Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a novel unstructured simulation approach for injection molding processes described by the Hele‐Shaw model. Design/methodology/approach – The scheme involves dual dynamic meshes with active and inactive cells determined from an initial background pointset. The quasi‐static pressure solution in each timestep for this evolving unstructured mesh system is approximated using a control volume finite element method formulation coupled to a corresponding modified volume of fluid method. The flow is considered to be isothermal and non‐Newtonian. Findings – Supporting numerical tests and performance studies for polystyrene described by Carreau, Cross, Ellis and Power‐law fluid models are conducted. Results for the present method are shown to be comparable to those from other methods for both Newtonian fluid and polystyrene fluid injected in different mold geometries. Research limitations/implications – With respect to the methodology, the background pointset infers a mesh that is dynamically reconstructed here, and there are a number of efficiency issues and improvements that would be relevant to industrial applications. For instance, one can use the pointset to construct special bases and invoke a so‐called “meshless” scheme using the basis. This would require some interesting strategies to deal with the dynamic point enrichment of the moving front that could benefit from the present front treatment strategy. There are also issues related to mass conservation and fill‐time errors that might be addressed by introducing suitable projections. The general question of “rate of convergence” of these schemes requires analysis. Numerical results here suggest first‐order accuracy and are consistent with the approximations made, but theoretical results are not available yet for these methods. Originality/value – This novel unstructured simulation approach involves dual meshes with active and inactive cells determined from an initial background pointset: local active dual patches are constructed “on‐the‐fly” for each “active point” to form a dynamic virtual mesh of active elements that evolves with the moving interface.
International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 10, 2010
Keywords: Finite element analysis; Flow; Plastics and rubber technology
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