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Simulation of casting solidification

2.5 Shrinkage 2.5.1 General Shrinkage behaviour There are three quite different contractions to be dealt with, as Figure 2.9 illustrates. As the temperature reduces, the first contraction to be experienced is that in the liquid state. This is the normal thermal contraction observed by everyone as a mercury thermometer cools; the volume of the liquid metal reduces almost exactly linearly with falling temperature. In the casting situation the shrinkage of the liquid metal is usually not troublesome; the extra liquid metal required compensating for this small reduction in volume is provided without difficulty, usually without even being noticed, by a slight extension to the pouring time, or by a slight fall in level in the feeder. The contraction on solidification is quite another matter, however. This contraction occurs at the freezing point, because (in general) of the greater density of the solid compared to that of the liquid. Contractions associated with freezing for

of the liquid. Contractions associated with freezing for Fig. (2.9) Schematic Illustration of General Shrinkage

Fig. (2.9) Schematic Illustration of General Shrinkage Behavior [15].


Table 2.1 Solidification shrinkage for some metals [15]
Table 2.1 Solidification shrinkage for some metals [15]

a number of metals are given in Table 2.1 [15]. The contraction causes a number of problems. These include 'feeding', which is defined as any process which will allow for the compensation of solidification contraction by the movement of either liquid or solid, and 'shrinkage porosity', which is the result of failure of the feeding processes to operate effectively. All these are dealt with at length in this chapter. The final stages of shrinkage in the solid state can cause quite different problems. As cooling progresses, and the casting attempts to reduce its size in consequence, it finds itself constrained to some extent by the mould. This constraint always leads to the casting being somewhat larger than would be expected from free contraction alone because of a certain amount of plastic stretching which the casting necessarily suffers. It leads to difficulties in predicting the size of the pattern since the degree to which the pattern is made oversize (the 'contraction allowance' or


'patternmaker's allowance') is not easy to quantify. The mould constraint during the solid-state contraction can also lead to more localized problems such as hot tearing or cracking of the casting. [16] 2.5.2 Solidification shrinkage

In general, liquids contract on freezing because of the arrangement

of atoms

from a rather open 'random close-packed' arrangement to a regular crystalline array of significantly denser packing. The densest solids are those which have cubic close- packed (face-centred-cubic and hexagonal close-packed) symmetry. Thus the greatest values for contraction on solidification are seen for these metals. Table 2.1 shows the contractions to be in the range 3.2-7.2 per cent. The solidification shrinkage for the less closely packed body-centred-cubic lattice is in the range 2-3.2 per cent. The exceptions to this general pattern are those materials which expand on freezing. These include water, silicon and bismuth (Table 2.1). [15] For the majority of materials which do contract on freezing it is important to have a clear idea of what happens in a poorly fed casting. As an ideal case of an unfed casting, it is instructive to consider the freezing of a sphere. We shall assume that the sphere has been fed via an ingate of negligibly small size up to the stage at which a solid shell has formed of thickness x (Figure 2.10). The source of supply of feed metal is then frozen off. Now as solidification continues with the freezing of the following onion layer dx, the reduced volume which the layer dx occupies compared to that of the original liquid means that either a pore has to form, or the liquid has to expand a little, and the solid correspondingly has to contract a little. If we assume for the moment that there is no favourable nucleus available for the creation of a pore, then the liquid has to accommodate this by expanding, creating a state of tension, or negative pressure. It is in mechanical equilibrium with the enclosing solid shell, effectively sucking it inwards. As more onion layers form, so the tension in the liquid increases, the liquid expands, and the solid shell is drawn inwards. [17]


Fig.2.10. The Solidification Model For An Unfed Sphere [15]. 2.6 Solidification Modeling Solidification modeling can

Fig.2.10. The Solidification Model For An Unfed Sphere [15].

2.6 Solidification Modeling Solidification modeling can be divided into three separate models, where each model is identified by the solution to a separate set of equations: heat transfer modelling which solves the energy equation; fluid-flow modelling which solves the continuity and momentum equations; and free-surface modelling which solves the surface boundary conditions (of a surface that is free to move). For a complete description of solidification modelling, all of these equations need to be solved simultaneously, but under special circumstances, the equations can be decoupled and modeled independently. This is the case for heat-transfer modelling which has been widely used and their applications have significantly improved casting quality. On the other hand, fluid flow, and in particular free-surface modelling, has until recently been neglected. Although both have been recognized for their importance in the casting process, they have been too complex to model commercial castings . Solidification modelling also requires a great deal of thermophysical data, and since solidification is a dynamic process, most of this data changes in both time and space. Although in many


cases this data can be averaged, or functions estimated, improvements can be made by modelling the dynamic processes in detail. For example, in cases where the fluid metal is an alloy it may be important to keep track of the relative compositions by solving the solute equation. This is known as solute redistribution modelling. In cases where the solidification of metal is dendritic, it may be important to model the nucleation and growth of these dendrites. This is called microstructural modelling. Lastly, for metals that contain dissolved gases, it may be important to model the partial pressure of the gas in the metal. This is achieved by modelling the concentration of the gas in the metal as the gas is rejected from the solid. This is called microporosity modelling. [18], [19],