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SPECIAL CASTING

PROCESSES
FOR
LIGHT METALS
PREPARED BY :SWAPNIL
NIGAM

SEMISOLID
PROCESSI
NG

SQUEEZE
CASTING

PROCES
SES
COSWOR
TH
PROCESS

ILP
CASTING
PROCESS

SEMI-SOLID PROCESSING
(SSP)
Initiated at MIT in 1971,
by Spencer & Flemings, during
their experiment with Sn-15%Pb alloy.

PRINCIPLE OF PROCESS Thixotropy [thixis (means


shaking) + trepis (means changing)], i.e. reduction in the
rheopectic properties of a system (eg. viscosity, yield
stress etc.), isothermally and reversibly, due to application
of shear strain, such that the reduction is distinctly
dependent on time.

Thixotropic
behavior of a
system

Metals and alloy systems , generally, when they are


solidified such that, their solidification temperature lies in
between the liquidus & solidus, then they exist in the
SLURRY state. On applying shear stress (by stirring the
system) at this temperature, the system will show
Thixotropic behavior, i.e.,
Their viscosity is in inverse to the shear rate.
Their viscosity increases with time, at
constant shear rate.
Earlier, based on the principle of SSP, two processes were
used for producing finished products,
Rheocasting - A slurry produced by agitating an
alloy in a narrow, annular region between the
furnace wall and a central cylindrical stirrer
was transferred and cast in a pressure die
casting machine.
Thixoforging - Slugs of the above prepared
slurry, can be removed and forged in a die.

Timedependent
thixotropic
behavior

But the above systems presented the following problems,


Design of furnace-stirrer system, with
adequate quantities of slurry.
Rapid chemical attack & erosion of stirrer
material.
THIXOMOULDING process developed by Dow Chemical
Company, overshadowed the above limitations.
Thixomoulding is a viable technology for forming alloys in
semisolid state to near net-shaped products. It involves a
combination of plastic injection moulding technology with
metal pressure die casting.
The feed stock required is solid alloy pellet, which are
heated such that they form slurry with 0.5-0.6% solid
fraction.

The feed stock is heated to the semi-solid temperature and


sheared into a thixotropic state in a screw feeder before
passing directly into the diecasting machine.

Schematic of

Original THIXOMOLDING
machine

HDPC Machine
component
prepared by
thixomolding

BENEFITS of SSP
Energy requirements are less because complete
melting is not required. Energy needed to heat
aluminium alloys for casting is 35% greater than
that required to heat the same aluminium alloy
for the conditions needed for semisolid forming
Shrinkage and cracking within the mould are
reduced because the alloy is already partly
solidified when cast.
Lower operating and pouring temperatures lead to
an increase in the lives of metal dies.
Foundry cleanliness is easy to maintain, cycle
times are reduced and scrap is minimized.
Composite materials can be readily produced
Significantly lower capital investment & operating
costs.

SQUEEZE CASTING
Idea suggested by CHERNOV in 1878 to apply steam
pressure to molten metal while being solidified.
PRINCIPLE OF PROCESS High pressure solidification of
the system within a reusable die.
Squeeze casting process is a generic term to specify a
fabrication technique, which combines the permanent mold
casting with die forging, into a single operation, where
molten metal is solidified under high hydrostatic pressure.
It has become known as squeeze casting because the
casting is squeezed in a controlled fashion under high
pressure to complete the filling of the die
The process is now-a-days the most popular fabricaiton
route for MMC (Metal Matrix Composites) artifacts

Schematic of SQUEEZE
FORMING

OPERATIONAL STEPS OF PROCESS


A. Pouring of predefined amount of molten metal
into a preheated die cavity of a hydraulic press.
B. Activation of the press to close die cavity and
pressurize the liquid metal, until the
solidification is complete.
C. Final, withdrawal of the pump, and ejection of
the component.

MODES OF PROCESS
1. On basis of the way of pressure application,
Direct SC mode
Indirect SC mode
2. On basis of the timing of pressure application,
Before beginning of crystallization
After beginning of crystallization

In Direct casting process, metered amounts of molten metal


are poured into a die and then pressure is applied to the
solidifying metal via the second moving half of the die. It is
also divided into 2 types,
Forward process No metal movement is involved.
Suitable for ingot type components.
Backward process Metal movement is involved.
Versatile process & used for wide variety shaped
components.

In Indirect casting process, molten metal is first poured into


a shot sleeve and then injected vertically into the die by a
piston which sustains the pressure during solidification. It is
also divided into 4 types,

Vertical die closing & injection


Horizontal die closing & injection
Vertical die closing & horizontal injection
Horizontal die closing & vertical injection

Squeeze casting in general is employed for Low melting


temperature alloys of Al & Mg.
The most dominant process parameters are die temperature,
pouring temperature & superheat. Other parameters involve
cleanliness of the metal, metal movement inside the die, die
coating, & Dead Time (the interval for which pressure is
applied).

In general for Al & Mg alloys, following operational


parameters are used,
Pressure = 50-150 MPa
Die temperature = 200-300C
Die coating = Graphite based

SQUEEZE Casting machine

BENEFITS of SC
Using this method it is possible to produce heat
treatable castings.
Yields a pore-free, fine-grained casting with
wrought product type mechanical properties &
casting has isotropic properties. The SN curves
obtained in fatigue tests also lie within the
scatter
band for wrought materials.
Offers high metal yield, minimum gas or
shrinkage, low porosity and an excellent surface
finish, combined with lower operating costs.
Possibility of using pre-forms (high-porosity
bodies made from specially selected materials).
DEMERITS of SC
High costs due to complex tooling & thus, high
production volumes.
No flexibility as tooling is dedicated to specific
components & increased process costs.

COSWORTH PROCESS
Process was developed in 1978 to meet the need for highly
specialized components for the Formula One racing car
engines manufactured by Cosworth Engineering, Ltd., in
England.
PRINCIPLE OF PROCESS Counter-gravity pumping of the
molten metal, into the mould through the base using
pressure assisted feeding.

Schematic
of
COSWORT
H
PROCESS

STEPS INVOLVED IN PROCESS : Mold preparation :


1. Accurate pattern & core box equipment.
2. Zircon sand replaces silica sand, due to formers
greater expansion predictability.
3. Gas hardening by SO2 .
Metal preparation & transfer :
1. Metal is melt & held in electrical-resistance
heated Holding Furnace.
2. Metal is drawn from the middle-zone.
3. Controlled degassing at the ingot station & use
of a protective atmosphere, to minimize the
risk of gas absorption during holding.
4. Metal is transferred using an electromagnetic
pump into the mold, in quiescent manner.
A recent development has been to roll over the mould
under an applied positive pressure immediately after filling.
This further improves the quality of castings and allow
higher production rates to be achieved.

PROCESS CHARACTERISTICS:
Alloy range Al alloys.
Casting size = for Al-alloys (0.2-50 kg) , max. size
used is 915 x 610 mm.
Thin section capabilities 2.5 mm with overall size of
200mm.
Cast holes dia. of 6mm.
Surface finish = 3.5-6.3 microns.
LIMITATION: Is not suitable for a wide range of metals and
casting sizes.

BENEFITS of Cosworth Process :


Castings are pressure-tight due to the absence of
porosity and inclusions.
Use of reclaimable zircon sand, avoids the volume
change associated with the phase transition from to -quartz that occurs in silica at temperatures close
to those used for melting aluminium alloys, thus
improving the stability of both moulds and cores,
which allows close dimensional tolerances of castings
to be obtained and repeated.
Gives high dimensional accuracy, resulting in
minimum fettling and machining.
Fatigue properties of casting at both room and
elevated temperatures are also superior and scatter
in
the test results is much reduced.
Yields of 85% or better, castings that are typically 10
to 12% lighter than those produced by other methods
excellent mechanical and physical properties
Can cast thinner sections, allowing the design of
lighter, more robust components and resulting in

ILP PROCESS
It is the Improved Low Pressure process of casting,
developed in Australia.
PRINCIPLE OF PROCESS utilizes transfer of molten metal
vertically through a riser tube into the bottom of the mould
cavity.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
The use of a combination of metal cores and
resin-bonded silica sand for the mould which
promotes rapid unidirectional solidification in
those regions of the casting where optimal
properties are required.
The mould can be inverted to facilitate this
controlled solidification, which may provide
dendrite arm spacings < 20 m adjacent to the metal
cores, and < 0.5% microshrinkage overall.

Schematic of ILP PROCESS

The process has been adapted to allow robotic handling of


the moulds so that movements are precisely repeatable.
It is being used in Mexico for the mass production of
cylinder heads and blocks for engines of some models of
automobiles that are manufactured for the North American
market.

REFERENCES

FOR SEMI-SOLID CASTING;


http://www.hindawi.com/isrn/ms/2013/679820/
http://
www.docstoc.com/docs/100692285/Semi-Solid-Proces
sing
FOR SQUEEZE CASTING;
http://
issinstitute.org.au/wp-content/media/2011/05/ISS-F
EL-REPORT-A-IYER-low-res.pdf
http://www.cmse.sdu.edu.cn/clcx/jxkj/clcxjc//%
CF%C8%BD%F8%D6%FD%D4%EC%BC%BC%CA%F5%BF%
E%BC%FE2010/squeeze%20casting.pdf
http://www.jim.or.jp/journal/e/pdf3/50/12/2820.pdf
FOR COSWORTH PROCESS;
http://
core.materials.ac.uk/repository/eaa/talat/3201.pdf
http://www.fkm.utm.my/~
zulkepli/notescast/cosworth.pdf