A Study of Bubble Entrainment as Related to Runner Velocity in Aluminum Sand Castings Using the Cosworth Process


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Traditional gravity pour down-sprue methods of filling moulds in the making of aluminum castings inherently lead to oxide and air bubble entrainment. The reason for this is found in the high velocities the metal flow experiences during the filling of a mould. The Nemak Windsor Aluminum Plant (WAP) produces cylinder blocks using the low-pressure Cosworth process, which includes low velocity up-hill filling of the sand mould package. This doctrine is followed in all except one part of the process: the runner system. The nature of the resulting defect is generally known as Head Deck Porosity. Runners were cast full in open production runners at three different velocities with the resulting quickly chilled castings analyzed using X-ray radioscopy, and Scanning Electron Microscopy. Results reveal that the subject bubble porosity is indeed the result of air entrained during initial transient flow within the production runner system whose velocity is higher than the critical value of 0.5ms-1. This theoretical value is corroborated by experimental results. In addition, a new "sessile" runner of optimized shape, filled at a velocity slower than the critical value, is proposed and analyzed using Magmasoft mould fill modelling software. The design can potentially replace the existing runner providing a casting free of entrained air.



Materials Science Forum (Volumes 539-543)

Main Theme:

Edited by:

T. Chandra, K. Tsuzaki, M. Militzer , C. Ravindran




J. C. Burford and J. Sokolowski, "A Study of Bubble Entrainment as Related to Runner Velocity in Aluminum Sand Castings Using the Cosworth Process", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 539-543, pp. 398-403, 2007

Online since:

March 2007




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