Researchers of Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, have published a manual for tooling engineers to simulate additively manufactured cooling channels using the open-source software OpenFoam® (Open Source Field Operation and Manipulation).
As part of the CORNET project ‘AM 4 Industry’, led by ecoplus Plastics and Mechatronics Clusters in Lower Austria, Thomas Mitterlehner, Eva Kobler and Georg Steinbichler from the Institute for Polymer Injection Moulding and Process Automation at the Johannes Kepler University examined the simulation of cooling channels using OpenFoam .
According to the researchers, the software is mainly used to solve flow problems (CFD) and provides a useful solver in its basic version. However, the software is also open for other solvers and can implement a user’s own software code. The research team used OpenFoam in combination with the solver ‘chtMultiRegion’ to study the heat exchange between a solid and fluid and develop an application-oriented example for simulating additively manufactured cooling channels.
The research team published their experiences in the application-oriented handbook to provide practitioners in development, simulation engineers, and students with a foundation in OpenFoam® and to enable them to improve their cooling channel simulation. A summary of the project results, as well as the handbook, can be downloaded from the research network’s website.