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Virtual Manufacturing

Core Expertise
Beyond thermo-mechanical finite element analysis of all major industrial processes, the expertise of this group relies essentially on its capability to simulate challenging processes where complex physics occurs. As an example, Cenaero has now acquired a solid know-how in the modeling of the Friction Stir Welding (FSW) process by conjugating an accurate local model with a global model. This local-global approach is also applied for machining simulations and offers a powerful approach fully compatible with your FE solver. This approach is thus truly multi-scale and multi-physics, as illustrated by an innovative heat treatment simulation chain. Stretch bending process simulations enable the prediction of the spring-back effect and skin effect with highly accurate models.
Major orientations
The Virtual Manufacturing Group is involved in four major research projects:
  • The first one aims at accurately simulating the Friction Stir Welding (FSW) process through the development of Morfeo, an in-house finite element solver. This solver is equipped with a thermo-fluid module in order to simulate the important material flow around the welding tool, and an advanced metallurgy model in order to predict the evolution of microstructures. The solution of the thermo-mechanical analysis relies on a coupling with the thermo-fluid module through the MpCCI methodology.
  • The second project is focused on the multi-physics and multi-scale modeling of the Electron Beam Welding (EBW) process. The complex fluid phenomena taking place in the melting pool are simulated through the development of Argo, an in-house CFD solver. At the level of the aero-engine component, the thermo-mechanical problem is solved with Morfeo which is coupled to Argo in order to capture the accurate map of temperatures in the welding zone.
  • The third project is concerned with the simulation of the machining process. An original approach is developed in Morfeo which consists of modeling both the behavior of the material at the scale of the chip and the state of residual stresses, and the level of distortions when the part has been machined.
  • Finally, the fourth research project is oriented towards the simulation of heat treatment by magnetic induction. The thermo-magnetic problem is solved and coupled to a commercial thermo-mechanical solver in order to predict the residual stresses after quenching. Within this project, an advanced method for predicting the hardness was implemented.
  • successful application of Morfeo to the calculation of temperature evolution, distortions and stresses during the welding and machining operations of an aero-engine component (VERDI FP6 project).
  • simulations of the flow around a FSW tool and the resulting temperature distribution in the workpiece which were successfully validated with experiments of FSW (DEEPWELD FP6 project).
  • delivery of a unique platform for the simulation of the heat treatment by magnetic induction.
  • set-up and validation of a full model of the stretch bending process which relies on the simulation of the real machine and the prediction of the structural response (SYNCOMECS FP6 project).
Future work
Research is continued in the advanced modeling of fusion and solid state welding, machining, heat treatments and forging processes. A particular attention is paid to the use of Morfeo on real-size and industrial applications. Morfeo is constantly enhanced with new features. New methods will be introduced in order to provide accurate results within a reasonable computation time on large-size aerospace components.
Application Movie
Friction Stir Welding (FSW) local simulation is a MUST when one targets predictive simulation of the process.  An original implementation in Morfeo (Cenaero) incorporates both u-p and displacement formulations, allowing both local and global simulation of the FSW with accuracy.  This movie illustrates the temperature distribution around the rotating tool which is advancing in the weld.