The mechanical and thermal processes used to manufacture components and assemblies can have huge effects on their performance and longevity in service, but CAE simulation rarely takes this into account.
Many years ago I was involved with an engine mounting bracket design. Our durability modelling showed that the parts would perform acceptably, and this was borne out by the initial prototype testing.
However, when the casting process was productionised – from sand casting to die casting – the parts began to fail due to fatigue. This was ultimately traced back to high frozen in stresses from the die casting process raising the mean stress in the component and hence reducing the fatigue life. Today, progress in CAE technology means we can simulate many manufacturing processes to enable us to account for these effects. …
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