Engine cylinder block cracking is a costly engine component failure that is often discovered late, either in the product verification phase by dynamometer testing or after product launch during vehicle operations. It is well established that the crack issues are related to the residual stress induced in the casting and heat treatment processes. To identify the quality risk in a short turn-around time and a cost-effective fashion, using computer simulations to evaluate the state of stress during casting and heat treat processes is the trend in automotive industry. In recent years, CAE methodologies have advanced significantly in both CFD and FEA to model the casting process, the quenching process, the residual stress, and the high cycle fatigue (HCF). However, calculating the final stress in the cylinder block requires several CAE software tools to work together as an integrated, streamlined engineering method and these CAE tools could be very different in meshing topologies, numerical methods, data structure, and post-processing capabilities. The intent of this research is to develop an integrated virtual engineering methodology combining casting simulation, computational fluid dynamics and finite element method to simulate the manufacturing process from the beginning of casting, through water quenching heat treatment, to engine dynamometer testing. The methodology involves three CAE tools, MAGMASOFT®, AVL FIRETM/FIRETM-M and ABAQUS, and considerable amounts of research and development work are concentrated on the validation of each individual numerical method and tools for data exchange between the software tools.

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