Engineering simulation is, without any doubt, the key strategy to win in a globally competitive environment.
The integrated Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) approach considers all life-cycle steps from the design stage to the in service use. In this work, engineering simulation technologies provide detailed virtual production processes able to predict the final component quality in terms of defects and virtual structural behavior. In turn, the structural behavior provides information about the performance of the component. Furthermore, optimization techniques allow, through the combined use of process and structural simulations, to define the component design by automatic design change and to verify the change’s effectiveness in terms of structural strength. The most innovative aspect is the possibility to carry out a structural simulation using, as initial condition, the local mechanical properties and the pre-stress status due to residual stresses at the end of the manufacturing process.
In this article, the redesign of the roller support (manufactured in ductile iron GJS400) is presented: conflicting objectives such as minimization of components weight and minimization of deformation. The use of the optimization software modeFRONTIER has allowed exploring different geometric configurations and, thanks to its multi-objective genetic algorithm (MOGA), finding the trade-off curve of conflicting objectives. The final results evidence some areas with high residual peak stresses, which have a decreasing effect on the fatigue life, and underline the importance to consider an extended optimization analysis that includes both the casting simulation and load-case analyses.