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Application of an optimization method and experiment in inverse determination of interfacial heat transfer coefficients in the blade casting process

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journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/etfs

of interfacial heat transfer coefcients in the blade casting process

Weihong Zhang *, Gongnan Xie, Dan Zhang

Engineering Simulation and Aerospace Computing (ESAC), The Key Laboratory of Contemporary Design and Integrated Manufacturing Technology,

Northwestern Polytechnical University, P.O. Box 552, 710072 Xian, Shaanxi, China

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:

Received 21 December 2009

Received in revised form 18 March 2010

Accepted 20 March 2010

Keywords:

Interfacial heat transfer coefcient

Numerical prediction

Experimental measurement

Optimization method

a b s t r a c t

In order to effectively improve the numerical prediction accuracy in a blade investment casting process, a

new method is proposed to determine the interfacial heat transfer coefcient (IHTC) in a complicated

blade casting by combining the numerical prediction, optimization and limited experimental data. An

investment experiment of the blade is conducted to acquire the surface temperature of the casting and

the shell mould. Regarding the complicated mechanism of the interfacial heat transfer in the progressive

solidication, a new continuous model with three-step evolution is established for the castingmould

IHTC, and a power function is proposed to correlate the mouldenvironment IHTC with solidication

time as well. A globally convergent method is employed to search the optimal coefcients involved in

the IHTCs correlations. Results show that the predicted temperature based on proposed models agrees

well with the experimental data with the maximum deviation being less than 5.5%, and a signicant variation of the castingmould IHTC is observed. It is concluded that the prediction accuracy and efciency

associated with the optimization method can be greatly improved with the present IHTC models.

2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

It is known that the shape of the casting depends on the cavity

geometry of the metal die signicantly in the investment casting

process. An exact die prole, which generally takes into account

the various shrinkages involved in the casting process, is therefore,

important to improve the quality of net-shaped products. In this

sense, an accurate numerical simulation of the entire casting process is very helpful to realize optimal designs of the die-cavity prole [1]. Many commercial solidication simulation softwares can

be used to obtain reliable simulation results if the appropriate data

of thermal properties and boundary conditions are provided [2].

For the heat transfer in solidication, how the heat transfers

through the castingmould interface is one of the most important

boundary conditions to be characterized because this problem directly dominates the evolution of solidication and controls the

freezing conditions within the casting. Therefore, the determination of interfacial heat transfer coefcient (IHTC) is vital ahead of

the simulation of the solidication process. In fact, the IHTC depends upon multiple factors such as die coating thickness, insulating pads, chill and casting geometries, pouring temperature,

surface roughness, alloy composition, metallostatic head, mould

* Corresponding author. Tel./fax: +86 29 88495774.

E-mail address: zhangwh@nwpu.edu.cn (W. Zhang).

0894-1777/$ - see front matter 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.expthermusci.2010.03.009

determination is often carried out by manual adjustments to reduce the difference between the experimental observation and

the numerical prediction.

Generally, two kinds of methods exist. The rst one is to measure the size variation of the interfacial gap that usually appears

at the metal/mould interface during the solidication process. For

example, Prates and Biloni [7] and Nishida et al. [8] measured the

IHTCs based on the immersion method, uidity test, unidirectional

method and one-dimensional solidication in a mould. The formation process of the air gap and the involved heat transfer mechanism were investigated by measuring the displacements and

temperatures for both cylindrical and at castings of aluminum alloys. The second one is to evaluate the IHTC inversely based on the

temperature data measured at selected locations in both the casting

and the mould or chill. Note that the surface temperature or heat

ux is determined based on the measured temperatures at internal

points near the surface. Since the solidication of a casting involves

both the material phase change and the variation of thermal properties with respect to the temperature, the inverse heat conduction

is a nonlinear problem and can be solved by means of the nonlinear

estimation methods [9,10]. For instance, Lau et al. [11] studied the

IHTC between an iron casting and a metallic mould. Souza et al. [12]

analyzed the heat transfer along the circumference of cylinders

made up of SnPb alloys in the mould.

1069

Nomenclature

a1, a2

b1, b2

fs

h

k

L

m

n

q

t

tc

T

Subscripts

0

initial state

c

casting

cr

critical

h

heat transfer coefcient

l

liquidus

m

mould

s

solidus

T

temperature

coefcient of mouldenvironment IHTC function

solid fraction

heat transfer coefcient

number of thermocouples in the mould

latent heat of fusion

number of time steps

number of thermocouples in the casting

interface heat ux

solidication time

critical solidication time

temperature

Superscripts

est

predicted values

exp

experimental data

max

maximum

min

minimum

Greek symbol

k

thermal conductivity

However, few reliable data of the IHTCs are available for the

investment casting process in practice. Sturm and Kallien [13]

identied the IHTC involved in the model of an aluminum alloy

investment casting where the resultant data of IHTC (1000 W/

m2 K) was assumed to be unchanged throughout the solidication.

Anderson et al. [14] combined the simulation and experiment to

study thermal behaviors of a two-dimensional symmetrical aluminum casting where the IHTC was buried in an overall heat transfer

coefcient. Based on the nonlinear estimation technique mentioned above, Sahai and Overfelt [15] completed a study of the

IHTC for both cylindrical and plate investment castings of a

nickel-based alloy. For the cylindrical casting (mould preheated

to 745 C), it was found that the IHTC varied linearly from

200 W/m2 K at 1300 C to 100 W/m2 K at 850 C. For the plate casting, the IHTC was found to vary between 5000 W/m2 K at 1400 C

and 100 W/m2 K at 1100 C. The results showed that the casting

shape had a great impact upon the IHTC in the investment casting.

OMahoney and Browne [16] suggested that cares should be taken

of the solidication process, the alloy type and the metallostatic

head effect. The aluminum casting alloys, 413, A356, 319, were

used in their study.

For these reasons, this work is to develop a simple and universal

inverse methodology, which makes use of the existing simulation

softwares such as ProCAST to resolve the IHTCs in the investment

casting process of a complicated blade. Based on a switch function

of solidication time, a novel model of IHTC is proposed to replace

the original power function. With the obtained IHTCs, the predicted temperature is compared with the experimental data. Besides, thermocouples are placed in a very thin mould cavity

without manufacturing a special mould. This methodology is helpful for a foundry engineer to look for a reference effectively on how

to apply boundary conditions for simulation of a specic casting

process.

2. Mathematical model of casting process

Fig. 1 depicts the heat transfer through between the two contacting surfaces. When the mould is suddenly lled with the liquid

metal, the effects of uid ow in the liquid phase, the convective

heat transfer and the radiative heat transfer are negligible. Therefore, the direct problem for the casting region is formulated only

in terms of unsteady-state heat conduction.

@T

@

@T

@

@T

@

@T

@fs

qL

k

k

k

qc

@t @x

@x

@y

@y

@z

@z

@t

q = h (Tc Tm )

Casting

Tc

Mould

Casting

Mould

Tm

Fig. 1. Schematic of a castingmould interface.

where q is the cast density, c and k are specic heat and thermal

conductivity, respectively. L is the latent heat of fusion and fs is

the solid fraction. Note that the thermal properties are known during the investment process. The initial and boundary conditions for

the casting region are

initial condition

Tjtt0 T 0 x; y; z

at castmould interface k

@T

q hc T T m

@n

2a

2b

The casting temperature eld is governed by the above heat conduction equation and boundary conditions. Numerical solutions

can be obtained by means of the nite element method.

Obviously, hc, the IHTC at the castingmould interface, affects

the calculated temperature eld and is thus of importance for

the numerical solution of the casting temperature. Likewise, the

governing equation related to the mould region is similar to the

above one except that the source term, qL @f@ts , is not included. Moreover, hm at the mouldenvironment interface has to be determined

in advance. For an inverse heat transfer problem, the aim is to predict the unknown IHTCs from the knowledge of measured or/and

calculated temperatures at specic positions on the interface. This

paper is to determine hc and hm in the blade investment casting

process.

3. Determination of interfacial heat transfer coefcient

3.1. Inverse parameter estimation

Inverse estimation methods are based on the minimization of

an objective function containing both estimated and measured

1070

1.0

constraints can identify unknown parameters involved in the

model. In this study, a globally convergent method (GCM), originally proposed by Svanberg [17], is used to nd the optimal values

of unknown parameters by minimizing an objective function dened by

w2

2

Pm Pk exp

T est

ij

i1

j1 T ij

k

est

@T est

T est

ij h

ij h1 ; . . . ; hr dhr ; . . . hn T ij h1 ; . . . ; hr ; . . . hn

@hr

dhr

Then an iterative procedure is designed to nd the minimization solution of S(h). It must be pointed out that nite difference

method used for the sensitivity analysis suffers from two major

drawbacks. Firstly, the approximation accuracy depends on the

magnitude of the perturbation dhr. If dhr is too small, the roundoff errors will be signicant. Oppositely, if dhr is too large, the

truncation errors will degrade the accuracy. In this work, the

magnitude of perturbations is automatically chosen by an optimization method. Secondly, the use of nite difference method is

expensive because the nite element reanalysis must be run

n + 1 times for each iteration. At this point, an efcient way of

decreasing the computing cost is to parameterize the IHTC only

as a function of time because of the interdependence between

the IHTC and the temperature.

3.2. Continuous IHTC model with three-step evolution

To achieve a reasonable model of the castingmould IHTC, the

complicated mechanism of the interfacial heat transfer in the progressive solidication should be discussed rstly. In general, the

variation of the castingmould IHTC with time can be divided into

four stages: (i) At the rst stage, the IHTC increases rapidly when

the molten alloy is poured into the mould. Although the ow in

the alloy has a great inuence on the IHTC, it is not considered in

this study due to the limitation of high frequency acquisition disposals. (ii) At the second stage, the IHTC is higher in longer mushy

zones with the temperature variations between liquidus temperature and solidus temperature, as pointed out by Santos et al. [18].

The magnitude of the IHTC almost remains unchanged because the

macro air gap does not appear during such a short period of time.

(iii) At the third stage, the IHTC starts to decrease rapidly as long

as the casting thickness becomes larger and larger with a decrease

of the velocity of heat transfer from the casting to the mould. (iv)

At the fourth stage, a gradual decrease of the IHTC is observed

due to the further increase of the air gap.

Based on the above interface heat transfer mechanism, a new

model of the IHTC is proposed with the negligence of the rst

stage. The IHTC could be assumed to be a constant at the second

stage, whose initial value may change from case to case. A power

function of time is used to characterize the signicant drop of

tcr=10

=10

0.6

0.4

=100

3

exp

where T est

denote the estimated and the experimental data

ij and T ij

of the temperature eld at various thermocouple locations and time

increments, respectively. m is the number of time steps, n is the

number of thermocouples in the casting, and k is the number of

thermocouples in the shell mould. w1 and w2 are the weightings.

Because the minimization must ensure the accuracy of the temperature eld over the casting as much as possible, the value of w1 is

often larger than that of w2. Here, w1 and w2 are assumed to be

0.7 and 0.3, respectively.

In order to minimize S(h), the rst-order sensitivity coefcients

are usually calculated by nite difference scheme with

Switch function

=3

-1

1+e t-tcr

Sh w1

2

Pm Pn exp

T est

ij

i1

j1 T ij

=1

0.8

0.2

0.0

0

10

15

20

t

Fig. 2. Typical switch functions for heat transfer coefcient.

the IHTC caused by the appearance of the macroscopic air gap during the third stage and the fourth stage. Therefore, a piecewise

function is thus proposed to formulate the castingmould IHTC.

h

h0

t tcr

a1 t a2

t > tcr

are the parameters to be determined. tcr is the critical time corresponding to the intersection between the second stage and the third

stage.

In order to improve the prediction and optimization efciency, a

continuous and differentiable switch function is devised to express

the heat transfer coefcient. The castingmould IHTC is now reformed as

hc h0

1

1

a1 ta2

1 eattcr

1 eatcr t

where a refers to a large positive number. The term, 1ea1ttcr , denotes a typical switch function, as illustrated in Fig. 2 for different

values of a when tcr = 10. Clearly, a large a results in a closed

approximation of the unity once t is less than tcr, or of the zero when

t is larger than tcr. Thus, a moderate value of a = 10 is chosen in the

model of the castingmould IHTC and the three unknown parameters, a1, a2 and tcr, are to be determined.

As to hm, the external surface temperature of the shell mould is

initially low. It rises rapidly to a peak value at the beginning of

solidication and then declines. According to the experimental

data [18], the values of the IHTC are 22 W/(m2 K) and 34 W/

(m2 K) when the temperature of the mould surface is 300 C and

600 C, respectively. Similarly, a power function is given to correlate the IHTC with the process time

hm b1 tb2

3.3. Description of the optimization procedure

The optimization procedure is shown in Fig. 3, where the GCM

is used as the optimizer. The process starts by initializing the basic

data for the direct heat transfer analysis and the optimization programs. Based on initially estimated parameters and sensitivity values, a proper search direction and a step size will be evaluated by

the optimizer to update design parameters. In this study, ve

parameters tcr, a1, a2, b1 and b2 are optimized. Because the objective function is highly nonlinear, the nite difference method is

applied in sensitivity analysis.

1071

DATA INPUT

Initialize design parameter & their upper and lower bounds

FEM ANALYSIS

Call ProCAST to simulate solidification

and calculate objective function

MODIFY INPUT

Refresh the design parameter by GCM

SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS

Calculate the sensitivity of the design parameter

No

Converged ?

Yes

Stop

form:

Min f0 x

s:t:

fi x 0

i 1; . . . ; m

Support

x2X

f0, f1, . . . , fm are real valued functions which are assumednto be second-order continuously differentiable on the set X x 2 Rjxmin

j

; j 1; . . . ; ng.

x xmax

j

To avoid the situation that the feasible design space is empty, a

modied optimization problem is considered:

Min f0 x

m

P

i1

s:t:

Mi yi y2i =2

fi x yi 0

9

i 1; . . . ; m

where Mi are often assigned by very large real numbers and yi are

so-called articial variables. All yi are usually zeros at the optimum

unless some of them are relaxed to take positive values.

The GCM works iteratively according to the following general

scheme: Assume x represents the set of design parameters. During

iteration k, an explicit approximate sub-problem is generated at a

current iteration point (x(k), y(k)). In the sub-problem, the functions

fi(x) are replaced by approximate convex functions based on the

gradient information and the information from the previous iteration points. Once this sub-problem is solved, the optimal solution

becomes the starting point of the next iteration for the new subproblem. A description of the GCM can be found in [17].

4. Experimental setup of the investment casting process of a

blade

To validate the proposed IHTCs models, aluminum alloy A355 is

used instead of super-alloy in the present work. Moreover, to reduce experimental cost, the gravity casting process is adopted.

The procedure starts with a blade fabricated by an investment

casting wax (the pattern). The wax is heated above its melting temperature and then pressed into a steel die. The wax pattern is made

up of two parts: the core and the exterior, as shown in Fig. 4.

Six thermocouples are positioned in the patterns middle crosssection as shown in Fig. 5. Six wood sticks are selected to drill some

holes of 1.5 mm in diameter. Then these sticks are inserted into six

holes of the wax blade that is xed to the feed system, as shown in

Fig. 6. Finally the pattern is cleaned to allow the adherence of the

mould material. The investment shell moulds are composed of two

layers. Firstly the pattern is dipped into the ceramic slurry and

drained, and then rained by ne ceramic and nally dried in a

vent-pipe. This procedure is repeated until a desired thickness of

2.0 mm attains for the primary shell. The other six sticks are used

to measure the temperature of the primary shell. A secondary layer

with a thickness of 4.0 mm is formed in the same way. When the

wood sticks are burned out, 12 K-type thermocouples are then

placed into the small holes with a depth of about 2.0 mm from

the interface to metal region and from the interface to the mould

region, as shown in Fig. 5. Moreover, two thermocouples are placed

on the external surface of the shell mould so as to acquire the

1072

thermocouple

Feed System

0

2.

.0

4

2

8

The middle

cross-section

60

110

ch

or

d

sand_zircon

Casting

Blade

ax

ial

11

200

casting

10

support

sand_silica2

thermocouple

A-A

6

12

The interface

temperature data for the prediction of the IHTC between the mould

and the environment.

The mould shell is not preheated in gas furnace. Molten aluminum alloy is poured into the mould shell at a temperature of about

624 C by the gravity method, and the mould shell is cooled by the

air with the insulating heat materials on the top and the bottom, so

that the heat ux from the casting to the mould shell can only take

place along the periphery of the turbine blade cross-section as

shown in Fig. 7. The temperature is recorded by sampling frequency

of 1 Hz using a temperature instrument HR3200 (YOKOGAWA,

smoothed out using a digital lter.

Although the experimental setup should be designed to be as

representative as possible of the real process, one should realize

in mind that it is impossible to consider performing an inverse calculation on a real 3D casting geometry due to the prohibitive computing time. Thus, a 2D geometry is considered in the parameter

optimization process. In addition, a certain number of thermocouples have to be properly located rather than ooding the experiments with many thermocouples. With the experimental setup,

the maximum absolute error is about 12 C.

The relevant properties and chemical composition of aluminum

alloys are widely available in the literature [19], but relatively little

accurate information of the investment of the casting and shell

The Shell

mould

The Casting

Atmosphere

Fig. 7. Schematic representation of the experimental setup.

1073

650

Table 1

Thermal data for aluminum alloy A355.

A355

Liquidus

temperature (C)

Eutectic

temperature (C)

Solidus

temperature (C)

Freezing

range (C)

624

582

540

84

Table 2

Thermal data for the shell mould.

Shell

mould

Conductivity

(W/(m K))

Density

(kg/m3)

Special heat

(kJ/kg/K)

Sand silica

Sand zircon

0.59

0.83

1520

2780

1.20

0.77

600

Simulated

550

Temperature (oC)

Alloy

The casting

500

450

400

350

300

The shell mold

250

200

1400

180

1200

Ethalphy

100

200

300

400

500

Time (s)

Fig. 9. Experimental and predicted temperature at the external surface of the shell

mould.

1000

800

140

600

120

400

vity

ucti

100

d

Con

200

80

0

0

200

400

600

800

Temperature (oC)

Fig. 8. Conductivity and enthalpy of aluminum alloy A355.

300

160

Ethalphy (kJ/kg)

Conductivity (W/(m.K))

200

250

200

hm=82.06 t-0.26

150

100

50

0

0

mould is referred from the thermo-physical properties given in

the database of the ProCAST and the literature [20]. Thermo-physical properties of the casting and the shell mould are given in

Tables 1 and 2 and Fig. 8.

100

200

300

400

Time (s)

Fig. 10. Variation of the mouldenvironment IHTC of alloy A355.

650

Tl = 624

7 sampled in the primary layer of the casting and shell mould (as

shown in Fig. 5) during the solidication experiment, respectively.

Since the heat transferred between the shell mould and the environment includes convective and radiative heat, it can be observed

that the temperature on the external surface of the shell mould

rises rapidly from the beginning of solidication to a peak value

and then declines. With the help of the power function introduced

in Eq. (7), a docent agreement is achieved between the measured

temperatures and the numerical predictions, as shown in Fig. 9.

In this case, the mouldenvironment IHTC by the optimization process is presented in Fig. 10.

600

Thermocouple 1,3,5

Ts = 582

Temperature (oC)

Thermocouple 2,4

550

500

Thermocouple 6

450

400

0

tc = 58s

50

Time (s)

Fig. 11. Experimental temperature proles of the thermocouples.

Considering the geometrical feature of the blade as shown in

Fig. 11, the cross-section of the blade can be divided into four

parts: the trailing edge (thermocouple 6), the leading edge (thermocouple 3), the concave side (thermocouples 1 and 2) and the

convex side (thermocouples 4 and 5). The slopes of different temperature curves represent the cooling rates at the corresponding

measured positions. In general, the cooling curve of the casting

consists of three stages: beyond the liquidus, between the liquidus

and the solidus, and below the solidus. At the rst and third stages

1074

Table 3

Optimization results by GCM.

Model

Parameters

Values

C

7100.21

n

0.21

a1

13.40

a2

1189.94

This study

2

a3

0.53

h0 (W/m K)

12160.36

a2

0.52

b1

82.06

b2

0.28

90

650

80

This work

By Lewis et al. [21]

By Santos et al. [18]

Experimental data

600

Santos et al. [18]

This work

70

60

550

500

Error( )

Temperature (oC)

a1

1245.61

By L

ewis

50

40

average error=33.27

30

450

average error=20.00

20

By S

a

400

0

100

200

300

ntos

400

10

0

500

100

200

Time (s)

Fig. 12. Comparisons between the experimental temperature and the predicted

temperature by different models at thermocouple 1.

300

400

500

Time (s)

Fig. 13. Absolute errors of predicted temperatures with different models.

Temperature ( )

660

640

Thermocouple 6 simulated

620

Thermocouple 3 simulated

Thermocouple 3 experiment

Thermocouple 6 experiment

600

580

560

540

520

500

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

80

90

Time (s)

640

Thermocouple 2 simulated

Thermocouple 4 simulated

Thermocouple 2 experiment

Thermocouple 4 experiment

620

Temperature ( )

stage the cooling rate decreases slowly because of the release of

the latent heat. However, both the experiment data and those data

published in the literature [2,20] showed that due to the high temperature difference between the casting and the shell mould, the

temperature of the casting surface decreased so quickly that the

second stage almost disappeared. Once the temperature falls below the solidus, the effect of IHTC on the cooling rate is much

stronger because the heat conduction between the casting and

the shell mould dominates the cooling rate of the casting.

Note that the cooling rate is the fastest in the trailing edge

where the blade prole is the thinnest. Therefore, the shrinkage

happens earlier in the trailing edge than in other positions and

thereby the macro gap forms earlier in this position. Accordingly,

the slope of its cooling curve changes more early. The cooling rate

of the concave side is slower than that of the convex side due to the

heat radiation. The rapid decrease of these cooling prole slopes at

about 58 s indicates that the macro airgap forms at this critical

time rather than at the solidication time of the interface. Such

critical time is later than the solidication time of the interface.

Therefore, the macro airgap will not be formed until the interfacial metal skin between the casting and the shell mould becomes

effective to resist the action of the metallostatic head from liquid

metal. As all cooling rates are not so distinct, a unique equivalent

interfacial heat transfer coefcient is used for simulation. According to the above analysis, the value of h is constant for t < 58 s

and then modeled by a power expression of time for t < 58 s. Based

on this feature, Eq. (6) is used to resolve the IHTC in this study.

The other two models proposed by Santos et al. [18] and Lewis

and Ransing [21] are also tested to calculate the IHTC, and the optimization results are given in Table 3. The corresponding temperature calculated at thermocouple 1 is shown in Fig. 12. Differences

between the predicted results and the measured data are shown

in Fig. 13. Among the three IHTC models, the model proposed in

this study is found to provide the best tting to the experimental

data with an average error of about 7.85 C, while the other two

models produce the average errors of about 33 C and 20 C,

respectively.

600

580

560

540

520

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

Time (s)

Fig. 14. Comparisons between the experimental temperatures and the predicted

temperatures.

24.

28s

22. 2

8s

thermal resistance between the metal and the mould. Consequently, the IHTC reaches a relatively lower value of about 50 W/

m2 K, as shown in Fig. 16.

Furthermore, based on numerical tests, the same convergent

solution of the objective function is achieved even if the GCM

method starts with different initial values of design parameters.

The computational cost is decreased signicantly owing to the

parameterization of the IHTC, which reduces the number of design

parameters effectively.

ax

Rm

8s

.2

26

.2

24

8s

8s

.2

22

.

18

6. Conclusions

s

28

.

14

Solidus

s

28

8s

.2

10

6.

s

28

400

1075

The interfacial heat transfer coefcients (IHTCs) in the investment casting of a solid blade have been investigated on the basis

of an experimental study and an optimization method. A commercial software ProCAST and an optimization tool with globally convergent method (GCM) are employed.

Equivalent parameterized models of the IHTCs including a continuous three-step evolution for the castingmould IHTC and a

power function of time for the mouldenvironment IHTC are proposed. Involved parameters in the model are resolved by the GCM

optimization method. Good agreements between the experimental

and the predicted temperatures are achieved with the maximum

deviation being less than 5.5%. Even with different starting conditions of design parameters, the convergence can be achieved

efciently.

350

Acknowledgement

300

250

for Distinguished Young Scholars (No. 10925212).

hc=1245.61 t-0.52

200

150

References

100

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50

0

100

200

300

400

Time (s)

Fig. 16. The castingmould IHTC of alloy A355 at last two stages.

predicted temperature in other locations are shown in Fig. 14. It

is observed that an acceptable agreement is achieved between

the experimental data and those predicted results. The maximum

deviation is less than 5.5%. Solidus isotherm varying as a function

of time is shown in Fig. 15. It can be seen that the solidication

ends around the center of the maximal inscribed circle of the blade

prole. This indicates the shrinkage center of the blade.

From optimization results in Table 3, it is found that the IHTC

takes a very high value, i.e., up to 12160.36 W/m2 K, at the initial

stage of solidication as a result of the tight surface contact between the liquid metal and the shell mould. The shell temperature

rises rapidly from the beginning of solidication, since the shell

mould is very thick and is not preheated. As a result, the mould

expansion favors the thermal contact between the metal and the

shell surface. Therefore, the initial value of the IHTC in the investment process is higher. Moreover, it might be deduced that the initial value increases with increasing values of superheat, and the

rst stage in which the value keeps a constant will be prolonged.

Once the air gap has been formed, the heat transferring across

1076

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transfer coefcients in chill mold castings, J. Alloy. Compd. 319 (2001) 174186.

[19] Foundry Manual. China Machine Press, 1993. 2 (in Chinese).

[20] H.L. Zeng, The Interfacial Heat Transfer Behavior between High Temperature

Alloys and Ceramic, Master thesis. National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan

40-5, 2002.

[21] R.W. Lewis, R.S. Ransing, A correlation to describe interfacial heat transfer

during solidication simulation and its use in the optimal feeding design of

castings, Metall. Mater. Trans. B 29B (1998) 437448.

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