FSI: Aluminum Extrusion Model

October 26, 2012

Out of all metals, the most frequently extruded is aluminum. Aluminum extrusion entails using a hydraulic ram to squeeze an aluminum bar through a die. This process will form the metal into a particular shape. Extruded aluminum is used in many manufacturing applications, such as building components for example. The process of shaping metal alloys, like aluminum, can be modeled using COMSOL Multiphysics.

Using both the Structural Mechanics and Heat Transfer Modules, my colleague Valerio Marra created the below model of Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI) in aluminum extrusion. The model was originally created as part of a benchmark study on thermal-structural coupling. Because aluminum is so commonly extruded in manufacturing, I thought this model would be a good one to share here on the blog.

FSI model of aluminum extrusion
Modeling FSI in aluminum extrusion using COMSOL Multiphysics. The model shown here depicts the process of shaping aluminum. It couples non-Newtonian flow with heat transfer, as well as structural mechanics. The structural mechanics analysis is performed in order to understand the stress in the die caused by fluid pressure and thermal loads.

Why would you want to simulate this phenomenon? By first running the simulation, the design of the die can be optimized before it is brought to life, so to speak. It may be that adjusting certain physical parameters and operating conditions would result in improved die outputs. Realizing this during the design stages, as opposed to after the die has been produced will save companies both time and money.

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Ziad Hazim
Ziad Hazim
February 10, 2013