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Introduction to Casting.....2
Metal Casting Processes2
Casting Defects....3
Segregation In Casting Processes7
Segregation Types.7
Gravity Segregation..10
Method To Prevent Segregation11
Inspection Methods..11

Introduction to Casting.
Casting is a manufacturing process by which a liquid material is
usually poured into a mold, which contains a hollow cavity of the
desired shape, and then allowed to solidify. The solidified part is also
known as a casting, which is ejected or broken out of the mold to
complete the process. Casting materials are usually metals or various
cold setting materials that cure after mixing two or more components
Examples are epoxy, concrete, plaster and clay. Casting is most often
used for making complex shapes that would be otherwise difficult or
uneconomical to make by other methods.
Casting is a 6000 year old process. The oldest surviving casting is a
copper frog from 3200 BC.

Metal Casting Processes.

1) Sand Casting.
2) Die Casting.
3) Shell Casting.
4) Centrifugal Casting.
5) Squeeze Casting.
6) Investment Casting.
7) Lost foam Casting.
8) Continuous Casting.
There are numerous opportunities for things to go wrong in a casting
operation, resulting in quality defects in the casting. In this Section
we compile a list of the common defects that occur in casting and we
indicate the inspection procedures to detect them.

Casting Defects:

Some defects are common to any and all process. These defects are
illustrated in figure (1) and briefly described in the following:

a) Miss runs:
A Miss runs is a casting that has solidified before completely filling
the mold cavity. Typical causes include.
1) Fluidity of the molten metal is insufficient,
2) Pouring Temperature is too low,
3) Pouring is done too slowly and/or
4) Cross section of the mold cavity is too thin.

b) Cold Shut:
A cold shut occurs when two portion of the metal flow together, but
there is lack of fusion between them due to premature freezing, its
causes are similar to those of a Miss runs.
c) Cold Shots:
When splattering occurs during pouring, solid globules of the metal
are formed that become entrapped in the casting. Poring procedures
and gating system designs that avoid splattering can prevent these

d) Shrinkage Cavity:
This defects is a depression in the surface or an internal void in the
casting caused by solidification shrinkage that restricts the amount of
the molten metal available in the last region to freeze. It often occurs
near the top of the casting in which case it is referred to as a pipe.
The problem can often be solved by proper riser design.

e) Microporosity:
This refers to a network of a small voids distributed throughout the
casting caused by localized solidification shrinkage of the final
molten metal in the dendritic structure. The defect is usually
associated with alloys, because of the protracted manner in which
freezing occurs in these metals.
f) Hot Tearing:
This defect, also called hot cracking, occurs when the casting is
restrained or early stages of cooling after solidification. The defect is
manifested as a separation of the metal (hence the terms tearing or
cracking) at a point of high tensile stress caused by metal's inability
to shrink naturally. In sand casting and other expandable mold
processes, compounding the mold to be collapsible prevents it. In
permanent mold processes, removing the part from the mold
immediately after freezing reduces hot tearing.

Figure (1)

a)Miss runs b) Cold Shut

c)Cold Shot d)Shrinkage Cavity
e)Micro porosity f) Hot Tearing

Some defects are related to the use of sand molds and therefore they
occur only in sand castings. To a lesser degree, other expandable
mold processes are also susceptible to these problems. Defects found
primarily in sand castings are shown in figure (2) and describe here:

a) Sand Blow:
This defect consists of a balloon-shaped gas cavity caused by release
of mold gases during pouring. It occurs at or below the casting
surface near the top of the casting. Low permeability, poor venting
and high moisture content of the sand mold are the usual causes.
b) Pinholes:
A defect similar to a sand blow involves the formation of many small
gas cavities at or slightly below the surface of the casting.
c) Sand Wash:
A wash is an irregularity in the surface of the casting that results
from erosion of the sand mold during pouring. The contour of the
erosion is imprinted into surface of the final cast part.
d) Scabs:
This is a rough area of the casting due to encrustations of sand and
metal. It is caused by portions of the mold surface flaking off during
solidification and becoming embedded in the casting surface.
e) Penetration:
When the fluidity of the liquid metal is high, it may penetrate into the
sand mold or sand core after freezing, the surface of the casting
consists of a mixture of sand grins and metal. Harder packing of the
sand molds helps to alleviate this condition.
f) Mold Shift:
This is manifested as a step in the cast product at the parting line
caused by sidewise displacement of the cope with respect to the drag.

g) Core Shift:
A similar movement can happen with the core but the displacement is
usually vertical. Core shift and mold shift are caused by buoyancy of
the molten metal. (Figure (2) )

h) Mold Crack:
If mold strength is insufficient a crack may develop in to which liquid
metal can seep to form a fin on the final casting.

() (f) (g)

Segregation is one of the defects in the casting process, it lead to non-
equilibrium phase, cracks and other problem which lower the
mechanical properties of the final products
Occurs on microscopic scale and some on macroscopic scale.
Result due to difference in density and difference in temperature



Macrosegregation Microsegregation
- Macroscopic scale
- Microscopic scale
- The range: 1 cm to
- The range: 10-100
- It cannot be
- It can usually be
removed, significantly
whatever macro- reduced by a
segregation occurs
homogenizing heat
has to be lived

Occurs as a result of the first solid formed being of a lower
concentration, than the final equilibrium concentration, resulting in
partitioning of the excess solute into the liquid
Solid formed later has a higher concentration
Microsegregation results in the appearance of a new liquid inter
dendritic phase, there are a number of consequences that may be
The presence of a eutectic phase reduces the problem for fluid flow
through the dendrite mesh
The alloy may now be susceptible to hot tearing, especially if there is
only a very few percent of the liquid phase
A low-melting-point phase may limit the temperature at which the
material can be heat treated
A low-melting-point phase may limit the temperature, at which an
alloy can be worked, since it may be weakened, disintegrating during
working because of the presence of liquid in its structure

Cored microstructure in carbonchromium steel. (a) Structure, (b)

contour map of chromium content as established by microprobe

Negative segregation: formed early in the solidification process and
relatively poor in solute
-Positive segregation: arises from buoyancy and shrinkage driven
interdendritic fluid flow during the final stages of solidification.
-A-segregates: highly enriched in solute, result of buoyancy-driven
solutal convection through the columnar dendritic zone
-The V-segregates: arise from equiaxed crystals settling in the core
and forming a loosely connected network that can easily rupture
owing to metallostatic head and liquid being drawn down to feed
solidification shrinkage
- The banding pattern: because of unsteady heat transfer or flow
early in the solidification process

Schematic of the macrosegregation pattern in a steel ingot

Settling or flotation of liquid or solid phases having a different
composition, and therefore a different density than the bulk liquid,
will produce gravity segregation
Gravity segregation is mainly encountered in heavy sections, where
solid phases can be suspended in the liquid for some time


Microsegregation effects can be removed after casting, by

homogenisation, carried out at by annealing at high temperatures
where the diffusivity is higher
Macrosegregation can be reduced by control of the casting process
and mixing during solidification, often by electromagnetic stirrers.

Inspection Methods:
Foundry inspection procedures include;
a. Visual Inspection to detect obvious defects, such as Miss
runs, cold shut and severe surface flaws;
b. Dimensional measurements to ensure that tolerances have
been met;
c. Metallurgical, chemical, physical and other tests concerned
with the inherent quality of the cast metal. Tests in category 3

1) Pressure testing to locate leaks in the casting

2) Radiographic methods, magnetic particle tests, the use of
fluorescent penetrants and supersonic testing to detect either surface
or internal defects in the casting;
3) Mechanical testing to determine properties such as tensile
strength and hardness. If defects are discovered but are not too
serious, it is often possible to save the casting by welding, grinding or
other salvage methods to which the customer has agreed.