The working group develops physical mathematical and numerical descriptions of manufacturing processes by means of analytical models and finite-element simulation. Understanding the processes results in simplification and improved properties.
The Institut IEK-1 starts conducting prozess-simulations with the help of ANSYS and finite elements.
Thermal plasma processes have proven their advantage in a wide variety of technological fields. The further development of thermal plasma-based technologies and manufacturing of new thermal spray coatings requires a better quantitative understanding of the thermal spray processes. However, the modelling of DC arc plasma torches and jet properties is extremely challenging task which requires state-of-the-art continuous fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations.
Recently, the low pressure plasma spraying- thin film (LPPS-TF) was numerically simulated at IEK-1 by F. Qunbo using the CFD programme FLUENT. The temperature field, the velocity field, the pressure field and the density field were calculated under a set of typical working conditions for deposition of thermal barrier coatings. Based on the plasma flow fields, the trajectories, the melting temperatures and degree of evaporation of ZrO2 particles with a typical particle size distribution were also calculated. It was found that all the particles will completely molten nearly immediately after leaving the injector exit. The evaporation rate is largely determined by the initial particle sizes, injector angles, injected locations, and plasma compositions.
In future, these types of simulations will be extended to a broader range of plasma working conditions and deposition of other materials such as LaSrFeCoO3, used as dense membranes for oxygen and hydrogen separation, as well as complemented by kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of the morphology of the growing coatings.