Performance Polymers

Ultrasim® Polyurethane Simulation

PU foaming simulation is a powerful tool to boost your part and process development. Learn how our tools can be used for identifying processing issues early-on and how to predict the final performance of your part even before building a first prototype. Benefit from our experience and track-record of successfully supporting customers from all industries for more than a decade. Gain direct access to our simulation infrastructure via our easy-to use web apps "Foaming" and "VELA".

Figuring out the best pouring path can become time-consuming and costly

Optimize Foam Pouring in Open-Mold Processes 

Back-foamed instrument panels in luxurious car interiors combine complex signature design, challenging haptics requirements, and functional integration. With our simulation capabilities for both open and closed mold processes you can validate part and mold design, check production line compatibility, and improve ongoing manufacturing.

Open-mold processes offer great flexibility but trials to figure out the best pouring path can be time-consuming and expensive. Simulating and comparing several pouring scenarios can help you find the best overall process, while also taking other factors into account, like mold tilting angles. Using these results, you can make sure your mold design is feasible, vents and seals are correctly placed and sectioned, so that you can meet the requirements of the final product. 

Fridge compartments require 100% filling and homogeneous foam to yield the best insulation properties.
Fridge compartments require 100% filling and homogeneous foam to yield the best insulation properties.

Finding the Ideal Venting Concept 

In PU foaming applications, like other low-pressure processes, it is of great importance to allow air to evacuate the mold cavity, while also limiting mass loss and formation of flashes. Correct placement and dimensioning of vents and seals is key to prevent air pockets, voids, and other flaws, and ensure the foam can distribute freely and achieve a good part of uniform quality.

The ideal filling depends on the geometry of the compartment, the rheological properties of the PU mixture, and characteristics of the mixing head. Taking these factors into account, our foaming simulation can predict the density distribution based on the filling patterns and integral skin / core characteristics of the individual system. These results can further be used to derive insulation and mechanical behavior of your part as described in the next sections.

Integrative simulation approach for reactive polyurethane foams: Learn how density variations in structural foams can be accounted for in simulation using the Ultrasim® foam material model. Improve the accuracy of your simulations and optimize your foam-based designs.

The density of a foam has a big impact on its mechanical properties. In parts made of reactive polyurethane foams, the density field evolves heterogeneously during the foaming process. The blowing reaction is dependent on the local temperature which itself is not constant throughout the part but depends on reaction heat, mold cooling or inserts. At the flow front the foam can expand freely only limited by venting, whereas close to the injection point the expanding foam must work against the pressure that is built up in the mold leading to less expansion. All these effects are included by our foaming simulations to predict the 3D density field. The integrative simulation approach now accounts for these density variations in a structural part simulation by “mapping” the density field to a structural mesh and then using it as input for our density dependent "Ultrasim® foam material model".

VELA App on Tablet showing a Heater

PU foams are used to insulate for example fridges and warm water tanks. Selecting the right PU system and dimensioning the insulation is key to achieve a competitive thermal performance. Our web app VELA predicts heat loss rates and energy labels within seconds. VELA relies only on dimensions already available in the ideation phase of a new product. It takes advantage of our Ultrasim® material data base to quickly calculate the expected thermal performance, rank your ideas, and accelerate innovation cycles. The simulations also help identifying thermal bridges and, thus, provide starting points for product optimizations without time-consuming testing set-ups. VELA is complemented by comprehensive 3D heat loss simulations predicting the performance of domestic warm water tanks in test chambers according to relevant DIN norms.

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