CHAPTER 4

STRUCTURES OF METALS

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CRYSTALLINE STRUCTURES OF METALS
Crystalline Structure • The basic particles are arranged in a definite three dimensional pattern of geometrical form. • The fundamental grouping of this geometrical form is known as UNIT CELL. • Unit cells can be repeated many times to form SPACE LATTICE structure of the crystal.

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AMORPHOUS STRUCTURE
• • • The basic particles are arranged in random formation. Non-crystalline solids are said to be amorphous. Examples: Glass, pitch (tar), plastics and molten metals.

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LATTICE STRUCTURES OF METALS
• • All metals have crystalline structure when they are in the solid state. Different lattice structures are: (i) body-centred cubic structure (b.c.c.) (ii) face-centred structure (f.c.c.) (iii) close-packed hexagonal structure (c.p.h.) which has the closest packing of atoms.
More examples – see crystal lattice structures.
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Metals with this structure are: (i) Iron () (ii) Chromium (iii) Tungsten (iv) Molybdenum (Materials for the Engineering Technician – R.A. Higgins) Revision 1: March 2011 5 .

A. Higgins) Revision 1: March 2011 6 .Metals with this structure are: (i) Iron () (ii) Copper (iii) Aluminium (iv) Lead (v) Gold (Materials for the Engineering Technician – R.

A.Metals with this structure are: (i) Zinc (ii) Cadmium (iii) Magnesium (iv) Beryllium (Materials for the Engineering Technician – R. Higgins) Revision 1: March 2011 7 .

SUMMARY Metals with different lattice structures Body-centred cubic (bcc) Chromium (Cr) Molybdenum (Mo) Tungsten (W) Niobium (Nb) Face-centred cubic (fcc) Aluminium (Al) Copper (Cu) Lead (Pb) Nickel (Ni) Iron (Fe) (depends on the temperature) Close-packed hexagonal (cph) Zinc (Zn) Cadmium (Cd) Magnesium (Mg) Beryllium (Be) Revision 1: March 2011 8 .

c.below 910oC: -iron (b. (The term allotropy is also used to describe this phenomenon) • Examples: Iron (Fe) .c.c.c.between 910oC and 1400oC: -iron (f.above 1400oC and below 1550oC -iron (b.c.) Revision 1: March 2011 9 .) .POLYMORPHISM • The ability of a solid element to exist in more than one different crystalline form.) .c.

the arrangement of atoms changes from an amorphous state to one which is orderly (crystalline state).DENDRITIC SOLIDIFICATION (CRYSTAL GROWTH) • Metals possess mobility when they are in the liquid state (i. • When metals solidifies. • Pure metals solidify at a fixed temperature and latent heat is given off.e. Revision 1: March 2011 10 . the atoms are free to move about with respect to one another).

Atoms will join the crystal seed as it grows to visible size called “dendrite”. Revision 1: March 2011 11 . crystallisation begins.DENDRITIC SOLIDIFICATION (CRYSTAL GROWTH) – cont’d • • When the temperature drops below its freezing point. Geometric irregularities occurred when the metal crystals are not free to grow. This explains why grain boundaries are irregular.

growth in that direction is restricted and their grain boundaries become distorted. • The process of solidification is shown in the Figures (Crystal Growth .1.2 & 3) Revision 1: March 2011 12 . Upon collision.DENDRITIC SOLIDIFICATION (CRYSTAL GROWTH) – cont’d • Crystals commence to grow at the same time and eventually collide with each other.

A. Higgins) Revision 1: March 2011 13 . (Materials for the Engineering Technician – R.SOLIDIFICATION Of PURE METAL The temperature is constant during cooling (between points B and C) because of the dissipation of latent heat.

Timings) Revision 1: March 2011 14 . R.CRYSTAL GROWTH (Engineering Materials – Volume 1.L.

CRYSTAL GROWTH .L..cont’d (Engineering Materials – Volume 1. R. Timings) Revision 1: March 2011 15 .

DEFECTS IN CAST METALS Although there are many defects in casting. we are focussing on only two defects in this lecture: • Segregation (i) minor segregation (ii) major segregation • Porosity (i) dendritic porosity (shrinkage porosity) (ii) gas porosity Revision 1: March 2011 16 .

Major segregation – the impurities are concentrated at the core of the casting.SEGREGATION • • • Two types: (i) minor segregation (ii) major segregation Minor segregation – dissolved impurities are found in the grain boundaries. Revision 1: March 2011 17 .

MINOR SEGREGATION Purest Metal Bulk of impurities settles at the grain boundaries Crystal Revision 1: March 2011 18 .

The central region is the last to solidify. Timings) Revision 1: March 2011 19 . R. Chill crystals (Engineering Materials – Volume 1.L.MAJOR SEGREGATION Pipe (The last area to solidify – Metal tends to be porous and spongy containing blowholes and impurities) Columnar crystals Large equi-axed crystals (core) During solidification. the columnar crystals formed will push the impurities toward the central region of the casting.

Voids Revision 1: March 2011 20 .GAS POROSITY The voids are of irregular shapes and they occur at almost any point in the structure.

Revision 1: March 2011 21 .DENDRITIC POROSITY (SHRINKAGE CAVITIES) Shrinkage cavities tend to follow the shape of the dendrite arms and occur at the crystal boundaries.

large equi-axed crystals are formed. – At the core of the ingot where solidification is last. – Next to the outer skin where the rate of cooling is less severe. There will be zones of different types of crystals formed in the casting: – Outer skin will have a layer of small hard chilled crystals.EFFECT OF COOLING RATE ON GRAIN GROWTH • • Increase in the rate of cooling will favour the formation of small grains. Revision 1: March 2011 22 . heat flows outwards will favour the formation of elongated columnar crystals.

Timings) Plane of weakness Revision 1: March 2011 23 .L. R.TYPES OF CRYSTALS FORMED DUE TO THE RATE OF COOLING Small hard “chill” crystals at the surface of casting due to rapid cooling Effect of cooling rate on grain growth Large equi-axed crystals at core of casting due to slow cooling (Engineering Materials – Volume 1.

METAL CASTING PROCESSES • Sand Casting • Die Casting Video – Gravity casting – Pressure die casting – Cold chamber die casting process Video • Investment Casting Video Revision 1: March 2011 24 .

When the drag has been filled. the sand is levelled with the edge of the box. Molten metal is then poured into the mould to cast out a component Process for making a simple sand mould: – The pattern of a simple gear blank is first laid on a moulding board along with the drag half (lower half) of the moulding box – Moulding sand is riddled over the wooden pattern and rammed sufficiently for the particles to adhere to each other.SAND CASTING PROCESS • In sand casting. • Revision 1: March 2011 25 . a sand mould has to be prepared first.

Revision 1: March 2011 26 .SAND CASTING – cont’d – The assembly is then turned over. – A layer of parting sand (dry clay-free material) is now sprinkled on to the sand surface. The riser and runner pins are held steady by means of a small amount of moulding sand pressed around them. • The runner in the finished mould is to allow the molten metal to flow into the mould cavity. • The riser acts as a reservoir from which molten metal can feed back into the casting as it solidifies and shrinks. – The cope half (upper half) of the moulding box is then placed in position along with the “runner” and “riser” pins.

Cores may be required to form holes and cavities in the casting. The finished mould is then ready to receive its charge of molten metal. the mould must be split into several sections and consequently a multi-part box is used. • • • Revision 1: March 2011 27 .SAND CASTING – cont’d • • Moulding sand in now used to fill the cope and it is rammed around the pattern. For pattern of much complex shape. and the cope is replaced in position. the pattern is removed. The cope is then lifted off. runner and riser.

SAND CASTING – cont’d Advantages: (i) A large number of metals and alloys can be sand-cast into intricate shapes. (iii) Largest casting sizes achievable. Suitable for casting both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. (ii) Small quantity of castings can be made economically because outlay on simple equipment and wooden patterns required is low. Revision 1: March 2011 28 . (iv) High levels of sand reuse are achievable.

Higgins) Revision 1: March 2011 29 .A.Moulding with a simple pattern (Materials for the Engineering Technician – R.

a permanent metal mould is used. Molten metal is allowed to run in under the action of gravity (gravity die casting) or forced in under pressure (pressure die casting). Types of die casting processes: – Gravity die casting – Pressure die casting – Cold chamber die casting process Video Revision 1: March 2011 30 .DIE CASTING • • • In die casting.

The die cavity may be filled by hand pouring or by automatic feeding in a modern high-speed plant. Cores may be of sand or metal. – Metal cores of complex shape must be split to allow for their removal from the finished casting. Revision 1: March 2011 31 .DIE CASTING – cont’d (GRAVITY DIE CASTING) • • • The die is made of metal and may be part of a multi-part design if the shape of the casting is complex.

Cold chamber die casting process and the Hot chamber die casting process. Cold chamber die casting: – Charge of molten metal is forced into the die by means of a plunger. the moving platen is retracted. – As soon as the casting is solid. Revision 1: March 2011 32 . – As the moving platen comes against the fixed block. The former is more widely used.DIE CASTING – cont’d (PRESSURE DIE CASTING) • • Two types of pressure die casting. Cycle time is rapid. ejectors are activated and the casting is pushed out of the mould.

Cold Chamber Die Casting Process (Materials for the Engineering Technician – R. Higgins) Revision 1: March 2011 33 .A.

• Reduces or eliminates secondary machining operations.ADVANTAGES OF DIE CASTING (COMPARED TO SAND CASTING) • Internal structure is more uniform and the grains are finer due to rapid cooling. • Greater dimensional accuracy achievable • Better surface finish. • Output rates are much higher. Revision 1: March 2011 34 . • Process can be automated easily.

g. These materials have high fluidity in their molten state. Revision 1: March 2011 35 . • Die casting is confined mainly to zinc. sand casting is preferred.DISADVANTAGES OF DIE CASTING (COMPARED TO SAND CASTING) • For alloys of high shrinkage coefficients. of the order of 5000) and this is due to the high cost of the metal dies. • Die casting is only economical if a large quantity of casting is required (e. aluminiumor manganese-based alloy.

• The wax gate is suitably trimmed using a heated hand-held tool.INVESTMENT CASTING • A permanent mould is used to make the wax patterns. it is removed from the mould. • To produce wax patterns. the two halves of the mould are clamped together and molten wax is injected. When the wax pattern has solidified. Revision 1: March 2011 36 . – This master mould could be machined in steel or produced by casting a low-melting-point alloy around a master pattern.

The assembled runner with its tree of patterns is then fixed to a flat-bottom plate by a blob of molten wax. • Investment material is then poured into the flask. • A metal flask is placed over the assembly. Revision 1: March 2011 37 . The gap between the flask and the bottom plate is sealed with wax.INVESTMENT CASTING – cont’d • The wax pattern is then attached to a central runner. • The bottom plate together with the assembly is vibrated to expel trapped air or bubbles during solidification of the investment materials.

INVESTMENT CASTING – cont’d • For low-temperature casting. the investment material is composed of fine silica sand and Plaster of Paris • The investment material is allowed to dry for some eight hours. Revision 1: March 2011 38 . • Most of the wax will melt and run out leaving a mould cavity in the investment material. The base plate is then detached and the inverted flask is passed through an oven at about 150oC.

(Video) Revision 1: March 2011 39 . • Investment casting process is also known as “Lost Wax” casting process.INVESTMENT CASTING – cont’d • Before receiving its charge of molten metal. the investment mould is pre-heated to a temperature range between 700oC and 1000oC. – The objective of pre-heating is to remove the last traces of wax and to complete the decomposition of ethyl silicate bond to silica and to prevent chilling of the cast metal so that it will flow into every corner of the mould cavity.

Investment Casting Process (Materials for the Engineering Technician – R.A. Higgins) Revision 1: March 2011 40 .

ADVANTAGES OF INVESTMENT CASTING • Very high dimensional accuracy of the product can be achieved and thereby reduce the need for secondary machining operations. Complicated shape can be produced. forming and swaging dies and spray nozzles. precision gauges. These small components cannot be shaped by forging and machining operations. Absence of disfiguring parting line on the component. • • • Revision 1: March 2011 41 . Can be used for manufacturing small components from metals and alloys. milling cutters. – Examples: gas turbine and jet engine blades.

• Individual pattern is required for each casting Revision 1: March 2011 42 .DISADVANTAGES OF INVESTMENT CASTING • High cost – investment material is very expensive. • The size/weight of a component is limited to about 2 kg.

– Different types of metal casting processes – sand moulding. die casting and investment casting. FCC and CPH structures – polymorphism Dendritic solidification – crystal growth Defects in cast metals – segregation and porosity The effect of cooling rate on the formation of different types of crystals. – Advantages and disadvantages of investment casting.SUMMARY OF LECTURE • In this lecture. Revision 1: March 2011 43 . the following topics were discussed: – – – – – Crystalline and amorphous structures BCC.

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