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ISSN 09655425, Computational Mathematics and Mathematical Physics, 2012, Vol. 52, No. 12, pp. 16121623.

Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2012.


Original Russian Text A.V. Albu, A.F. Albu, V.I. Zubov, 2012, published in Zhurnal Vychislitelnoi Matematiki i Matematicheskoi Fiziki, 2012, Vol. 52, No. 12,
pp. 21492162.

Control of Substance Solidification


in a ComplexGeometry Mold
A. V. Albu, A. F. Albu, and V. I. Zubov
Dorodnicyn Computing Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Vavilova 40, Moscow, 119333 Russia
email: zubov@ccas.ru
Received June 15, 2012

AbstractThe control of metal solidification in a mold of complex geometry is studied. The under
lying mathematical model is based on a threedimensional twophase initialboundary value problem
of the Stefan type. The mathematical formulation of the optimal control problem for the solidification
process is presented. This problem was solved numerically using gradient optimization methods. The
gradient of the cost function was computed by applying the fast automatic differentiation technique,
which yields the exact value of the cost function gradient for the chosen discrete version of the optimal
control problem. The results of the study are described and analyzed. Some of the results are illustrated
as plots.
DOI: 10.1134/S0965542512120020
Keywords: heat equation, solidification of metal, Stefan problem, optimal control, fast automatic dif
ferentiation, adjoint problem.

INTRODUCTION
An important and interesting problem related to heat transfer is the optimal control of metal solidifi
cation in metal casting. The stage of cooling and solidification can be described as follows. A mold with
specified outer and inner boundaries (see two projections of the mold in Figs. 1a, 1b) is filled with liquid
metal (the hatched area in Figs. 1a and 1b depicts the mold wall, and the internal unhatched area shows
the inside space filled with liquid metal). The mold and the metal inside it are heated up to prescribed tem
peratures Tform and Tmet , respectively. The experimental setup for metal solidification is shown in Fig. 2.
It consists of upper and lower parts. The upper part consists of a furnace with a metalfilled mold moving
inside it. The lower part consists of a cooling bath representing a large tank filled with liquid aluminum
whose temperature is somewhat higher than the aluminum melting point. The cooling of the liquid metal
in the furnace proceeds as follows. The object is slowly immersed in the liquid aluminum of relatively low
temperature, which causes the solidification of the metal. On the other hand, the object gains heat from
the furnace walls, which prevents the solidification process from proceeding too fast. Note that different
parts of the outer boundary of the object are under different thermal conditions.
The cooling and solidification of melted metal is an important stage in metal casting. Its importance is
explained by the fact that the quality of the resulting product depends on how the process of cooling and
solidification proceeds. To obtain a product of high quality, certain technological requirements are
imposed on the process of solidification. According to numerous studies of solidification in a similar
experimental setup, for a product of high quality to be obtained, it is desired that the phase boundary be
as close to a plane as possible (no liquidmetal bubbles inside the domain) and that its velocity of motion
be close to a prescribed one.
The evolution of the phase boundary is affected by many parameters (for example, the furnace temper
ature, the temperature of the liquid aluminum, the depth to which the object is immersed in the liquid alu
minum, the velocity of the object relative to the furnace, etc.). Of special interest in practice is the depen
dence of the phase boundary on the velocity of the object moving in the furnace. For this reason, as a con
trol function, we use the velocity of the mold in the furnace or the displacement of the mold. To find a
control function satisfying the technological requirements, we formulate an optimal control problem for metal
solidification. This problem consists of choosing a mode of metal cooling and solidification in which the solid
ification front has a preset shape (or is close to it) and moves at a speed close to the preset one.
To describe and control the metal solidification in the setup shown in Fig. 2, a mathematical model of
this process was proposed in [1]. A characteristic feature of the problem in question is that it involves a
1612

CONTROL OF SUBSTANCE SOLIDIFICATION IN A COMPLEXGEOMETRY MOLD

Object

Furnace

(b)

Furnace

(a)

1613

Aluminum

Fig. 1.

Fig. 2.

moving interface between two phases (liquid and solid). Moreover, the law of motion of this surface is not
known beforehand and has to be determined (Stefantype problems). In [1] a finitedifference approxi
mation of the direct problem (of determining the temperature at each point of the object and identifying
the solidification front) was proposed and an algorithm for finding the numerical solution of the direct
problem was described.
In [2] the choice of a cost functional that models the technological requirements for metal solidifica
tion was discussed and optimal control problems for this process were formulated. These are problems
arising in the study of complicated dynamical systems, and they are usually solved using numerical opti
mization methods. The most popular are gradient methods for functional minimization. To implement
such a method, we have to be able to evaluate a functional and its gradient at an arbitrary point. An effi
cient method for computing the components of the cost function gradient was proposed in [3]. It is based
on the fast automatic differentiation technique [4] and calculates the exact value of the cost function gra
dient in a given discrete optimal control problem.
In this paper, the gradient methods for functional minimization are used to solve several optimal con
trol problems for metal solidification in the case of a complexgeometry object (in contrast to [2, 5], where
an object of simple shape was considered).
1. MATHEMATICAL FORMULATION OF THE PROBLEM
The mathematical model of the process is underlain by a threedimensional nonstationary twophase
initialboundary value problem of the Stefan type. The mathematical formulation of the problem under
study is briefly described below.
Let Q be the domain occupied by the mold with metal and be the piecewise smooth boundary of Q .
The process of cooling the metal and the mold is governed by the equation
T T T
H
= K
+
+
K
K
,
t
x x y y z z

( x, y, z ) Q,

(1.1)

where T ( x, y, z, t ) is the temperature of the substance at the point with coordinates ( x, y, z ) at time t . The
heat content function H (T ( x, y, z, t )) is defined as

H (T ) , ( x, y, z ) metal,
H (T ( x, y, z, t )) = 1
H 2 (T ) , ( x, y, z ) mold,
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S cST , T < T1,


c (T T ) +
T
1
S
H 1 (T ) = S S 2
T S 1 , T1 T < T2,
T2 T1
T2 T1

LcL(T T2 ) + S cST2 + S , T T2,

H 2 (T ) = cT ,

where is the specific heat of melting. The thermal conductivity K (T ) has the form

K (T ) , ( x, y, z ) metal,
K (T ) = 1
k, ( x, y, z ) mold,

kS , T < T1,
k k
k T kLT1
S
K 1 (T ) = L
T+ S 2
,
T
T
T2 T1

1
2
k L, T T2.

T1 T < T2,

Here, cS , c L , c, S , L , , kS , k L , k , T1, and T2 are prescribed constants (the indices L and S denote
the liquid and solid phases, respectively). The thermodynamic coefficients (the density of the substance,
the heat capacity, and thermal conductivity) have a jump at the metalmold interface. Two conditions are
required to hold at this surface; namely, the temperature and the heat flux must be continuous. In the
modes under study, the metal can be simultaneously in two phases: solid and liquid. The domain separat
ing the phases is determined by the narrow range of temperatures [T1,T2 ] , in which the thermodynamic
coefficients vary rapidly.
The cooling of the mold and the metal inside it occurs due to the interaction of the object with the envi
ronment. The basic types of thermal conditions at points of the outer boundary of the object are as follows:
(i) Thermal energy of the body is lost due to its own radiation.
(ii) Energy is gained due to radiation of the surrounding liquid aluminum.
(iii) Thermal energy is exchanged due to heat transfer between the liquid aluminum and the object.
(iv) Energy is gained due to radiation of the furnace walls.
(v) Energy is gained due to radiation of the surface of the liquid aluminum.
All the heat exchange conditions on the boundary of Q can be written in the general form
 T + 

T
=  .
n

(1.2)

Here,  ,  , and  are given functions of the coordinates ( x, y, z ) of a point on and of the temperature
T ( x, y, z, t ) , while T / n = Tn is the derivative of T in the outward normal direction n on .
In [5] the above boundary conditions were described in detail in the case of a parallelepipedal object.
When the object has more complex geometry (see Fig. 1), the algorithm for deriving explicit expressions
for the boundary conditions becomes more complicated. This algorithm was described in detail in [3].
To determine the velocity of the mold relative to the furnace (control function), we formulate the fol
lowing optimal control problem.
We introduce two classes of functions: K1 and K 2 . Let A and B be prescribed constants (more specif
*
*
ically, A and B are the z coordinates determining the initial position of the object relative to the furnace
*
*
and its position at the maximum depth to which the object is immersed in the coolant, respectively).
A function u(t ) is said to belong to the class K 1 if u(t ) is continuous and piecewise smooth for t [0, ) and
satisfies the constraints A u(t) B and u(0) = A . The class K 2 consists of all piecewise continuous
*
*
*
(
u
t
)
t

[0,

)
,
, that are obtained by differentiating functions from K 1 ; i.e., u(t ) = u '(t ), u(t ) K1,
functions
t [0, ).
If the displacement of the mold relative to the furnace is used as a control, it must belong to the class K 1 .
If the velocity of the mold relative to the furnace is used as a control, must belong to the class K 2 .
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The cost functional is defined as


t 2 (u)

1
I 1(u) =
t 2(u) t1(u)

t1(u) S

pl (x, y, t )

z*(t ) dxdy dt .

(1.3)

Here, t1 is the time at which the solidification front is formed, t2 is the time at which the metal becomes
completely solid, S = S(t ) is the projection of the phase boundary onto a plane perpendicular to the verti
cal axis of the mold, (x, y, Z pl (x, y, t)) are the actual coordinates of the phase boundary at the time t , and
(x, y, z*(t)) are the desired coordinates of the phase boundary at the time t .
Functional (1.3) is the timeaverage rms deviation of the actual phase boundary from the desired one.
Earlier studies have shown that this functional ensures a front velocity close to the desired one and pro
vides some flattening of this surface.
Thus, the optimal control problem in question is to choose a control u(t ) K1 (or u(t ) K 2) that min
imizes the cost functional.
2. NUMERICAL SOLUTION OF THE OPTIMAL CONTROL PROBLEM
The numerical results presented below were obtained for the following parameter values given in
SI units:
S = 8200.0 , kS = 23.3 , cS = 670.0,
L = 7200.0 , k L = 15.2 , c L = 790.0 ,
= 2700.0 , k1 = 4.7 , k 2 = 3.2 ,
c = 780.0 , = 20.0 , = 234000.0 ,
T1 = 1493.15 , T2 = 1633.15 , T3 = 1100.15,

Tmet = 1973.15, Tform = 1 853.15,


TSou_p = 1839.15 (the temperature of the plate furnace),
Tal = 1003.15 (the temperature of the liquid aluminum),
LSou = 0.450 (the width of the plate furnace),
H Sou = 0.535 (the height of the plate furnace),
H air = 0.070 (the distance from the furnace to the liquid aluminum),
Lal = 0.500 (the width of the aluminum surface),
H al = 0.300 (the length of the aluminum surface),
Lf = 0.010 (the thickness of the mold walls),
X Sou = 0.020 (the distance from the object to the furnace),
= 1.0 (the heat transfer coefficient),
f = 0.8 (the absorption coefficient of the form),
m = 0.8 (the absorption coefficient of the metal),
Tpl = 0.5(T1 + T2 ) (freezing point).
The numerical computations were performed for a mold with the cross sections shown in Fig. 1 and
with the sizes presented in Table 1. The object was immersed in liquid aluminum down to the height of the
fourth parallelepiped.
While solving the optimal control problem, we first chose a time interval [0, A] such that the time
required for the metal in the mold to completely solidify did not exceed A under all the solidification con
j
ditions. Then this time interval was divided into J subintervals to form a nonuniform time grid {t },
j
j
j 1
j = 0, J , with steps = t t , j = 1, J . Specifically, the time grid was finer at the beginning of the metal
cooling, since the largest variations in the temperature field were observed over this time period. The mesh
size was determined by the accuracy required for the results (see [2]).
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Table 1
Step index in the object

Step length

Step width

Step height

1
2
3
4
5

0.040
0.050
0.090
0.110
0.140

0.100
0.100
0.100
0.140
0.180

0.120
0.080
0.080
0.080
0.050

An important step in the simulation was choosing a spatial grid. On the one hand, a fine grid provides
a good approximation to the exact solution of the problem. On the other hand, a fine grid requires con
siderable computer resources, such as storage and speed. Relying on a preliminary analysis, we used a
20 30 45 grid. In test computations (extremely costly) on a twice finer grid in each coordinate direc
tion, the maximum deviation of the temperature field in the metal during the entire process was 10C,
which is less than 1% of the metal freezing point. (see [2]). A method for approximating the object and the
choice of a coordinate system were described in detail in [2, 3].
As a control function u (t ) in the optimal control problem, we use the timedependent displacement of
the mold in the furnace, specifically, the zcoordinate Z Sou (t ) of the outer boundary of the furnaces lower
wall. The control function was approximated by a piecewise constant function.
Several numerical experiments were performed. In the first, the cost functional was defined by (1.3),
which ensured the fulfillment of the conditions imposed on the shape of the actual phase boundary and
on the velocity of its displacement.
The zcoordinate z (t) of the desired phase boundary varied with time as shown in Fig. 3. No additional
*
constraints were imposed on the control function. The cost functional I 1(u) was approximated by a func
tion F ( u) with the help of the trapezoidal rule (see [3]).
The optimal control problem was numerically solved using the gradient method. The direct problem
was solved at each iteration to compute F (u). The cost functional gradient at each iteration was calculated
using the fast automatic differentiation technique (see [3]).
The initial approximation for the control function was chosen fairly accurately (so that no liquid metal
bubbles were formed and collapsed in the mold and the time required for metal solidification was within
the admissible range, i.e., from one to two hours). Nevertheless, the cost functional value was reduced by
nearly three times due to the optimization. The optimal displacement of the mold relative to the furnace
is plotted as a function of time in Fig. 4.
The solidification process under the initial control (in the mold moving relative to the furnace at a con
stant speed of 25 mm/min) took 3192 s. The solidification process under the optimal control took 4282 s.
The solidification at the desired velocity of displacement continued 4054 s.
z*
0.45
0.40
0.35
0.30
0.25
0.20
0.15
0.10
0.05
0

500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500


t

z
0.30
0.25
0.20
0.15
0.10
0.05
0
0.05
0.10
0.15

500

1500

Fig. 3.
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2500

3500

4500
t

Fig. 4.
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CONTROL OF SUBSTANCE SOLIDIFICATION IN A COMPLEXGEOMETRY MOLD

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Figures 57 illustrate the optimal solidification at three times. The vertical and horizontal lines with
hatching inside the object separate the metal from the mold. The curve is the contour line of the temper
ature T = Tpl . The horizontal line indicates the desired phase boundary at the given time.
In the second numerical experiment, the cost functional was defined as
t 2(u)

1
I 2(u) =
t 2(u) t1(u)

+
t 2(u) t1(u)

t2(u)

t1(u) S

( Z

pl (x, y, t )

z*(t)) dxdydt
2

t1(u) S

Z pl (x, y, t) 2 Z pl (x, y, t) 2

+
dxdydt,
x
y

> 0.

In contrast to I 1(u), this functional has an additional term constraining the slope of the phase boundary.
The cost functional I 2(u) was approximated by F ( u) according to the formula
I 2(u) F ( u ) =

j +1
1
1 f
2(t 2 t1)

j2 1

j1

j +1

j = j1 +1

)f

j
j
+ 2 f 2 ,

(2.1)

where j1 is the index of the time grid point corresponding to the time t1 ; j 2 is the index of the time grid
point corresponding to the time t2 ,

f =
j

(
n

Z nij

j 2 x y
hn hi

Z nij Z nj1,i x y

hn hi +
hnx1

Z nij Z nj,i 1 x y

hn hi ,
hiy1

and the sum extends over indices n and i for which (x n, yi ) S. The quantities Z nij = Z pl (xn, yi, t j ) for these
indices were calculated using the formula

Z nij

(z l

*+1

z l )Tpl + z l nij ,l
*

nij ,l +1
*

*+1

zl

j
*+1 nil *

j
nil
*

).

(2.2)

The law of motion of the desired phase boundary was the same as in the first experiment (see Fig. 3).
The cost function gradient in the discrete optimal control problem was computed using the solution of an
adjoint problem obtained by applying the fast automatic differentiation formulas to the discrete optimal
control problem. The adjoint problem consisted of three subproblems (with splitting in the x , y , and
z directions) and was similar in form to that presented in [3]. The only difference was that the derivatives
F E nilj and F E nij ,l +1 were computed in a different manner, since cost functional (1.3) was used in [3].
*
*
In the present case, these derivatives were calculated using the formulas
j
j
f
F =
,
j
j
E nil 2(t 2 t1) E nil

=
j1

*
j1 +1

*
j +1

F
j
E ni,l

= + ,
j

f j
f j Z ni
=
,
E nilj
Z nij E nilj
j

Z nij
E nilj
*

(z l

=
*+1

( (

E nij ,l +1
*

( j = j1 + 1, j2 1) ,

j2 = j2 ,

f j
f j Z ni
=
,
E nij ,l +1 Z nij E nij ,l +1
j

j
+1 z l ) Tpl E ni,l

j
j
f
,
2(t 2 t1) E nij ,l +1

) (

E nilj
*

*+1
2

))

)) (

E nilj
E nilj
*

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(2.3)

),
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ALBU et al.
(a)

(b)

Fig. 5.

(a)

(b)

Fig. 6.

(a)

(b)

Fig. 7.
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CONTROL OF SUBSTANCE SOLIDIFICATION IN A COMPLEXGEOMETRY MOLD

( )) (
(
) ( ))

1619

(zl zl +1) Tpl Enilj Enij ,l +1


Z nij
*
*
*
,
= *
2
j
j
j
j
Eni,l +1
Eni,l +1
Eni,l +1 Enil

((

j
j
j
j
j
Z 00 Z 10 Z 00 Z 01 x y
f
j
j

= 2 Z 00 z* +
+
hh,
j
y 2
hx 2
0 0

Z 00
h
0
0

( )

( )

Z 0,j i 1
Z 0i Z 1ij
Z 0ji
Z 0ji
Z 0ji x y
f j
j
j

= 2 Z 0i z* +
+
+

h0 hi ,
y 2
y 2
y 2
y 2
hx 2

Z 0ji
h
h
h
h
i
i
i
i
0

( )

( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

i = 1, i1 1;

j
Z 0i1 Z1ij1 Z 0ji1 Z 0,j i1 1 x y
f
j
j

= 2 Z 0i1 z* +
+
hh ,
2
j
y
hx 2
0 i1 1

Z 0i1
h
i
0
1

( )

( )

Z nj1,0 Z nj+1,0 x y
Z n0 Z nj1
Z nj0
Z nj0
f j
j
j

= 2 Z n0 z* +
+
+

hn h0 ,
x 2
x 2
x 2
x 2
hx 2

Z nj0
h
h
h
h
n
n
n
n
0

( )

( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

n = 1, n1 1;

j
j
j
j
j
j
j
j
j
Z n1,i Z n+1,i Z n,i 1 Z n,i +1
Z ni
Z ni
Z ni
f
j
j
x y
x y Z ni
= 2 Z ni z* hn hi + 2hn hi
+
+
+

, (2.4)
j
hx 2 hx 2 hy 2 hy 2 hx 2 hx 2 hy 2 hy 2
Z ni
n
i 1
i
n1
n
i 1
i
n1

( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
n = 1, n1 1;

i = 1, i1 1;

j
Z ni1 Z nj,i1 1 1
f
x
j
j

h
h
Z
z
=
2

+
+ 1
n
ni1
2
2
j
*
y
x

Z ni1
hnx

hi1 1
hn1

( )

( ) ( )

j
j
Z nij Z n1,i1 Z n+1,i1 ,
2
1 h x 2 h x 2
n1
n

( ) ( )

n = 1, n1 1;

j
j
j
j
f j
Z nj 0 z j + Z n10 Z n1 1,0 + Z n1,0 Z n1,1 hnx h0y,
2
=
*
y 2
hx 2
1
1
Z nj10
h
n

1
0
1

( )

j
Z n1,i Z nj1 1,i 1
f
x y
j
j

=
2

+
+ 1
h
h
Z
z
n1 i
n1i
2
2
j
*
x
y

Z n1i
hiy

hn1 1
hi 1

( )

( ) ( )

( )

j
j
Z nj ,i Z n1,i 1 Z n1,i +1 ,
2
y 2
y 2
1
h
h
i
i
1

( ) ( )

i = 1, i1 1;

j
j
j
j
f
Z nj ,i z j + Z n1,i1 Z n11,i1 + Z n1,i1 Z n1,i11 hnx hiy.
=
2
j
2
x
y 2

1 1
11 *
Z n1i1
h
h
n
i
1
1

1
1

Since the mold was symmetric about its vertical axis and was placed symmetrically in the furnace, we
considered only onefourth of the object. Therefore, in the above formulas, the indices 0 n n1 and
0 i i1 corresponded only to onefourth of the set S .
The initial approximation to the control function was chosen the same as in the case of the functional I 1(u).
The other numerical parameters were also identical.
Studies were performed for various values of . The laws of optimal displacement of the mold relative
5
5
to the furnace for = 7 10 and = 10 10 are shown in Fig. 8. Some numerical results are given in
Table 2, where F0 is the cost function value under the initial control, Fopt is the cost function value under
the optimal control, t1 is the time at which the solidification front is formed (under the optimal control),
and t2 is the time at which the metal becomes completely solid (under the optimal control).
The solidification process under the initial control took 3192 s. Under the optimal control (in the plot),
5
5
the process took 4206 s for = 7 10 and 4183 s for = 10 10 . At the desired velocity of displace

( )

( )

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z
0.30
0.25
0.20
0.15
0.10

= 10 105
= 7 105

0.05
0
0.05

1000

2000

3000

4000

5000
t

3000

4000

5000
t

0.10
0.15
Fig. 8.

z
0.30
0.25
0.20

I2

0.15
0.10

I1

0.05
0
0.05

1000

2000

0.10
0.15
Fig. 9.

ment, the solidification process continued 4054 s. This functional, like (1.3), increases the time required
for solidification in the optimal mode as compared with the solidification time under the initial control.
It should be noted that the functional I 2(u) makes the phase boundary somewhat more flattened (mainly
in the wider (upper) part of the mold) than I 1(u) does.
5
The difference between the optimal controls obtained in the case of I 1(u) and I 2(u) for = 10 10 is
illustrated in Fig. 9.

3. FLATTENING OF THE PHASE BOUNDARY


If the phase boundary has to be flattened to a considerable degree (without imposing any constraint on
its displacement velocity), then we use the functional
t 2 (u)

1
I 3(u) =
t 2(u) t1(u)

Z (t) Z

pl (x, y, t )

(3.1)

dxdydt

t1(u) S

Table 2

t1, s

t2, s

F0

Fopt

7 105
10 105

58.80
58.80

4265.20
4242.00

2.1604
2.6792

1.6076
2.1447

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Table 3
TSou_p, K

t1, s

t2, s

F0

Fopt

1839.15
1843.15
1846.15

81.20
82.00
82.00

3225.20
3571.60
4143.60

1.2180 101
1.0845 101
9.2048 102

1.1384 101
1.0132 101
8.6880 102

or
1

| S |
t1(u)

t 2 (u)

1
I 4 (u) =
t 2(u) t1(u)

[z(t ) Z pl (x, y, t )]2 dxdy dt .

(3.2)

Functional (3.1) is the timeaverage rms deviation of the actual phase boundary from its crosssection
averaged value Z (t ) (see also [2]). Functional (3.2) is the timeaverage rms deviation of the actual phase
boundary from its minimal value z(t) = min Z pl (x, y, t) divided by the area | S| = | S(t)| of the projection of
( x, y)S

the phase boundary onto a plane perpendicular to the vertical axis of the mold.
The numerical results presented in this section were obtained with the same parameter values and for
the same object as in the previous section. The optimal flattening of the phase boundary for an object of
simple geometry, namely, a parallelepiped was addressed in [2]. Due to the application of the functional I 3(u),
the phase boundary was considerably flattened, especially in vertical cross sections perpendicular to the
furnace walls. In the first numerical experiment described in this section, the same problem was consid
ered for the object of complex geometry described above. The direct problem was solved using the same
difference scheme as before (see [1]), while the cost functional I 3(u) was approximated by a function F ( u)
with the help of the trapezoidal rule. The gradient of F ( u) was calculated using the fast automatic differ
entiation technique. The formula for computing the gradient of F ( u) and the adjoint problem used for its
determination were similar to those presented in [3]. The only difference was that the derivatives F E nilj *
and F E nij ,l*+1 were computed in a different manner. The formulas for computing these derivatives can
be found in [2].
A large series of computations of the optimal control problem were performed with cost functional (3.1).
As in the case of the simplestgeometry object (see [2]), the functional I 3(u) was found to have a large
number of local minima. What local minimum is approached depends on the chosen initial approxima
tion of the control and on the parameters used for the minimization of the functional.
In Table 3 presents the results of several numerical experiments (for various furnace wall temper
atures TSou_p ). The notation is the same as in Table 2. As an initial approximation for the control function,
we used the displacement of the mold at a constant speed of 25 mm/min. Note that the decrease in the
z
0.30
0.25
0.20
0.15
0.10
0.05
0
0.05
0.10
0.15

1000

2000

3000

4000

5000
t

Fig. 10.
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2012

1622

ALBU et al.
z
0.30
0.25

I3

0.20
0.15
I1

0.10
0.05
0
0.05

1000

2000

3000

4000

3000

4000

5000
t

0.10
0.15
Fig. 11.

z
0.30
0.25
0.20
0.15
0.10
0.05
0
0.05
0.10
0.15

1000

2000

5000
t

Fig. 12.

cost function due to optimization was much less than in the case of functional (1.3). The optimal displace
ment of the mold relative to the furnace at TSou_p = 1839.15 is plotted against time in Fig. 10.
The functionals considered in the previous section led to an increased solidification time under the
optimal control as compared with the initial control. In the case under study, on the contrary, the solidi
fication time under the optimal control is less than that required under the initial control (specifically, the
solidification time under the initial control is 3192 s at TSou_p = 1839.15, 3538 s at TSou_p = 1843.15, and
4122 s at TSou_p = 1846.15).
Note also that, at a higher furnace temperature, the phase boundary becomes more flattened ( F0 is
smaller), while the optimal control remains nearly the same (the differences in the plots are nearly indis
tinguishable). However, when the furnace temperature is higher than 1848.15, the complete solidification
time becomes too long.
Figure 11 compares the optimal controls obtained with the functionals I 1(u) and I 3(u) at the furnace
temperature equal to 1839.15.
Functional (3.2), which was also used to flatten the phase boundary without imposing any constraint
on the velocity of its displacement, was approximated by a function F ( u) based on the trapezoidal rule (see
j
formula (2.1)). Here, f = 1 j nn1=0ii1=0(z j Z nij )2 hnx hiy , where Z nij = Z pl (xn, yi , t j ), z j = Z nj*i* = min Z nij ,
0<n<n1, 0<i <i1
| S|
j
j

| S| = | S(t )|, and the indices 0 n n1 and 0 i i1 correspond only to onefourth of the set S .
COMPUTATIONAL MATHEMATICS AND MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS

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CONTROL OF SUBSTANCE SOLIDIFICATION IN A COMPLEXGEOMETRY MOLD


()

(b)

()

(b)

Fig. 14.

Fig. 13.

The derivatives f
as follows:

()

E nilj * and f

(b)

Fig. 15.

E nij ,l*+1 used for writing the adjoint problem (see [3]) are calculated

f j
f j Z ni
,
=
E nilj * Z nij E nilj *

f j
f j Z ni
,
=
E nij ,l *+1 Z nij E nij ,l *+1

f
j
j
x y
= 2 j Z n*i* Z ni hn hi
Z nij
| S|
j

1623

f
= 2
Z nj*i* | S| j
j

n1

if

n n*

i1

( Z

j
n*i*

and

i i* ,

Z nij hnx hiy .

n =0 i =0

The derivatives Z nij E nilj * and Z nij E nij ,l*+1 are calculated using formulas (2.3) and (2.4).
As in the first experiment, the functional I 4(u) was found to have a large number of local minima. Fig
ure 12 shows the optimal displacement of the mold relative to the furnace against time as found by solving
the optimal control problem with functional (3.2) and with the same initial approximation as in the first
experiment at TSou_p = 1846.15. The optimal process at three different times is illustrated in Figs. 1315.
Summarizing, in the case of an object consisting of a set of parallelepipeds (see Fig. 1), functional (1.3)
is the most effective one for finding a control function for metal solidification in the mold. It not only con
trols the velocity of the phase boundary in the metal, but also effectively flattens this surface.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project nos. 120100572a
and 110112136ofim2011), by the Program for Basic Research of the Presidium of the RAS P18, by
the Program Leading Scientific Schools (project no. NSh5264.2012.1), and by the Branch of Mathe
matics of the RAS (basic research program no. 3).
REFERENCES
1. A. F. Albu and V. I. Zubov, Mathematical Modeling and Study of the Process of Solidification in Metal Cast
ing, Comput. Math. Math. Phys. 47, 843862 (2007).
2. A. V. Albu and V. I. Zubov, Choosing a Cost Functional and a Difference Scheme in the Optimal Control of
Metal Solidification, Comput. Math. Math. Phys. 51, 2438 (2011).
3. A. V. Albu, A. F. Albu, and V. I. Zubov, Functional Gradient Evaluation in the Optimal Control of a Complex
Dynamical System, Comput. Math. Math. Phys. 51, 762780 (2011).
4. Y. G. Evtushenko, Computation of Exact Gradients in Distributed Dynamic Systems, Optimizat. Methods
Software, No. 9, 4575 (1998).
5. A. F. Albu and V. I. Zubov, Determination of Functional Gradient in an Optimal Control Problem Related to
Metal Solidification, Comput. Math. Math. Phys. 49, 4770 (2009).
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2012