A Novel Approach to Visualize Liquid Aluminum Flow to Advance Casting Science

Casey Bate, Philip King, Jay Sim, Guha Manogharan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Turbulent filling of molten metal in sand-casting leads to bi-films, porosity and oxide inclusions which results in poor mechanical properties and high scrap rate of sand castings. Hence, it is critical to understand the metal flow in sand-molds, i.e., casting hydrodynamics to eliminate casting defects. While multiple numerical methods have been applied to simulate this phenomenon for decades, harsh foundry environments and expensive x-ray equipment have limited experimental approaches to accurately visualize metal flow in sand molds. In this paper, a novel approach to solve this challenge is proposed using Succinonitrile (SCN) as a more accurate metal analog in place of water. SCN has a long history in solidification research due to its BCC (Body-Centered-Cubic) crystal structure and dendrite-like solidification (melting temperature ~60 °C) like molten aluminum. However, this is the first reported study on applying SCN through novel casting hydrodynamics to accurately visualize melt flow for casting studies. This paper used numerical simulations and experiments using both water and SCN to identify the critical dimensionless numbers to perform accurate metal flow analog testing. Froude’s number and wall roughness were identified as critical variables. Experimental results show that SCN flow testing was more accurate in recreating the flow profile of molten aluminum, thus validating its utility as a metal analog for metal flow research. Findings from this study can be used in future metal flow analysis such as: runner, in-gate and integrated filling-feeding-solidification studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number756
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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