Finite element and sensitivity analysis of thermally induced flow instabilities

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Journal titleInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids
Pages11671192; # of pages: 26
Subjectstable and unstable flows; generalized Newtonian fluids; stability chart; sensitivity analysis
AbstractThis paper presents a finite element algorithm for the simulation of thermo-hydrodynamic instabilities causing manufacturing defects in injection molding of plastic and metal powder. Mold-filling parameters determine the flow pattern during filling, which in turn influences the quality of the final part. Insufficiently, well-controlled operating conditions may generate inhomogeneities, empty spaces or unusable parts. An understanding of the flow behavior will enable manufacturers to reduce or even eliminate defects and improve their competitiveness. This work presents a rigorous study using numerical simulation and sensitivity analysis. The problem is modeled by the Navier–Stokes equations, the energy equation and a generalized Newtonian viscosity model. The solution algorithm is applied to a simple flow in a symmetrical gate geometry. This problem exhibits both symmetrical and non-symmetrical solutions depending on the values taken by flow parameters. Under particular combinations of operating conditions, the flow was stable and symmetric, while some other combinations leading to large thermally induced viscosity gradients produce unstable and asymmetric flow. Based on the numerical results, a stability chart of the flow was established, identifying the boundaries between regions of stable and unstable flow in terms of the Graetz number (ratio of thermal conduction time to the convection time scale) and B, a dimensionless ratio indicating the sensitivity of viscosity to temperature changes. Sensitivities with respect to flow parameters are then computed using the continuous sensitivity equations method. We demonstrate that sensitivities are able to detect the transition between the stable and unstable flow regimes and correctly indicate how parameters should change in order to increase the stability of the flow.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Industrial Materials Institute
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number51078
NPARC number15140017
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Record identifierdfda2daf-0e47-4146-8ec5-21a1a1740d6f
Record created2010-05-05
Record modified2016-05-09
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