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Centrifugal casting of an aluminium alloy

Trejo, Eduardo (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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In centrifugal casting, molten metal is introduced into a mould which is rotated at high speed. The centrifugal force helps to fill thin sections but this benefit may be offset by the effect of the turbulent flow on the casting quality. In this research, the effect of direct and indirect gated mould designs on the quality and reliability of aluminium alloy investment castings made by centrifugal casting was investigated. The scatter in the ultimate bend strength and the modulus of elasticity was analyzed using the Weibull statistical technique, which showed that the Weibull modulus of both properties was significantly improved for the indirect gated cast test bars compared to the direct gated bars.

A detailed microstructural characterization was carried out on the cast test bars, which included grain size, dendrite cell size and porosity. Scanning electron microscopy was used to examine and analyze the presence of defects on the fracture surfaces such as shrinkage pores, entrapped bubbles and oxide films resulting from surface turbulence during mould filling. The results indicated a clear correlation between the mechanical properties and the presence of casting defects.

Water modelling experiments were carried out using purpose-built experimental centrifugal casting equipment and filling sequences recorded using a high speed video camera. The water modelling results showed that the general tendency for the direct and indirect gated mould designs was that the higher the rotational velocity, the lower the filling length and consequently the lower the filling rate. Subsequently, this information was used to validate the computer software ANSYS CFX. An excellent correlation was obtained between the experimental water modelling and simulation results for both direct and indirect gated moulds.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Harding, Richard and Green, Nick
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Metallurgy and Materials
Subjects:TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3041
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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