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A vectorial algorithm with finite element method for prediction of powder segregation in metal injection molding


Zhiqiang Cheng, Department of Applied Mechanics, Southwest Jiaotong University, 610031 Chengdu, P. R. China.



The design of the mold and the choice of the injection parameters for metal injection molding (MIM) is required to maintain homogeneity of the filled mixture. However, powder segregation is unavoidable in MIM because of the significant difference in densities of the metallic powder and the polymer binder. To achieve an effective prediction of segregation effect, a biphasic model based on mixture theory is employed. The viscous behaviors of each phase and the interaction coefficient between the flows of the two phases should be determined. The solution of two coupled Navier–Stokes equations results in a tremendous computation effort. The previous development of an explicit algorithm makes the biphasic simulation much faster than that of the classic methods. However, it is strongly desired to reduce or even eliminate the numerous global solutions for pressure fields at each time step. Hence, a new vectorial algorithm is proposed and developed to perform the simulation only by vectorial operations. It provides the anticipated efficiency in the simulation of biphasic modeling, and the advantage to use the classic elements of equal-order interpolations. Some results produced by the two algorithms are compared with the experimental values to validate the new vectorial algorithm. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.