SOFTWARE
HOME > SOFTWARE > FORGE® NxT
FORGE® NxT - OVERVIEW
Best-in-class simulation solution for the forging industry
FORGE® NxT is the software solution for the simulation of hot and cold-forming processes. It has been the flagship product of TRANSVALOR for almost 30 years and is used by customers throughout the world. FORGE® NxT fulfills the needs of companies producing forged parts for a variety of industrial sectors: automotive, aerospace, defense, energy, construction, medical, etc.

FORGE® NxT enables the simulation of many hot-forming processes such as closed-die forging, open-die forging, rolling, reducer rolling, cross wedge rolling, thread rolling, shape rolling, ring rolling, rotary forging, flow forming, hydroforming, incremental forging, orbital forging, friction welding, extrusion, fastening, wire drawing, deep drawing, shearing, sheet metal forming, piercing, glass forming, blanking cutting, superplastic forming, trimming and some additional non-conventional processes. FORGE® NxT offers the possibility to simulate thermal treatments such as induction heating, quenching, carburizing and tempering. Cold-forming operations can also be handled with FORGE® NxT. You will find further information in the COLDFORM® section; all processes are included in FORGE® NxT.

With its innovative technologies, extensive capabilities and unmatched performance, combined with an intuitive and easy-to-use graphical user interface, FORGE® NxT is best suited to quote new components, validate forging sequences, address shop floor issues, improve forging yield and design innovative and high-technology forged products.
"I use FORGE® since 2008 for the simulation of many forging sequences. I highly recommend this software for its accuracy and reliability. The team of Transvalor behind FORGE® is doing a great job to bring more success to this simulation program. Keep on!"

Mohamad Cherri
Tool Design and Engineering
Schaeffler Technologies GmbH & Co. KG
Herzogenaurach, Germany
Download the General FORGE® Presentation and news about FORGE® NxT 1.0.

General features and benefits

FORGE® NxT is the right investment when wanting to:
· Decrease significantly the design phase
· Reduce testing and material costs
· Submit tenders
· Design complex components that could not have been produced before
· Reduce time to market
· Optimize current production processes
· Extend die life
· Maintain and secure the process knowledge and expertise in your company.
FORGE® NxT provides a fast and accurate insight into your products and processes. It makes it possible to design and validate forging sequences by predicting accurately:
In the workpiece:
Final geometry and precise dimensions, including elastic spring-back for net shape and precision components, underfillings, excess material, folds/laps, grain flow and strain distribution, damage and rupture criteria, residual stresses, microstructure, and many others (temperature, strain rate, equivalent strain, wear, and any additional user variables).
In the dies:
Distribution of wear, damage, stresses and risk of rupture, temperature at any time of the process
For the equipment:
Choice of appropriate equipment thanks to accurate prediction of the forging load, press jam and deflection
Fold/lap analysis: accurate folds/laps prediction of a mining steel component. Fold/lap area is shown in red inside the frame.
6-cylinder crankshaft simulation of the finisher operation (equivalent strain) and forging load (mechanical press)

Easy workflow

The brand new, intuitive graphical user interface offers a smooth and quick workflow. Pre and postprocessors are combined; data setup is made easy through access to process specific functions as well as pre-defined forging sequences. More than a graphical interface, this plateform, by offering the possibility to record the company's standard production processes, is the repository of the company's Forging Intelligence.

Advanced tracking features

When designing new forged components or analyzing shop floor issues, accurate prediction of flaws is key. For this reason, FORGE® NxT embeds unique tracking features that are easy to set up and brings important benefits to the forging sequence design.
· Surface folds/laps can easily be detected and visualized
· Fibering. Grain flow can be predicted and analysed during the complete process, allowing the detection of internal folds/laps.
  The grain flow grid is remeshable in order to deliver the best accuracy.
· Underskin defects (internal folds/laps) can be detected thanks to a unique surface tracking method. An internal skin is created as an internal mesh
  and is tracked through the complete forming process. For high accuracy, it is remeshed when needed.
· Shear surface tracking. The shear surface of the initial billet can be tracked during the complete forging sequence and localized in the final geometry.
  This feature relies on the same tracking technique as the underskin defect detection: shear surface is defined as a mesh and tracked.
· Flash surface reverse tracking. Flash surface from the final geometry can be reversed tracked and localized in the initial billet geometry.
Fibering analysis during the finisher operation of an automotive component

Die Analysis

One of the forging challenges is the die life prediction and how to extend die life. Predicting and understanding the stress level into the dies during the entire process is important. Therefore, FORGE® NxT offers a flexible die analysis capability with 2 available methods:
· Decoupled calculation. Thermo-mechanical analysis onto the dies is run independently from the one onto the workpiece.
  This method offers a fast analysis by a 2-step resolution. First step, forging process is run by considering rigid dies and
  second step, resulting die loads are applied on the surface dies which are now deformable. With this approach, stress distribution
  into all the dies, as well as wear can be predicted at any stage of the process and not only on the final configuration. This method
  is recommended as a first stress level prediction.
· Coupled calculation. With this approach, dies are no more rigid and their deformation is considered. Therefore, a coupled thermo-mechanical
  calculation between the part and all the dies is carried out. This relies on a smart contact procedure between deformable bodies. In this case,
  not only the stress distribution can be predicted but also the dies deformation, temperature, damage, etc. This method allows a finer die analysis.
  It is also recommended for net shape components where final dimensions precision is required.
Pre-stressed dies can easily be simulated thanks to an advanced interference fit method which allows reducing the number of deformable dies.
Fully coupled thermo-mechanical analysis between the part and the dies (6 dies with thermo-mechanical computation). Von Mises stress distribution is represented in the dies.

Induction Heating

Transvalor offers a unique electromagnetic simulation tool to address the calculation of the local induction heating operations. The complete heat treatment process chain: local heating by induction followed by quenching can now be simulated. Complete billet heating prior to forging is also possible. The major benefit is a high accuracy of the local distribution of the temperature required for a good prediction of the metal after quenchin.

The heating by induction is due to the Joule effect produced by eddy currents. These eddy currents result from a magnetic field due to alternative currents through the inductor. FORGE® NxT induction heating capacity relies on the split between the electromagnetism calculation and the heating resolution:
· The electromagnetism simulation is run on a global mesh which includes the part, one or multiple inductors, any additional objects like
  vertical copper sheet and the air. This is achieved thanks to an easy-to-set-up and powerful meshing technology.
· Heating simulation is a regular thermal problem resolution providing temperature distribution from the previously computed heating distribution.
The 2 resolutions can easily be coupled to take into account the temperature dependency of the electromagnetism parameters. An appropriate electromagnetism parameter database is provided with the commercial package. Induction heating resolution can be followed by a quenching simulation, thus using the accurate temperature distribution.
In the example above a Nickel based alloy component is partly heated by induction. Subsequent forming stages are carried out on this heated area only. The part is placed into a helical turn coil. The resulting temperature distribution while not symmetrical is accurately calculated, which is illustrated in the left-hand-side video above.
In this example, a growth model of grain size was used in addition to thermal calculation (right-hand-side video above). Subsequent forming process simulations will benefit from accurate temperature and grain size initial distribution.

Extensive heat treatment and metallurgy capabilities

With the actual trend to go towards prediction of in-use properties, not only forming processes must be simulated but heat treatment and metallurgy prediction are getting more and more important. Therefore, in order to address this growing demand, FORGE® NxT embeds an extensive heat treatment portfolio and allows simulating complete heat treatment workflows.
· Carburizing: this treatment is performed on a steel in austenitic phase, with the objective to obtain after cooling a martensitic carbon-rich
  phase and therefore a surface hardening of the material. The local hardening due to local increase in carbon content is simulated thanks
  to chemical element diffusion. The result of this calculation is the precise distribution of carbon into the part, which is used in the
  subsequent heat treatment workflow.

· Quenching: through-quenching as well as surface quenching can be simulated taken into account various cooling conditions and non-uniformed
  boundary conditions.
  Major benefits are the validation of the process conditions thanks to the prediction in the component of the residual stresses, hardness, strain and
  distortion, metallurgic phases. The model used relies on a coupling between transformation kinetics, mechanical behaviour, and thermal evolutions.
  Transformation kinetics model is based on the Johnson Mehl Avrami Kolmogorov (JMAK) formulation. Each metallurgic phase has its own
  thermo-mechanical behavior and a mixing rule that considers the rate of phases is used.

· Tempering: tempering stage is important in the complete heat treatment workflow. It allows to decrease the residual stresses and to find an appropriate
  compromise between hardness and ductility. With FORGE® NxT, it is possible to predict the hardness of the workpiece at the end of the complete
  heat treatment process: quenching followed by tempering.

· Metallurgy changes during forming: for semi-hot forging or for processes with local cooling, phase transformation may appear.
  This can be captured thanks to a model for phase transformation during forming processes of steels.
Both TTT diagrams and CCT diagrams are supported by FORGE® NxT heat treatment capabilities. An embedded graphical user interface allows to visualize and modify the TTT curves or CCT curves.

For high technology components, FORGE® NxT allows microstructure prediction - grain size and recrystallized rates - during heating and forming.
FORGE® NxT recrystallization laws are based on macroscopic models that can predict:
· Dynamic recrystallization,
· Static/Post-dynamic recrystallization,
· Grain growth.
Recrystallization data are available for a wide range of materials (low carbon steels, austenitic stainless steels, microalloyed steels, Nickel super alloys)
"FORGE® is a very powerful metal forming simulation software. It has allowed us to develop new forming processes for many years with a high level of confidence and reliability.The continuous improvement of its capacities on many fields, as heat treatment, metallurgy or material data, gives us the possibility to look deeply into the study of the process parameters that affect the formed parts properties. Using FORGE® is a must in our daily work, as it plays a key role when designing forming processes."

Inaki Perez Bilbao
Research & Innovation
TECNALIA
Derio, Spain
Hardness prediction at the end of the heat treatment

Unique fully automatic optimization tool

TRANSVALOR is market leader in optimization with a cutting edge and constantly enhanced feature marketed since 5 years. As such, FORGE® NxT provides the best commercial solution to improve forging yield. FORGE® NxT optimization feature is used for 2 purposes, fully automatic design tool of forged components and process parameters identification.
· Fully automatic design tool for forged components. Major benefits of this application are the material cost reduction by decreasing initial billet weight,
  savings on energy cost by decreasing press load, die life extension by minimizing stress levels in the dies, …
With this advanced capability, the end user does not have to define any design of Experiment Of Experiment points. Each value of the parameters is determined fully automatically without any input until an optimal solution is found. Optimization parameters can also be selected among a set of specified discrete values, allowing matching with material provider dimensions. Highly stable and robust, FORGE® NxT allows reducing the initial billet weight for multiple operation forging sequences while ensuring the quality requirements on the final product. This is achieved in a fully automatic way. Automatic design on complex geometries and with complex geometric parameters is also possible thanks to a unique advanced coupling feature with commercial CAD packages. ProE wildfire starting version 5.0 and Creo and SolidWorks, starting with version 2012 are currently supported.

Automatic settings in the CAD system.

Before optimisation (red) and after optimisation (blue).
Thanks to the optimisation features linked with a CAD system, the initial billet weight has been reduced to 5.1 Kg, saving 10% of material per part.
· Run process parameters identification through inverse analysis

FORGE® NxT allows identifying process parameters that cannot be measured like friction coefficient or parameters of material model. The optimal parameters are calculated fully automatically using the specified experimental curves as reference. The direct benefit is an improved reliability and accuracy of the simulation by the use of the correct parameters value.

Unmatched CPU time reduction

TRANSVALOR is leader in innovative numerical techniques that reduce computation time. TRANSVALOR is the only forging simulation software editor which has been offering since more than 10 years a unique parallel capability. It is based on domain decomposition with thermo-mechanical solving, remeshing and transport being performed in parallel. Parallel computation is available for all processes addressed by FORGE® NxT, and compatible with all options, including coupled die analysis and automatic optimization. With the falling cost of multi-core systems, parallel processing is becoming accessible to all business size. FORGE® NxT parallel capability enables to get the highest scalability and the best of the hardware for fastest computation times
Computation time versus number of cores for the complete forging sequence (5 stages) of a steering sector shaft. Parallel computation efficiency is 80% on this simulation
For open die and incremental forging processes, FORGE® NxT brings a state-of-the-art numerical technique which allows:
· Significant computation time reduction
· Increase accuracy. Finer mesh can be used with an acceptable CPU time.
This method, known as a bi-mesh method, relies on the automatic split between two meshes. One fine mesh to perform the thermal calculation and to store all the historical variables, and one adapted mesh for the mechanical computation in order to capture localized deformations.

This new technique is easy to set up by specifying only the fine mesh, the adapted mesh being automatically deduced. It is fully compatible with HPC calculation.
FORGE® NxT embeds a new bi-mesh technique for CPU demanding processes with localized deformation such a becking, cogging and incremental forging. This method allows significant CPU time reduction while retaining similar result quality.

Innovative Meshing Technologies

Multiple innovative meshing technologies are integrated into FORGE® NxT in order to generate the best mesh quality for the best accurate results.

Part of the processes that are addressed by FORGE® NxT are the multi-material processes like for example multi-layer rolling or multi-material extrusion. FORGE® NxT provides a multi-material meshing technology. With this feature, the workpiece is represented by a unique mesh, which consists of multiple materials. This multi-material capability is different from the multi-body approach where each constitutive material has its own independent mesh.

Thin product forming processes (hydroforming, sheet metal forming, …) are also addressed by FORGE® NxT. With a dedicated meshing technique, mesh is optimized so as to:
· ensure a specific number of nodes in the thickness with a reasonable number of nodes for the global FE mesh of the thin product
· keep an adapted mesh with regards to the gradients of temperature, equivalent strain and velocity
· adapt the mesh to the local curvature
This new meshing feature results in the creation of adaptive and anisotropic meshes, which guarantee a fine and optimal mesh where required while keeping an acceptable computation time.
Super Plastic Forming Process of Ti-alloy bicycle head-tube

Models and Databases

To describe the part’s behavior, FORGE® NxT has several models:
· Viscoplastic laws
· Elasto-viscoplastic laws
· Elasto-plastic laws. These are real elasto-plastic models which can deal with cold forming simulations in order to precisely predict the final geometries, residual stresses and springback.
In addition to these laws, models are available for anisotropic materials. Finally, complex hardenings such as kinematic hardening are also available.

A wide range of material data, covering over 1000 materials are available for hot and cold formatting. It is also possible to integrate tabulated data or to import them from JMatPro from SenteSoftware. Amongst available data materials are recrystallization data and electromagnetic data.

FORGE® NxT offers a wide range of press kinematics and conventional equipment covering hydraulic presses, counter blow hammer press, knuckle presses, mechanical presses, multispeed hydraulic presses, screw presses, presses for orbital forging, rotary swagging press, rolling mills for ring rolling including their piloting. Centering rolls can be controlled as well as the diameter increase of the ring.

Different friction models are available, Coulomb, Tresca, viscoplastic laws as well as non-uniform friction coefficients.

Similarly, several damage criteria can be used: Latham&Cockroft, Lemaitre, Oyane, Shark skin, Rice Tracey…

Finally, FORGE® Nxt is an open code which allows clients to define their own models through the use of user routines.

Flexibility of use

FORGE® NxT offers great flexibility of use thanks to:
· import of CAD files in neutral formats such as STEP, STL, UNV, NASTRAN/PATRAN, Parasolid.
· export in 2D and STL DXF format, UNV, 3D Ansys.
· automatic chaining between operations.
· automatic simulation report.
· solver support for up to 64 cores in parallel.
· unlimited access to graphical interface for pre- and post-treatment