Ultrasonic treatment (UST) and its effects, primarily cavitation and acoustic streaming, are useful for a high range of industrial applications, e.g., welding, filtering, cleaning or emulsification. In the metallurgy and foundry industry, UST can be used to modify a material’s microstructure by treating metal in the liquid or semi-solid state. Cavitation (formation, pulsating growth and implosion of tiny bubbles) and its shock waves, released during the implosion of the cavitation bubbles, are able to break forming structures and thus refine them. In this context, especially aluminium alloys are in the focus of the investigations. Aluminium alloys, e.g., A356, have a significantly wide range of industrial applications in automotive, aerospace and machine engineering, and UST is an effective and comparatively clean technology for its treatment. In recent years, the efforts for simulating the complex mechanisms of UST are increasing, and approaches for computing the complex cavitation dynamics below the radiator during high intensity ultrasonic treatment have come up. In this study, the capabilities of the established CFD simulation tool FLOW-3D to simulate the formation and dynamics of acoustic cavitation in aluminium A356 are investigated. The achieved results demonstrate the basic capability of the software to calculate the above-mentioned effects. Thus, the investigated software provides a solid basis for further development and integration of numerical models into an established software environment and could promote the integration of the simulation of UST in industry.
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