In the production of aircraft, the high scrappagerate of large, forged aluminum parts imposes major challenges. Although, there are many steps involved in the production process quenching has been observed to be responsible for most part rejections due to distortions from residual stress. A simulation tool which isable to optimize the quenching conditions to reduce residual stress and part distortion is being developed by Fen Technology. The method proposed here to model the residual stress and deformation of the aluminium part is based on the coupling of a thermal, thermo-mechanical and micro-structural model using the finite element software, COMSOL Multiphysics.
This tool will be of interest to aircraft manufacturers and subcontractors involved in the production of aluminum parts. It will allow them to optimize the quenching process reducing the high scrappage rate of aluminum. It will also be of use in other industries where forged aluminium parts are used.