The materials science and engineering department at the University of Missouri-Rolla has received a software donation valued at $1.2 million from Magma Foundry Technologies Inc.
Starting this semester, metallurgical engineering students at UMR will use the software to predict the behavior of metal castings through computer simulations.
“This means our students will be even better prepared to work in the modern metal-casting industry,” says Dr. Von Richards, the Robert W. Wolf Professor of Metallurgical Engineering at UMR. “UMR already has an excellent reputation in the industry, and this will only enhance our profile.”
The simulation software can replace expensive, time-consuming experiments that have traditionally been conducted by trial-and-error or by using approximation models and statistical studies. The software is especially cost-effective, according to Richards, when it comes to predicting the behaviors of large castings, including those used in the production of heavy machinery.
“It’s less costly to figuratively pour liquid metal on your computer than it is in real life,” Richards says. “This software allows us to build models in three dimensions in order to simulate things like the solidification of metals and fluid behaviors of metals.
“We have graduate students who will want to model some experiments before they start, but the emphasis is going to be on training undergraduates.”
While there are other commercial software packages available, Magma Foundry Technologies dominates the casting simulation software market. According to Richards, the UMR donation wouldn’t have happened without the support of Magma’s U.S. president, Tim McMillin, and vice president, Christoff Heisser.
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