It is our opinion that horizontal integration, ranging from micromodeling to post-casting treatments, is the only way to unify the engineering design of aluminium cast components. Achieving an overall view of the process and of the material is fundamental. This belief comes from the integration of technological packages. Certainly, if a single package is considered, other particular approaches are possible.
For instance, in the case of microstructure and mechanical properties modelling, there are several possible scientific approaches. The atomic level approach, probabilistic modelling or phase field techniques give adequate microstructures for very limited metal volumes, much smaller than a casting. A deterministic modelling on a meso scale can give information relevant to the solidification microstructure and may be used for turning the microstructure into mechanical properties.
For quality mapping and stress analysis, it seems that no other engineering approaches can be applied, as these packages are strongly related to the development of existing technologies.
In terms of post-casting treatments, LHIP's main competitor is the conventional HIP process, which, however, is more unfavourable in terms of costs, production rates and safety.