Gating of Permanent Molds for Aluminum Casting

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This report summarizes a two-year project, DE-FC07-011D13983 that concerns the gating of aluminum castings in permanent molds. The main goal of the project is to improve the quality of aluminum castings produced in permanent molds. The approach taken was to determine how the vertical type gating systems used for permanent mold castings can be designed to fill the mold cavity with a minimum of damage to the quality of the resulting casting. It is evident that somewhat different systems are preferred for different shapes and sizes of aluminum castings. The main problems caused by improper gating are entrained aluminum oxide ... continued below

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Schwam, David; Wallace, John F.; Engle, Tom & Chang, Qingming January 1, 2004.

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Description

This report summarizes a two-year project, DE-FC07-011D13983 that concerns the gating of aluminum castings in permanent molds. The main goal of the project is to improve the quality of aluminum castings produced in permanent molds. The approach taken was to determine how the vertical type gating systems used for permanent mold castings can be designed to fill the mold cavity with a minimum of damage to the quality of the resulting casting. It is evident that somewhat different systems are preferred for different shapes and sizes of aluminum castings. The main problems caused by improper gating are entrained aluminum oxide films and entrapped gas. The project highlights the characteristic features of gating systems used in permanent mold aluminum foundries and recommends gating procedures designed to avoid common defects. The study also provides direct evidence on the filling pattern and heat flow behavior in permanent mold castings. Equipment and procedure for real time X-Ray radiography of molten aluminum flow into permanent molds have been developed. Other studies have been conducted using water flow and behavior of liquid aluminum in sand mold using real time photography. This investigation utilizes graphite molds transparent to X-Rays making it possible to observe the flow pattern through a number of vertically oriented grating systems. These have included systems that are choked at the base of a rounded vertical sprue and vertical gating systems with a variety of different ingates into the bottom of a mold cavity. These systems have also been changed to include gating systems with vertical and horizontal gate configurations. Several conclusions can be derived from this study. A sprue-well, as designed in these experiments, does not eliminate the vena contracta. Because of the swirling at the sprue-base, the circulating metal begins to push the entering metal stream toward the open runner mitigating the intended effect of the sprue-well. Improved designs of sprue-wells should be evaluated. In order for a runner extension to operate efficiently, it must have a small squared cross-section. If it is tapered, the first metal to enter the first metal to enter the system is not effectively trapped. If the cross section is large, there is less turbulence when the aluminum enters the mold cavity in comparison to the smaller cross sectioned, squared runner. However, a large runner reduces yield. In bottom-feeding gating systems, a filter can significantly improve the filling of the casting. The filter helps to slow the metal flow rate enough to reduce jetting into the mold cavity. In top feeding gating systems, a filter can initially slow the metal flow rate, but because the metal drops after passing the filter, high velocities are achieved during free fall when a filter is in place. Side feeding gating systems provide less turbulent flow into the mold cavity. The flow is comparable to a bottom-feeding gating system with a filter. Using properly designed side-gating system instead of a bottom-feeding system with a filter can potentially save the cost of the filter. Rough coatings promote better fill than smooth coatings. This conclusion seems at first counter intuitive. One tends to assume a rough coating creates more friction resistance to the flow of molten metal. In actuality the molten aluminum stream flows inside an oxide film envelope. When this film rests on top of the ridges of a rough coating the microscopic air pockets between the coating and the oxide film provide more thermal insulation than in a smooth coating. This insulation promotes longer feeding distances in the mold as demonstrated in the experiments. Much of this work is applicable to vertically parted sand molds as well, although the heat transfer conditions do vary from a metal mold generally used in permanent molding of aluminum. The flow measurements were conducted using graphite molds and real time X-Ray radiography recorded at a rate of 30 images per second through those molds. The facilities at Arrow Aluminum Foundry were used in the study. The results will be employed to demonstrate to the American Foundry Industry how molten aluminum flows in permanent molds of different designs and characteristics. The results of these experiments were compared with computer mold and simulation models. The Procast and Magmasoft flow and solidification simulation programs were employed to predict the flow behavior under the different conditions that can prevail in permanent mold gating. The development of a valid computer model that can correctly and accurately predict this flow is much more intricate than generally realized. To provide accurate predictions such programs require significant adjustments and verification with experimental data.

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  • Report No.: ID13983
  • Grant Number: FC36-01ID13983
  • DOI: 10.2172/840927 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 840927
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc780117

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  • January 1, 2004

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Aug. 30, 2016, 7:55 p.m.

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Schwam, David; Wallace, John F.; Engle, Tom & Chang, Qingming. Gating of Permanent Molds for Aluminum Casting, report, January 1, 2004; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc780117/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.