Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2018

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Christoph Beckermann

First Committee Member

David G. Rethwisch

Second Committee Member

H. S. Udaykumar

Third Committee Member

Albert Ratner

Fourth Committee Member

Hongtao Ding


Among all casting defects, shrinkage porosities could significantly reduce the strength of metal parts. As several critical components in aerospace and automotive industries are manufactured through casting processes, ensuring these parts are free of defects and are structurally sound is an important issue. This study investigates the formation of shrinkage-related defects in alloy solidification. To have a better understanding about the defect formation mechanisms, three sets of experimental studies were performed. In the first experiment, a real-time video radiography technique is used for the observation of pore nucleation and growth in a wedge-shaped A356 aluminum casting. An image-processing technique is developed to quantify the amount of through-thickness porosity observed in the real-time radiographic video. Experimental results reveal that the formation of shrinkage porosity in castings has two stages: 1-surface sink formation and 2- internal porosity evolution. The transition from surface sink to internal porosity is defined by a critical coherency limit of . In the second and third experimental sets, two Manganese-Steel (Mn-Steel) castings with different geometries are selected. Several thermocouples are placed at different locations in the sand molds and castings to capture the cooling of different parts during solidification. At the end of solidification, castings are sectioned to observe the porosity distributions on the cut surfaces. To develop alloys’ thermo-physical properties, MAGMAsoft (a casting simulation software package) is used for the thermal simulations. To assure that the thermal simulations are accurate, the properties are adjusted to get a good agreement between simulated and measured temperatures by thermocouples.

Based on the knowledge obtained from the experimental observations, a mathematical model is developed for the prediction of shrinkage porosity in castings. The model, called “advanced feeding model”, includes 3D multi-phase continuity, momentum and pore growth rate equations which inputs the material properties and transient temperature fields, and outputs the feeding velocity, liquid pressure and porosity distributions in castings. To solve the model equations, a computational code with a finite-volume approach is developed for the flow calculations. To validate the model, predicted results are compared with the experimental data. The comparison results show that the advanced feeding model can accurately predict the occurrence of shrinkage porosity defects in metal castings. Finally, the model is optimized by performing several parametric studies on the model variables.


Alloy Solidification, Computational Modeling, Experimental Investigation, Metal casting, Porosity Model, Shrinkage defects


xvi, 104 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 103-104).


Copyright © 2018 Vahid Khalajzadeh