Lin Deng (Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)
Junjie Liang (Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)
Yun Zhang (State Key Laboratory of Material Processing and Die and Mold Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)
Huamin Zhou (State Key Laboratory of Material Processing and Die and Mold Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)
Zhigao Huang (Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)

Engineering Computations

ISSN: 0264-4401

Article publication date: 18 April 2017

349

Abstract

Purpose

Lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) has made great success in computational fluid dynamics, and this paper aims to establish an efficient simulation model for the polymer injection molding process using the LBM. The study aims to validate the capacity of the model for accurately predicting the injection molding process, to demonstrate the superior numerical efficiency in comparison with the current model based on the finite volume method (FVM).

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts the stable multi-relaxation-time scheme of LBM to model the non-Newtonian polymer flow during the filling process. The volume of fluid method is naturally integrated to track the movement of the melt front. Additionally, a novel fractional-step thermal LBM is used to solve the convection-diffusion equation of the temperature field evolution, which is of high Peclet number. Through various simulation cases, the accuracy and stability of the present model are validated, and the higher numerical efficiency verified in comparison with the current FVM-based model.

Findings

The paper provides an efficient alternative to the current models in the simulation of polymer injection molding. Through the test cases, the model presented in this paper accurately predicts the filling process and successfully reproduces several characteristic phenomena of injection molding. Moreover, compared with the popular FVM-based models, the present model shows superior numerical efficiency, more fit for the future trend of parallel computing.

Research limitations/implications

Limited by the authors’ hardware resources, the programs of the present model and the FVM-based model are run on parallel up to 12 threads, which is adequate for most simulations of polymer injection molding. Through the tests, the present model has demonstrated the better numerical efficiency, and it is recommended for the researcher to investigate the parallel performance on even larger-scale parallel computing, with more threads.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, it is for the first time that the lattice Boltzmann method is applied in the simulation of injection molding, and the proposed model does obviously better in numerical efficiency than the current popular FVM-based models.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation Council of China (Grant No. 51210004+51575207), National Program on Key Basic Research Project (Grant No. 2012CB025903).

Citation

Deng, L., Liang, J., Zhang, Y., Zhou, H. and Huang, Z. (2017), "Efficient numerical simulation of injection mold filling with the lattice Boltzmann method", Engineering Computations, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 307-329. https://doi.org/10.1108/EC-01-2016-0023

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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