Publications Repository - Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

Liquid metal model experiments on casting and solidification processes

Eckert, S.; Gerbeth, G.; Cramer, A.; Willers, B.; Witke, W.; Galindo, V.

We report on laboratory studies using cold liquid metals as a model of realistic light metal processes. The main feature of such cold (temperatures up to about 300°C) liquid metal models is the availability of measuring techniques allowing to analyse the local transport phenomena with a sufficient resolution. Note that water models of liquid metal processes are only meaningful if the melt flow Reynolds number represents the only determining parameter of the transport processes under consideration, which is seldom the case for real casting processes. As soon as temperature gradients, free-surface phenomena, two-phase flows or electromagnetic phenomena play a role, the water model is always of very limited value.
First we present results on the flow modelling of an investment casting process of aluminium alloys. The configuration basically consists in a U-bend, and the main request is to reduce the high flow velocities during the starting phase of the filling process. They are considered as the main source of problems like bubble or inclusion entrapment. The process was simulated using a plexiglas model and the eutectic melt InGaSn which is liquid at room-temperature. Local velocity measurements have been performed using the ultrasonic Doppler velocimetry, whereas flow rates have been determined independently using the contact-less transmitter technique. Measurements and video visualizations clearly show effects like flow rate oscillations or gas bubble entrapment. Depending on geometric and process parameters, the time-scale to get rid of these entrapments may become longer than the process itself. In order to decrease the maximum values of the velocity at the beginning of the process, an external steady magnetic field has been applied. The measurements show that it is capable of reducing these velocity peaks significantly. The experimental results are compared to numerical simulations.
As a second example we report on model experiments of the electromagnetic stirring of liquid metals in a cylindrical cavity. Different types of alternating magnetic fields, like rotating or travelling fields, are employed for such stirrers. The model experiments reveal that by application of just one type of those fields a strong flow results, but this flow is often of a rather rigid type without a noticeable three-dimensional mixing of the melt. An efficient mixing can be obtained by a combination of the field types. Velocity measurements in rotating, travelling, and combined rotating-travelling fields will be presented demonstrating this behaviour.
Third, we report on systematic studies about the influence of a rotating magnetic field (RMF) on the resulting microstructure of Pb-Sn alloys. The RMF strongly influences the flow in the liquid phase and, thus, the local heat transfer. It results in a significant influence on the nucleation and growth processes, leading to a variety of microstructures. Temperature as well as ultrasonic velocity profile measurements have been performed. Main goal is to find a strategy for refining the microstructure of castings by an optimal combination of magnetic field intensity, field frequency and cooling rate. For a Pb-85wt%Sn alloy, the application of the RMF is capable of changing the columnar dendritic microstructure to an equiaxed one.

  • Lecture (Conference)
    Int. Symposium on liquid metal processing and casting and solidification processes, Nancy (France), Sept. 21-24, 2003. Proceedings, Eds.: P.D.Lee, A.Mitchell, J.-P.Bellot, A.Jardy, 333-343, 2003.
  • Contribution to proceedings
    Int. Symposium on liquid metal processing and casting and solidification processes, Nancy (France), Sept. 21-24, 2003. Proceedings, Eds.: P.D.Lee, A.Mitchell, J.-P.Bellot, A.Jardy, 333-343, 2003.

Publ.-Id: 5398