Measurement of Metal Velocity in Sand Casting during Mold Filling
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16801, USA
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH 44555, USA
Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16801, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2019, 9(10), 1079; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9101079
Received: 26 August 2019 / Revised: 17 September 2019 / Accepted: 20 September 2019 / Published: 6 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Metal Casting Technology)
Melt turbulence during mold filling is detrimental to the quality of sand castings. In this research study, the authors present a novel method of embedding Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to monitor real-time melt flow velocity in sand molds during metal casting. Cavities are incorporated in sand molds to position the sensors with precise registration. Capacitive and magnetic sensors are embedded in the cavities where melt flow velocity is calculated by using an oscillator, the frequency of which is sensitive to changes in the close field permittivity, and change in magnetic flux, respectively. Their efficiency is investigated by integrating the sensors into 3D sand-printing (3DSP) molds for conical-helix and straight sprue configurations to measure flow velocities for aluminum alloy 319. Experimental melt flow velocities are within 5% of estimations from computational simulations. A major benefit of 3DSP is the geometrical freedom for complex gating systems necessary to reduce turbulence and access to mold volume for sensor integration during 3DSP processing. Findings from this study establish the opportunity of embedding IoT sensors in sand molds to monitor metal velocity in order to validate simulation results (2–5% error), compare gating systems performance, and improve foundry practice of manual pouring as a quality control system.