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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2005/2536

Title: Study Of Solidification And Microstructure Produced By Cooling Slope Method
Authors: Kund, Nirmala Kumar
Advisors: Dutta, Pradip
Keywords: Semi Solid Forming
Metal Alloys Casting
Convective Heat Transfer
Cooling Slope Method
Aluminium Alloys - Solidification
Alloys - Solidification
Non-Dendritic Microstructures
Semisolid Slurry
Metal Alloys
Semi-solid Forming (SSF)
Semi Solid Processing
Submitted Date: Sep-2012
Series/Report no.: G25600
Abstract: In most casting applications, dendritic microstructure morphology is not desired because it leads to poor mechanical properties. Forced convection causing sufficient shearing in the mushy zone of the partially solidified melt is one of the means to suppress this dendritic growth. The dendrites formed at the solid-liquid interface are detached and carried away due to strong fluid flow to form slurry. This slurry, consisting of rosette or globular particles, provides less resistance to flow even at a high solid fraction and can easily fill the die-cavity. The stated principle is the basis of a new manufacturing technology called “semi-solid forming” (SSF), in which metal alloys are cast in the semi-solid state. This technique has numerous advantages over other existing commercial casting processes, such as reduction of macrosegregation, reduction of porosity and low forming efforts. Among all currently available methods available for large scale production of semisolid slurry, the cooling slope is considered to be a simple but effective method because of its simple design and easy control of process parameters, low equipment and running costs, high production efficiency and reduced inhomogeneity. With this perspective, the primary objective of the present research is to investigate, both experimentally and numerically, convective heat transfer and solidification on a cooling slope, in addition to the study of final microstructure of the cast billets. Some key process parameters are identified, namely pouring temperature, slope angle, slope length, and slope cooling rate. A systematic scaling analysis is performed in order to understand the relative importance of the parameters in influencing the final properties of the slurry and microstructure after solidification. A major part of the present work deals with the development of an experimental set up with careful consideration of the range of process parameters involved by treating the cooling slope as a heat exchanger. Subsequently, a comprehensive numerical model is developed to predict the flow, heat transfer, species concentration solid fraction distribution of aluminum alloy melt while flowing down the cooling slope. The model uses a variable viscosity relation for slurry. The metal-air interface at the top during the melt flow is tracked using a volume of fluid (VOF) method. Solidification is modeled using an enthalpy based approach and a volume averaged technique. The mushy region is modeled as a multi-layered porous medium consisting of fixed columnar dendrites and mobile equiaxed or fragmented grains. In addition, the solidification model also incorporates a fragmentation criterion and solid phase movement. The effects of key process parameters on flow behavior involving velocity distribution, temperature distribution, solid fractions at the slope exit, and macrosegregation, are studied numerically and experimentally for aluminium alloy A356. The resulting microstructures of the cast billets obtained from the experiments are studied and characterized. Finally the experimental results are linked to the model predictions for establishing the relations involving interdependence of the stated key process parameters in determining the quality of the final cast products. This study is aimed towards providing the necessary guidelines for designing a cooling slope and optimizing the process parameters for desirable quality of the solidified product.
Abstract file URL: http://etd.ncsi.iisc.ernet.in/abstracts/3287/G25600-Abs.pdf
URI: http://etd.iisc.ernet.in/handle/2005/2536
Appears in Collections:Mechanical Engineering (mecheng)

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