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S.Sridhar et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Vol.

2(10), 2010, 5080-5087


Research Scholar Department of Metallurgical Engineering PSG College of Technology Coimbatore 641 004 TN, India


Professor Department of Metallurgical Engineering PSG College of Technology Coimbatore 641 004 TN, India

Lecturer Department of Metallurgical Engineering PSG College of Technology Coimbatore 641 004 TN, India Abstract: Over the past few years a number of low cost metallic foams have been produced and used as the core of sandwich panels and net shaped parts. The main aim is to develop light weight structures which are stiff, strong, able to absorb large amount of energy and cheap for applications in various industries. In past any kind of pore in the metal considered as a defect, but now the same class of pores in material recognized as revolutionary material, known as porous metals or metal foams. Due to the interesting physical and mechanical properties, foams possess higher strength to density ratio. This paper deals with the formation of porous gun metal castings, using casting technique. This also illustrates the experimental work done to investigate the possibility of foaming porous structures with the inspection methods to confirm the pores formed in and all through out the produced castings. The density, percentage porosity is found out also, radiography, compression and hardness testing is also carried out and presented. Keywords: Porous structures, Metal foams, Percentage Porosity, Density, Radiography, Hardness. 1. Introduction Porous metals are usually made of metals or ceramics. The strength of the foam depends mainly on the base materials and relative density of the foam. Other properties, such as pore size, pore density, fiber size and cell shape affects certain foam characteristics. Metal foams include small filaments that are continuously connected in an opencelled foam structure. By manipulation of process parameters, the pore structure can assume continuous or discontinuous geometries. Due to growing consumer demands and stiff competition, the present day growing industries are induced to produce low weight products with low cost. Porous metal components are designed with required properties for specific applications. From literature point of view, there are many ways to produce metallic foams and porous materials. The development of new porous structures can be a relevant challenge for materials scientists. This focuses on the development of a technique to produce porous materials with easy and low cost method for achieving the porous structures.

ISSN: 0975-5462


S.Sridhar et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Vol. 2(10), 2010, 5080-5087 2. Literature review In recent years, there has been a strongly growing demand for the use of metallic foams. Metal foams are special class of porous materials with novel physical, mechanical, thermal, electrical and acoustic properties [Ashby(2000),Banhart(2001),Tinjian(2002)]. Presently metallic foams finding application in automotive, railway and aerospace industries where weight reduction and improvement in safety is needed [Gibson(1997),Davies(1983),Schwartz(1998)]. Metal foams have considerable applications in multifunctional heat exchangers [Lu(1998)]. Metal foam heat exchangers have substantial advantages compared to commercially available heat exchangers under nearly identical conditions. They provide substantially more heat transfer surface area, more boundary layer disruption and mixing leading to larger heat transfer rate [Shadi mahoob(2008)]. The development of new porous material structures will be a thirst for material researchers. Generally foams can be produced by three techniques. The first method, called Replica Technique, by packing a soluble salt in a mould to have a pattern, casting the molten metal around these granules and finally removing the pattern. A more recent method is by using a reactant and foaming agent or by injection in the melt. The foaming agent and the reactant are mixed after pretreatment in to the melt through mechanical stirrer, and are allowed to dissociate the foaming agent to releases gases so that metallic foam is formed [Kutchek(1966)]. In the second method, called sintering and Dissolution process, the powders have been used to produce a dense two-phase precursor where one phase is water soluble. The powders are mixed and compacted, forming double connected structures of both phases. After furnace sintering by dissolving the leachable phase, foam is produce d[Zhao(2001), Surace(2009)]. The third method uses preshaped cores. 2.1. Gun metal Due to good strength and corrosion resistant properties, the alloys of copper with tin, zinc and lead have been used for at least 2000 years. Early uses were brooches, church doors, fonts statues and mirror cases. The use of cannons in mediaeval times led to the term gun metal. Gun metals are noted for the manufacture of intricate casting required to be pressure tight such as valves, pipe fittings and pumps.. 3. Experimentation 3.1. Casting metal around granules The process consists of manufacturing by pouring molten metal in to the mold which contains a hollow cavity of required shape, then allowing it to cool. The solidified casting is then removed out of the mold to complete the process. The casting of metals and alloys around a filler material has attracted a lot of interest in recent years. In this process, three steps are involved. First step was to prepare space holder filler materials by using organic or inorganic granules and then infiltration of the liquid metal around the filler material. Finally after solidification, removals of filler granules were carried out. 3.2. Making of sand balls Preparation of sand balls was the first step. Sand the sand balls were prepared using core box with mixture consisting of silica sand, Bentonite, Dextrin and sodium silicate as filler material. Fig.1 shows the picture of sand balls produced manually.

ISSN: 0975-5462


S.Sridhar et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Vol. 2(10), 2010, 5080-5087

Fig.1: Sand balls

3.3. Melting and pouring of Gunmetal A mold of size 150mmx150mmx65mm was prepared using a wooden pattern, using green mould with 5% clay and 3.5% moisture. The sand balls prepared manually were filled in to the prepared mould cavity. Then the molten Gun metal was poured in to the mould. After solidification, the mould was knocked off, separated from the gating system and shot blasted. Fig.2 shows the poured porous gun metal casting.

Fig. 2: Gun metal foam casting

4. Testing of porous gun metal 4.1. Cut section analysis The porous castings thus produced is cut in to equal halves to examine the distribution of porous structure as shown in fig.3 and to confirm the interconnectivity of pores. Pores were cleaned by water jet. The molten metal fills the voids in between the cores filled in the die and nucleation starts at the surface of the cores used.

Fig. 3: Cut section of porous gun metal

ISSN: 0975-5462


S.Sridhar et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Vol. 2(10), 2010, 5080-5087 4.2. Density and Development of porosity Mechanical property of metallic foams largely depends on density. Thus the foams are characterized in terms of their density. Density is a physical characteristic, and is a measure of mass per unit volume of a metal or substance. The weight of the samples is found using a digital balance. By dividing the weight of the sample to its volume gives the density. Density = Weight of porous casting Volume of produced sample Percent Porosity is a rough measure of the open volume equal to 100% minus the part density. The total open volumes of interconnected and isolated porosity are normally included in this value. Here experiment was started from trial 0 as non porous model and porous models from sample ID 1 to sample ID 3. The strength of the foam depends mostly on the base material and the relative density of the foam, % porosity was calculated and the values from the table: 1 give the maximum percentage porosity is got from sample ID 1 and results of final porosity images are shown in Fig. 4, Fig. 5 and Fig 6.

Fig. 4: Gun metal Casting with Porosity of 62.15%

Fig. 5: Gun metal casting with Porosity of 55.27%

ISSN: 0975-5462


S.Sridhar et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Vol. 2(10), 2010, 5080-5087

Fig.6: Gun metal casting with Porosity of 58.71% Table.1 % porosity in the produced gun metal foam castings

Sam Pattern size ple (l x b x ID. w)mm 150X150X6 0 5 1 2 3 150X150X6 5 150X150X6 5 150X150X6 5

Weight, kg 12.75 4.85 5.67 5.2

Density, 106 kgf/mm 8.72 3.3 3.9 3.6

% porosi ty Nil 62.15 55.27 58.71

4.3. Compression test To determine the behavior of metal under crushing loads, the cut samples were taken to compression tests. Compression tests were conducted on porous samples and deformation were recorded. Fig. 7 shows the view before compression and Fig 8 shows the view after compression. It is confirmed that foams can be produced having appreciably finer and more uniform cell structures. It was also seen that during compressive loading of such material are much smoother than those of previously available melt route material here Table: 2 shows the compression test, breakable-load capacity for non porous and porous samples.
Table: 2 show the breakable-load capacity for non porous and porous samples during compression test.

Sample ID. 0 1 2 3


Load, KN 450 229 209 169

Size (l x b x w) mm 75X75X65 75X75X65 75X75X65 75X75X65

Non-Porous Porous Porous porous

ISSN: 0975-5462


S.Sridhar et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Vol. 2(10), 2010, 5080-5087

Fig. 7: A view of cut sample before compression

Fig. 8: Sample after compression

4.4. Hardness test The three porous samples were taken for Vickers hardness test at 10 kg load and the results tabulated and plotted in graph as shown in table 3 and Fig.9.
Table. 3: showing VHN at 10 kg load

Sample ID

Core size in mm Nonporous 15 20 25

0 1 2 3

VHN at 10 kg load 102 96.90 83.00 81.07

Core size Vs VHN

120.00 VHN at 10 kg load 100.00 80.00 60.00 40.00 20.00 0.00 1 2 Core Size 3 4

Fig. 9 core sizes with VHN.

ISSN: 0975-5462


S.Sridhar et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Vol. 2(10), 2010, 5080-5087 4.5 Radiography test All the three samples were taken for Radiography test. The test result proves that the pores were evenly distributed throughout the casting. Fig (10), Fig (11) and Fig (12) showing the test results.

Fig.10: Radiography test of sample ID 1.

Fig. 11: Radiography test of sample ID 2

Fig. 12: Radiography test of sample ID 3

5. Conclusions A new technique has been developed for preparation of porous gun metal foam, and achieved a maximum percentage porosity of 62.15%. Achieved density of 3.33x10-6 kg/mm3 for the maximum percentage of porosity. Most of the pores were interconnected. A minimum of 169 kN was utilized to compress the porous casting. From the hardness test, a minimum of 81.07 VHN at 10 kg load was achieved.

ISSN: 0975-5462


S.Sridhar et. al. / International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Vol. 2(10), 2010, 5080-5087 References
Ashby M.F., Evans A.G., Fleck N.A., Gibson L.J., Hutchinson J.W. and H.G.N Wadley H.G.N. (2000): Metal foams; a Design Guide Butterworth-Heinemann, Mas sachusetts. [2] Banhart J.(2001): Manufacture, characterization and application of cellular metals and metal foams,.Prog mater science , 456,pp.559-632. [3] Davies G.J., Zhen S. (1983): Metallic foams: their production, properties and applications, J. mater. Sci. 18,pp. 1899- 1911. [4] Gibson L.J., Ashby M.F. (1997): cellular solids: structure and properties. (II Edition), Cambridge University press. [5] Kutchek H.A.,(1966): method of making porous metallic article, US patent 3, 236, 706. [6] Lu T.J., Stone H.A., Ashby M.F., (1998): Heat transfer in open cell metal foams, Acta mater. 46 (10) ,pp. 3619-3635. [7] Schwartz D.S., Shih,D.S.,Evans A.G. and Wadley, H.N.G.(1998): Porous and cellular materials for structural Applications, Materials Research society proceedings, 521pp. 1995-2010 [8] Shadi mahoob, Kambiz Vafai.(2008): A synthesis of fluid and thermal transport models for metal foam heat exchangers Heat and mass transfer 5,pp. 3701-3711 [9] Surace R., Filippis L.A.C.De., Ludovico A.D. Boghetich G.(2009): Influence of processing parameters on aluminium foam produced by space holder technique. Materials and Design 30,pp.1878-1885. [10] Tinjian L.(2002): Ultra light porous metals: from fundamentals to applications, Acta, mechanica sinica, Chinese J. mech.18(5) .pp.457-479. [11] Zhao Y.Y., Sun D.X.(2001): A novel sintering-dissolution process for manufacturing Al foams. Scripta Mater;374,pp.250-62. [1]

ISSN: 0975-5462