Heat Transfer at the Mold/Metal Interface in Permanent Mold Casting of Aluminum Alloys
The design of aluminum alloy castings produced by the permanent mold casting process will be markedly improved. Heat transfer between a solidifying casting and mold is critical for achievement of a high quality casting. This is especially important in permanent mold casting where the heat transfer between the casting and the mold are primarily controlled by conditions at the mold-metal interface. The mold-metal interface is being emphasized in this project because the casting tends to shrink as it solidifies, creating areas where gaps form between the casting and the mold surface. Quantification of these conditions is key to understanding the permanent mold casting process and optimizing the casting process.
Research being conducted at the University of Michigan is evaluating heat transfer between the mold and the casting in permanent mold casting of aluminum alloys. It is developing a better understanding of the fundamentals of the process, in particular, interfacial heat transfer including the influence of gap formation and mold coatings, the stress and deformation of the solidifying casting, and the thermal and mechanical behavior of the mold. Understanding of these parameters will enable more precise casting designs and will save energy through improvements in casting yield. Researchers will perform experimental measurements of the above fundamental parameters in order to provide foundries with a means to define and predict multidimensional heat flow in permanent mold casting. These designs will allow production of castings with closer tolerances, improved properties, higher integrity, and lower weight.