Grain Refinement of Permanent Mold Cast Copper Base Alloys
Grain refinement is a well-established process for many cast alloys, especially aluminum, resulting in enhanced casting characteristics and improved mechanical properties. Grain refinement of copper-base alloys in permanent mold casting process is fairly new and is aimed at improving the hot tearing resistance.
Preliminary research has shown that the mechanism of grain refinement in copper-base alloys is not well understood. This lack of understanding extends to the interaction between the grain refiner and minor elements present in copper alloys, such as Sn, Al, Bi, Se, and Pb. The evaluation of nuclei formation which causes the grain refinement in copper alloys is also necessary.
The Copper Development Association and industry partners will conduct a series of research tasks to understand grain refinement behavior of permanent mold copper-base alloys. This will increase casting fluidity, reduce hot tearing, and increase pressure tightness. This will in turn result in higher casting yield in foundries. The project will greatly improve the ability to produce components for plumbing and other applications while responding to environmental issues surrounding lead in plumbing components and foundry sand.