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Mech 423 #2 1
MECH 423 Casting, Welding, Heat
Treating and NDT

Time: _ _ W _ F 14:45 - 16:00

Credits: 3.5 Session: Fall


Lecture 2

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Casting is a process where

molten material is allowed to

freeze and take the final shape

Final product property that

depend of structural features

are formed during solidification

Many defects gas porosity and shrinkage also happen this time

These defects can be reduced by controlling the solidification

Refinement of grain size is also possible by controlling solidification

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Nucleation:- formation of stable particle of solid material within
the molten liquid.

Growth:- growth of solid particles to convert remaining liquid to


Nucleation while material changes state, internal energy

reduces as at low temperature solid phase is stable than liquid

New surfaces are created at the interface between solid and liquid

which requires energy

There is balance between the energy levels

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Due to this balance in energy, nucleation occurs at

temperatures below the melting point

The temperature difference

between the melting point

and the actual temperature

at which nucleation starts is

called super or


Homogeneous nucleation takes place inside liquid metal

when atoms bond together to form large enough particle that

does not remelt (latent heat of fusion). Rare in industry.

Heterogeneous nucleation takes place at foreign bodies e.g.,

mould walls, impurities etc. Most common type industrially

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Each nuclei grows to form grain (crystal)

so in given volume, more nuclei means

smaller final grain size

Products with smaller grains have better mechanical

properties generally (except creep).

Innoculation - Deliberate addition of small impurity particles

(that do not melt) to provide many sites for nucleation and

give grain refinement.

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Growth - as mould extracts heat, liquid cools, nuclei grow

in size (+ more formed) and eventually consume all liquid

metal to form solid

Direction, rate and type of growth can be controlled by the

way heat is removed

Faster cooling tends to give less time for growth (more

nucleation) and so gives finer grains usually.

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Cooling Curves
Study temperature of cooling metal:- thermal analysis

Insert thermocouples into casting and study the temperature vs


Superheat is the heat above

melting point

More the superheat, more time

for metal to flow into difficult

places before freezing

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Cooling Curves
Cooling rate is the rate at which liquid solidifies. It is the slope of
the cooling curve at a given point T/ t
At thermal arrest heat is being removed from the mould comes
from latent heat due to solidification

Pure metals & eutectics show

thermal arrest at Tm (plateau)
From pouring to solidification is
the total solidification time
From start to end of solidification
is local solidification time

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Cooling Curves
Alloys (non-eutectic) usually have freezing range; change in

slope of T/ t.

Now the solidification appears as a slope in the curve

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Cooling Curves
If undercooling required for nucleation, heat of fusion increases

the temperature back to melting point this is recalescence

Specific form of cooling curve

depends on the material poured,
type of nucleation, and rate and
means of heat removal from mould

Faster cooling rates and short

solidification times lead to
materials with finer grains and
better mechanical properties
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Solidification Time: Chvorinovs Rule
Amount of heat that must be removed from a casting for

solidification depends on the amount of superheat on the

pouring metal and volume of metal in the casting.

The ability to remove that heat depends on the exposed

surface area through heat can be extracted and the

surrounding environment to the molten metal.

Taking these into account, chvorinov came out with a

prediction for solidification time

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Solidification Time: Chvorinovs Rule
ts = total solidification time
t s B
n = constant (1.5 - 2.0)

V = volume of casting

A = surface area of casting

B = mould constant (dependent on metal, mould material

etc - density, heat capacity, thermal conductivity etc).

Establish B by casting test specimens for a given mould

material under particular conditions

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Solidification Time: Chvorinovs Rule
This value can be used for computing Ts of other castings

under similar conditions

Since riser and casting are of same metal and in same

condition, use the rule to compare solidification time for

riser and casting

then use rule to design casting so that casting solidifies

before riser

This is a must as the riser will then feed the solidifying

casting Mech 423 #2 15

Cast Structure
Structure depends on metal/alloy, cooling rate,
additions etc.

Chill zone - Narrow band randomly oriented

along surface (touching mould) due to rapid
cooling due to nucleation

As heat removed, grains grow inwards, process

slows down

Preferred growth of grains with fast growth

direction oriented with heat flow.

FIGURE 13.6 Cross-sectional structure of a cast metal bar showing the chill
zone at the periphery, columnar grains growing toward the center, and
central shrinkage cavity.
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Cast Structure
Columnar zone at the end of chill zone as

the rate of heat extraction reduces, By

selection processes grains growing in other

directions are stopped, only favorably

oriented ones grow

Grains grow longer and towards the center

Not very desirable (anisotropic properties,

large grains).

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Cast Structure
Equiaxed zone in many materials nucleation

takes place inside the casting and this can grow

to form spherical randomly oriented crystals.

low superheat, alloying, inoculation can promote this

This produces structures with isotropic (uniform in all

directions) properties

Preferable structure

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Molten Metal Problems
Liquid metals tend to be REACTIVE. (Atmosphere, crucible, mould

etc) could produce defects in castings

Metal + Oxygen Metal Oxide which is knows as dross or slag can

be trapped inside casting, and affect

surface finish


mechanical properties (strength, fatigue life etc.)

Material from sand, furnace lining, pouring ladle contribute to

dross or slag
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Molten Metal Problems
Dross or slag can be controlled by good foundry practice

Use FLUXES to cover surface and prevent reactions.

Melt under VACUUM (some alloy steel), or INERT ATMOSPHERE


Let oxides float on surface; take liquid metal from below so that the

oxide stays back and does not go into the casting. (figure 13.7)

Use ceramic filters to trap particles.

Gating system designed to trap particles as well

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Molten Metal Problems

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Molten Metal Problems
Gas Porosity liquid metals contain

dissolved gas. more gas (hydrogen,

oxygen, etc.) can dissolve in liquid

metal than solid

When metal solidifies, gas comes

out of solution to form bubbles

gas porosity

Bad for mechanical properties,

gas tightness, surface finish after

machining etc. Mech 423 #2 22

Molten Metal Problems
Prevention of gas porosity can be done

using different techniques

Prevent gas entering liquid metal

Melt under vacuum.

Melt in inert gas or under flux coating to prevent

atmospheric contact

Minimize superheat to minimize gas solubility

Reduce turbulence, splashing etc during pouring.

Streamline the flow

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Molten Metal Problems
Remove dissolved gas from molten metal before pouring.

Vacuum degassing - spray molten metal through low pressure


Gas flushing passing small bubbles of inert or reactive gas (nitrogen,

argon, chlorine in Al). Dissolved gas enters this flushing gas and is

carried away.

React with gas to form low density solid (slag/dross) e.g. Al or Si to

deoxidize steel, Phosphorous in copper to remove oxygen. The oxides

stay on top of the molten metal and can be removed by skimming

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Surface Films
Some gases enter liquid and diffuse into bulk (hydrogen in al) but

some react to form surface films.

Usually from reaction with oxygen, moisture, hydrocarbons.

Tin, gold, platinum usually free of films

Lead - forms pbo on surface. Interferes with soldered joints (dry

joint - non-wetting) use fluxes/pre-tinning/non-lead solders.

Ductile cast iron - more difficult than gray cast iron due to Mg.

High Temp. alloys (many elements which can form oxides Al etc.)

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Surface Films
POURING -This should be carried out to minimize turbulence.

Prevent entrainment of oxide film

Prevent further reaction/oxidation/gas entrainment.

Low pouring height.

Use filters.

Casting rate must not be:

too slow; laps, folded surface films.

too fast; jetting, surface turbulence.

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Surface Films

Figure 1.11 The effect of increasing Figure 1.14 Confluence geometries: (a) at the side of a
height on a falling stream of liquid round core; (b) randomly irregular join on the top of a
illustrating: ( a) the oxide film remaining bottom-gated box; and ( c) a straight and reproducible join
intact; (b) the oxide film being detached on the top of a bottom-gated round pipe ( Campbell, 1988) .
and accumulating to form a dross ring;
and (c) the oxide film and air being
entrained in the bulk melt.
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Effect of Surface Films
Machining - Oxide particles in Al alloys

and steels drag out and leave grooves.

Tool tip is blunted

Defects - Entrapped folded oxide films are cracks in the

liquid and carried into casting.

Leak-tightness - leaking through walls of thin casting is due

to collections of defects such as entrapped films. Reduces

pressure-tightness of casting (eg. Cylinder heads etc).

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Effect of Surface Films
Mechanical Properties

increases scatter in property values, reduced fatigue



Cleaner melts are more fluid and can be cast at lower temps.

Repeated remelting/stirring of melt can cause problems if

oxide not removed.

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require good flow of molten metal to all

parts of the mould and freeze in

required shape - in proper sequence

If freezing before filling defects (misruns

& cold shuts) occur

Ability of the metal to flow is fluidity and

this affects the minimum section

thickness of cast, length and fine details

Measure of fluidity by standard castings

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Pouring Temperature
Fluidity depends on composition, melting point and freezing

range and surface tension of oxide films

Pouring temperature affects fluidity (superheat)

high enough for good filling

too high - penetration into mould wall (sand mould)

affects interactions

between metal and mould

between metal and atmosphere

Mech 423 #2 31
Gating Systems
Gating system distributes molten metal to all parts of cavity

Speed of filling is important

Slow misruns and cold shuts (material solidifies before filling)

Fast erosion of gating or mould cavity and entrapment of mould

material in the casting

CSA of various channels can regulate flow shape and length can control

heat loss (short channels with round CSA work well)

Attached to heaviest section of casting to avoid shrinkage and to the

bottom to avoid turbulence and splashing

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Gating Systems

Short sprues reduce kinetic energy, avoid splashing

Rectangular cups prevent vortex or turbulence while pouring

Sprue well dissipate energy and prevent splashing

Choke smallest CSA in the sprue to regulate metal flow rate, if it

is above, the metal enters the runner without control (turbulence)

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Gating Systems
Choke located near the base, flow through runner is smooth, and

smaller CSA allows easier removal from casting

Gating can also prevent dross from entering the cavity. Long flat

runners with more time for dross to raise will do it, but material will

cool faster

Generally first metal contains dross and it can be trapped in well

Ceramic filters can be added to trap dross and other foreign bodies

from entering the mould cavity as well

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Gating Systems

Figure 2.8 (a) A simple funnel pouring cup, not recommended in general; (b) a
weir bush of excellent design, whose upward circulation will assist in the
separation of slag and dross, but which would need to be carefully matched to the
entrance diameter of the sprue in the cope; and (c) an offset bush with an open
base recommended for general use.
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Gating Systems
Figure 2.14 Various

Figure 2.13 A cross-section of sprue base designs

a self-moulding sprue a) the first splash

a) formed integrally with the problem - direct

pattern, - requires 'draw linking of sprue to

negative taper. Bad design runner;

b) A properly tapered sprue, b) steady-state vena

pattern needs to be contracta problem

detachable, and be withdrawn which cause air to

from the back enter the stream

c) a well base,
avoiding the worst
effects of the first
splash and the vena
contracta problems.
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Gating Systems
Liquid metal should flow into cavity smoothly

Different gate designs depending on shape

Gates can trap dross and slag

Turbulent sensitive metals (Al & Mg) and low

mp metals use systems to prevent turbulence

Turbulent insensitive metals (cast irons, some

copper alloys) and high mp metals use short

systems for quick filling

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Gating Systems & Filters

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Gating System Design

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Gating Systems - Pressure

Figure 2.40 Low-pressure casting

systems showing: (a)conventional
low-pressure casting machine design
using a sealed pressure vessel; and
(b) using an electromagnetic pump in
Figure 2.39 Vacuum an open furnace.
delivery systems to
pressure die-casting
machines for (a) a
horizontal cold chamber;
and (b) a vertical injection

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Gating Systems - Gravity

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Solidification Shrinkage
Three stages of shrinkage (volumetric contraction)

Shrinkage of the Liquid (not usually a problem)

Solidification Shrinkage as liquid turns to solid

Shrinkage of the solid as it contracts while cooling to room


Depends on co-eff of thermal contraction and superheat

Liquid contraction can be compensated by liquid in the gating system

While material changes from liquidus to solidus state, shrinkage can

occur, depends on the metal or alloy (not all metals shrink)

Mech 423 #2 42
Solidification Shrinkage
Solidification Shrinkages (%) Need to control shrinkage void
of some common engg. Short freezing range metals and alloys tend
metals to form large cavities or pipes (Al ingots)

design these to have void in riser

Aluminum 6.6
Copper 4.9
Alloys with long freezing ranges have
Magnesium 4.0
mushy zone. Difficult to feed new liquid into
Zinc 3.7
cavity. Dispersed porosity results, poor
Low-carbon steel 2.5-3.0 properties
High-carbon steel 4.0 Patterns need to compensate for shrinkage
White cast iron 4.0-5.5 when solid gets to room temperature
Gray cast iron -1.9
Mech 423 #2 43
Solidification Shrinkage

Mech 423 #2 44
Solidification Shrinkage
Eject casting immediately in die
casting to avoid cracking ?

Mech 423 #2 45
Risers and Riser Design
Added reservoirs to feed liquid metal to solidifying casting.

Aim to reduce solidification shrinkage & porosity.

Filling & Feeding are different - Filling is quick, Feeding is slower


1. Feeder must NOT solidify before casting

2. Feeder must contain enough liquid to meet volume contraction


3. Junction of feeder & casting should not form a hot-spot

4. There must be a path for liquid to reach required regions

5. Sufficient pressure differential to feed liquid in right direction

Mech 423 #2 46
Risers and Riser Design
Design casting to solidify directionally from extremities towards

riser (sometimes multiple risers required).

Design riser to feed properly WITH minimum metal (scrap) -

sprue+gate+runner+riser+casting = total liquid metal required.

Sphere is best theoretical shape (vol/S.Area is high) but

impractical for casting. Cylindrical shape is common.

Make modulus (V/A) of feeder > modulus of casting.

Thickest sections are usually last to freeze so attach riser to


Mech 423 #2 47
Risers and Riser Design
Top Riser - sits on top of casting (short feeding

Side Riser - sits next to casting

Blind Riser - contained within mould (must be


Open Riser - top of riser open to atmosphere

Live (hot) Riser - receives last hot metal poured (metal in mould already
may have started to cool) smaller than dead riser (part of gating

Dead (cold) Riser - filled before or concurrent with cavity by metal that
has flown through the mould. (top riser dead riser)
Mech 423 #2 48
Risers and Riser Design n
Use Chvorinovs Rule. ts B
Mould constant, B is the same, Assume n = 2. A
Make riser take 25% longer to freeze, i.e.; triser = 1.25tcasting

2 2
Vriser Vcasting
Ariser Acasting

Insert modulus of casting and then calculate riser size.

Note: Only use riser areas that allow heat loss - discount

common surfaces.

Other methods exist.

Mech 423 #2 49
Risers and Riser Design
Modulus of common


Design should take into

account if there is un-

cooled based where the

riser and casting share

a surface

Small - to reduce scrap

and low modulus to

solidify last
Mech 423 #2 50
Risers and Riser Design
Riser has to be removed from casting (as well as runner/gate)

Make connection small - easier to cut off

But if too small link freezes before feeding.

Use short connections placing riser close to casting.

Note: Risers are not always required. For alloys with large freezing

ranges feeding does not work well - fine dispersed porosity is


Die-casting, pressure casting, centrifugal casting pressure provides

feeding action to compensate for freezing.

Mech 423 #2 51
Risering Aids

Methods developed for risers to perform their job

Promote directional solidification

Reduce the number and size of riser to increase yield

Generally done by

Chills speeding solidification of casting

Sleeves or Toppings retard the solidification in riser

Mech 423 #2 52
Risering Aids
CHILLS - External and Internal

Aim to speed (directional) solidification of casting

External Chills - chunk of high-heat-capacity, high thermal

conductivity, material placed in mould wall next to casting to

accelerate cooling and promote directional solidification. (Made

from steel, graphite, copper) - reduce shrinkage defects.

Internal Chills - Pieces of metal placed IN mould cavity to

absorb heat and promote rapid solidification. Becomes part of

casting same metal as casting.

Mech 423 #2 53
Risering Aids
To slow cooling of a riser:

Switch from Blind to Open riser

Place insulating sleeves and toppings on risers

Place exothermic material around feeder to add heat only

around the riser

Mech 423 #2 54
Risers and Riser Design
General design rules

for riser necks used in

iron castings;
a. general riser

b. side riser for plates

c. top round riser

Mech 423 #2 55
Gating System Design

Figure 5.10 (a) Castings with blind feeders, F2 is

correctly vented but has mixed results on sections S3
and S4. Feeder F3 is not vented and therefore does
not feed at all. The unfavourable pressure gradient
draws liquid from a fortuitous skin puncture in
section S8. The text contains more details of the
effects. (b) The plastic coffee cup analogue: the
water is held up in the upturned cup and cannot be
released until air is admitted via a puncture. The
liquid it contains is then immediately released.

Mech 423 #2 56
Gating System Design

Mech 423 #2 57
Gating System Design

Mech 423 #2 58
Gating System Design

Mech 423 #2 59
Gating System Design
A - gates
B - runner
System is often designed to
C - Sprue exit (Choke)
follow ratio of (CSA) 1:2:2, or

1:4:4 WRT:

Sprue exit CSA C : total runner

Un-pressurized system reduces CSA B: total gate CSA A
metal velocity and turbulence
Gating system is un-pressurized
Pressurized systems usually if area is increasing (e.g. 1:4:4)
reduce size and weight of gating or pressurized if there is a
system (pressure at constriction constriction (4:8:3).
(gate) causes metal to completely

fill runner more quickly) Mech 423 #2 60

Mech 423 #2 61
Surface Films

Mech 423 #2 62