Sie sind auf Seite 1von 13


Ioan Ciobanu, Sorin Munteanu, Aurel Crisan, Tibor Bedo, Vlad Monescu
Transilvania University of Brasov, Romania

Copyright © 2014 American Foundry Society

Riser sizing optimization is based on the analysis of riser sis must be based on solidification time maps (and not on the
operation. Casting solidification simulation software allows temperature maps at the end of solidification), on the time
this analysis to be done without the consumption of materi- of interruption of communication between riser and casting
als, energy and labor. This paper presents a methodology and on the amount of the useful liquid alloy available in the
to analyze riser operation to optimize riser size during met- riser until the casting solidifies. Our study shows that the
alcasting. This three-part paper includes: (1) establishing solidification analysis must be undertaken on the basis of the
the test criteria during the riser operation analysis; (2) ex- real solidification modulus and not on the geometric solidi-
emplification of the riser operation analysis by simulation, fication modulus.
using a steel casting; and (3) experimental verification of the
results. The findings suggest that the riser operation analy- Keywords: casting, riser, alloy solidification, simulation

Research Goals Criteria for Riser Operation Analysis

Riser systems design establishes the riser position and size The study on shrinkage formation mechanism in castings
in relation to the casting. Riser optimization refers to analy- leads to the following 9 criteria to evaluate the riser operation:
sis of the casting solidification with different types of risers
(position and dimensions) and choosing the most favorable These criteria form the basis of studies to optimize the riser
variant from a technological and economical point of view. systems:

The optimal variant is chosen based on the analysis of the Riser Position and Height
riser operation and the liquid alloy consumption during cas- Risers are placed in the vicinity of casting hot spots. De-
ting. The development of software for casting solidification pending on the geometry and position of the hot spots, each
simulation provides the opportunity to carry out advanced hot spot may be equipped with a riser or one riser can simul-
studies on riser systems operation.1,2,3,4 It is thus possible to taneously feed several hot spots. Liquid alloy flows from the
make optimizations, without actually producing castings that riser to the casting based on the principle of communicating
require labor, materials and energy. In casting workshops, vessels (in communicating vessels the fluid levels are of the
although riser dimensions are established by simulation, the same height regardless of the shape of the vessels).1 Con-
riser operation and the economic aspects are not studied in sequently the riser should be higher than the casting, and it
much detail. Often industrial users do not take full advan- is recommended to position the casting with the hot spots
tage of all the possibilities offered by casting solidification located at the top. As a result the riser has small height.
simulation software. Many times in industrial practice, the
casting solidification analysis and riser design are based only 6HTXHQFHRIWKH/LTXLG$OOR\6ROLGL¿FDWLRQ
on the analysis of the temperature distribution in the cast- For proper functioning of the riser it is necessary to control
ing–riser system at the end of alloy solidification.5,6,7,8 Also, the alloy solidification in the following sequence: casting-
rarely is the best casting variant determined by comparative riser neck-riser. If the riser neck solidifies last, the shrinkage
economic analysis. cavity is formed in the riser neck and this may affect the
soundness of the casting. If the riser neck solidifies faster
The objective of this work is to provide foundry engineers than the casting, then shrinkage is formed in the casting.
and metalcasters with a systematic method to analyze the
riser operation based on computer simulation of casting so- The solidification sequence of the casting-riser system can
lidification. This paper consists of three parts: be quickly appreciated calculating the solidification modu-
• establishing the criteria for riser operation analysis; lus. The notion of solidification modulus was introduced by
• exemplifying the working methodology; Chvorinov.9 Chvorinov’s relationship to calculate the solidi-
• experimental verification fication modulus is as follows:

International Journal of Metalcasting/Volume 8, Issue 4, 2014 63

Interruption of Riser–Casting Communication
MG = V/S Eqn. 1 Equation 5 refers to the end of solidification times for the
elements in the system casting–riser neck–riser. The time
Where; V = casting volume (or a region of the casting), S = of interruption of communication between riser and cast-
surface area through which the alloy is cooled. Chvorinov’s ing has a much greater importance for the riser functioning.
relationship considers only the casting geometry. Therefore, This will be called the time of feeding the casting from riser
the solidification modulus calculated with this relationship (tSN) and represents the time when a first cross section of the
will be named the geometric solidification modulus (MG). riser neck completely solidifies. For a proper operation of
For a more accurate study of the solidification, the real so- the riser, this time must be longer than the solidification time
lidification conditions of the casting inside the mold (risers, of the casting (tC).
insulated cores, exothermic cores, hot corners, the number
of other castings or risers, etc.) must be considered. There- 3RVLWLRQRIWKH(QGRI6ROLGL¿FDWLRQ5HJLRQLQ
fore the solidification analysis should be made based on the the Casting
real solidification modulus of casting (or a region of the cast- The casting must be fed from the riser until complete soli-
ing).2, 9,10,11,12 dification. It is necessary that the point where casting soli-
dification ends is located at the casting–riser neck junction.5
Otherwise, the liquid alloy from riser cannot reach the area
Eqn. 2
in the final stage of solidification. In this case, a secondary
shrink hole (or porosity) can occur in the casting.
Where V = casting volume (or a region of the casting), n =
number of surfaces through which the cooling occurs, i =
The Amount of Liquid Alloy Available in Riser to
index of the surface, Si = surface with the index “i”, ki = cool-
ing coefficient of the Si surface. The cooling coefficient ki
In order to fulfill its role (during casting solidification) the
takes into account the effect of slowed or increased cooling
risers must contain a quantity of liquid alloy sufficient to
through that area (Si) compared to a surface where the heat
compensate for the liquid alloy contraction in the casting.
transfer is not influenced. The cooling coefficient values for 13
The useful liquid alloy available in the riser (VULR) rep-
different type of surfaces were given in previous papers. 10,11
resents the liquid that can flow from the riser to the casting
To ensure proper directional solidification in the system until casting solidification. This is the liquid alloy located at
casting-riser neck-riser the following relationship must exist a higher level than the riser neck, until casting solidification
between the real solidification modulus of these elements: (Figure 1).

MC:MN:MR= 1:1,1:1,2 Eqn. 3 In order to ensure ensure riser efficiency, the amount of use-
ful liquid alloy in the riser until complete solidification of
Where; MC = real solidification modulus of casting; MN = the casting, must be equal or greater than the alloy contracti-
real solidification modulus of riser neck; MR = real solidifi- on at solidification. The volume of useful liquid alloy in the
cation modulus of riser. The real solidification modulus (M) riser required to compensate the alloy contraction (VULR) is
is correlated with the solidification time (tS) by the square calculated as:
root law of solidification, expressed in the relationship: 2,9,12
VLUM ≥ β (VC + VN+ VR ) / 100 = β (VTOT) / 100 Eqn. 6
Eqn. 4

Where; k = solidification constant

From Equations 3 and 4 results that for a proper solidifica-

tion directing the following relationship must exist between
the solidification times:

tC:tN :tR = MC2:MN2:MR2 = 1:1,2:1,45 Eqn. 5

Where tC, tN , tR = solidification times of the three elements:

casting, riser neck, riser.

Hot Spot Position in the Riser

Liquid alloy solidification must end in the riser as far as the
riser neck. Ideally, the hot spot should be in the upper side
of the riser. This usually occurs in the case of exothermic or Figure 1. The useful liquid alloy available in the riser
insulated risers. (VULR) is shown in the yellow area.

64 International Journal of Metalcasting/Volume 8, Issue 4, 2014

Where β = percentage of the volume shrinkage of the alloy without riser and gating system is required. This
during solidification, VC = casting volume, VN = riser neck analysis can be achieved by computer solidifica-
volume, VR = riser volume, and VTOT = total volume of alloy tion simulation or by calculating the real solidifica-
in the casting-riser system. tion modulus of the casting regions.
b) The determination of the approximate position and
7KH6ROLGL¿FDWLRQ6KULQNDJH3RVVLEOHWREH size of the riser and gating system (by calculating
Compensated by Riser the solidification times of hot spots or the real so-
Starting with Equation 6 the maximum contraction βMAX, lidification modulus).
which can be compensated by the riser, can be determined: c) The simulation of casting solidification for this first
= 100 · VULR / (VC + VN+ VR) = 100· · VULR / VTOT [ %] d) Changes can be made in the riser size and possi-
Eqn. 7 bly in position depending on the simulation results,
then repeat the simulation.
Sound castings are obtained when βMAX ≥ β. e) An analysis of the conditions which promote sound
castings is performed for all simulated cases as follows:
7HQGHQF\RI0LFURVKULQNDJH$SSHDUDQFH • Directional solidification using the solidifica-
The microshrinkage appearance is influenced by the tem- tion times for casting, riser and riser neck;
perature gradient and the local cooling rate during alloy so- • Time at which the communication riser-cas-
lidification. This influence can be estimated by the Niyama ting is interrupted;
criterion: 7, 14, 15 • Position of the hot spot in the casting (end of
solidification in casting);
. Eqn. 8 • Position of the hot spot in the system (solidi-
fication end point in the system casting-riser
Where; gradT = local temperature gradient and V = local neck-riser);
cooling rate, both of them evaluated at a specified tempera- • The amount of useful liquid metal available
ture close to the end of solidification. Microshrinkage can in the riser until complete solidification of the
occur, if the local Niyama criterion is less than a critical va- casting;
lue which depends on the cast alloy nature.7,15 • Maximum contraction of the alloy in the cast-
ing that can be compensated by the riser; and
Yield of Liquid Alloy used in Casting • Niyama criterion value that produces castings
The use of liquid alloy in the riser is characterized by the without microshrinkage.
index of the use of liquid alloy in the riser (or yield of the liq- f) Analysis of the liquid alloy consumption dur-
uid alloy used in the riser) denoted by I.U and calculated as: ing casting, for the variants ensuring sound
parts, to determine the most economic variant.
Eqn. 9 Applying this methodology allows for an advanced optimi-
zation of the risers systems.
Where; nC = number of castings, nN = number of riser necks,
and nR = number of risers. Exemplifying Riser Operation Analysis Using
In order to determine the overall effectiveness of the use of
liquid alloy into a mold, the gating system mass must be To illustrate the method for analyzing the riser operation, the
considered. The total index of liquid alloy used in the mold solidification of a steel casting in the presence of different-
is calculated with the equation: sized risers was studied. Undersized and oversized risers
were also studied, in order to highlight the negative aspects
associated with riser operation. All analysis steps were com-
Eqn. 10 pleted, less the tendency for the microshrinkage occurrence
analysis, because the software used does not calculate Ni-
Where; VG = gating system volume. yama criterion.

Methodology For Riser Operation Analysis The casting subject of this case study is shown in Figure
2. This presents at the upper end a thicker zone (hot spot)
Based on the above considerations the methodology for riser having the inscribed circle diameter of 48mm (1.89 in.) and
operation analysis includes the following steps: the geometric solidification modulus MGC = 14.2mm (0.559
a) A preliminary analysis of casting solidification in), (calculated using Eqn 1). The geometric solidification
to identify the position of the hot spots. For this modulus was calculated in order to highlight the differences
purpose, the analysis of the casting solidification from the real solidification modulus. The real solidification

International Journal of Metalcasting/Volume 8, Issue 4, 2014 65

modulus of the part takes into account the warm corners and geometric modulus for the casting-riser neck-riser sys-
where cooling is slower. Its value (calculated with Eqn 2) tem elements. These have been calculated with Equations
is M = 14.63mm (0.576 in). The cooling coefficient for the 2 and 1, depending on the riser dimensions given in Table
surfaces near the hot corners was adopted ki = 0.85. To get 1. The geometric solidification modulus was calculated to
a sound casting, a lateral riser, placed in the thickest zone of reveal that its values are not significant for solidification
the casting must be used. sequence analysis. When calculating the real solidification
modulus, subunit values were adopted for the cooling coef-
In the presence of riser, the cooling of the part surface near ficient of the part and riser neck surfaces. In these zones the
the riser is slowed. As result, its real solidification modulus cooling during solidification is slowed due to molding batch
becomes higher in the presence of riser [∼ 15–16mm (∼0.59– overheating. The values were adopted in the range 0.5 to
0.63 in)]. According to Eqn (3), the riser must have a real so- 0.95 depending on the speed of cooling.10 Lower values (ki
lidification modulus of at least MR = 18–19mm (0.709–0.748 = 0.5) were adopted for riser neck surfaces. For the surfaces
in). Preliminary calculations show that the value of real so- near the hot corners of the casting and the neighboring sur-
lidification modulus requires a riser with thickness around dR
= 85–95mm (3.346–3.740 in).

The mold used in simulations is shown in Figure 2. A total of

seven variants were studied by casting solidification simula-
tion. In the first variant, the solidification of a riser-less cast-
ing was simulated. In the other six variants the casting solid-
ification with different riser sizes was studied. The riser sizes
were modified according to the results obtained in previous
simulations. The riser operation in each case was studied,
based on the above criteria. Finally the most favorable solu-
tion was established.
The cases when the
riser neck was un-
dersized (Cases 2
& 4) or when it was
oversized (Case 6)
were studied in or-
der to highlight the
influence of the riser
neck on the riser op-

The dimensions of
riser and riser neck
for the variants stud-
ied by simulation
are given in Table
1. Table 2 shows the
values of the real so- Figure 3. Schematic of the mould and casting-riser
lidification modulus Figure 2. Test casting dimensions. system.

Table 1. Riser Dimensions for the Variants Studied by Simulation

66 International Journal of Metalcasting/Volume 8, Issue 4, 2014

faces of the casting and riser values, ki = 0.7 0.9 were adopt- compensate for alloy contraction) until casting so-
ed, depending on the local geometry. For the surfaces where lidification;
heat transfer is not affected by molding batch overheating, • Maximum contraction percentage that can be com-
the cooling coefficient ki = 1 was adopted. 10 pensated from the riser until the end of casting so-
(The solidification simulation was performed with 3D-SIM • Hot spot position at the final moment of the cast
software at Transilvania University of Brasov, Brasov, alloy solidification;
Romania.16 The software used the finite differences method. • Position of end solidification points for the riser
The casting-mould assembly was meshed into cubic elements, and riser neck;
4mm in size. Simulations were performed for a carbon steel • Map of solidification front displacement (map of
casting with 0.1% C in green sand molds. The following solidification times);
casting conditions were considered: solidus temperature of the • Volume of the liquid alloy cast in the part, riser &
steel TS=1495˚C (2723˚F); liquidus temperature TL=1453˚C riser neck and the yield of liquid alloy used in casting.
(2647˚F), initial temperature of the liquid alloy T0S=1650˚C
(3002˚F); initial temperature of the mold T0M=20˚C (68˚F); Results Obtained by Simulation
environment temperature T0=20°C (68F); silica sand mold
chemically hardened with sodium silicate and CO2. 17 Tables 3 and 4 show the results obtained by simulation. Ta-
ble 3 contains the values for the solidification time of the
For each simulation case, the following values were deter- three elements of the system (tC = casting, tN = riser neck, tR
mined: = riser) and the feeding time from riser (tSN = strangling time
• Solidification time of the part, riser and riser neck; of the riser neck). The solidification time ratio that charac-
• Solidification times ratio; terizes the directional solidification was calculated. The real
• Ratio of the real solidification modulus for the cast- solidification modulus ratios were calculated, using the so-
ing-riser neck-riser system, calculated according to lidification time values determined by simulation (Table 4),
solidification times; and the relationship:9,10
• Total amount of liquid alloy available in riser until
casting solidification; Eqn. 11
• Amount of useful liquid alloy available in riser (to

Table 2. Real Solidi¿cation Modulus of the System Casting±Riser NecN-Riser in

the Studied Variants (Values Calculated by Relationships 1 & 2)

Table 3. Results for the Solidi¿cation Time Obtained by Simulation

International Journal of Metalcasting/Volume 8, Issue 4, 2014 67

The ratios of the real solidification modulus were deter- ful liquid alloy available to compensate the casting contrac-
mined based on the simulation results, and compared with tion until complete solidification. The solidification time maps
the real solidification modulus ratios given in Table 2 (ob- (Figs. 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 & 16) show the movement of the alloy
tained based on Eqn 2). The veracity of studying the direc- solidification front inside the mold. The figures also highlight
tional solidification based on the real solidification modulus if secondary hot spots (shrinkage) can appear in the part, be-
was verified using Eqn 4. cause their contraction cannot be compensated by riser.

The results on the volume of useful liquid alloy available in Figures 7, 9, 11, 13, 15 & 17 show the positioning of the
the riser until solidification (VULR), the maximum solidifica- useful liquid alloy inside the riser. If the amount of liquid
tion contraction possible to compensate by riser (βMAX) and alloy is insufficient, the riser size must be increased. These
the index liquid alloy use in riser (I.U.) are given in Table 4. figures also highlight if the liquid alloy can entirely reach
Figures 4-17 show the graphical representations of the simu- the casting. This is only possible if there is an unsolidified
lation results: The isotherms in the mold assembly at the end channel to the end of casting solidification. The surface cor-
of alloy solidification, the solidification time map and the use- responding to useful liquid alloy in these figures is different
from that corresponding to shrinkages because it includes
the amount of alloy solidified in the mushy zone.

Figure 5. Temperature distribution (isotherms) at the end

Figure 4. Contour map of the solidi¿cation times (the liquid alloys of solidi¿cation (tM =705s). Variant V2-riser
movement of the solidi¿cation line) Variant V1±riserless dR x HR = 80 x 120mm, riser necN section bN x hN = 32 x
casting. 32mm.

Table 4. Results for Total Amount of Liquid Metal in

Riser and Ef¿ciency of Liquid Alloy Utilization in the Casting

68 International Journal of Metalcasting/Volume 8, Issue 4, 2014

Figure 6. Solidi¿cation times contour map. Variant V2± Figure 7. Useful liquid alloy available in riser until casting
riser dR x HR =80 x 120mm, riser necN section bN x hN = solidi¿cation (tP= 541.5s). Variant V2-riser dR x HR =80mm
32 x 32mm. x 120mm, riser necN section bN x hN = 32 x 32mm.

Figure 8. Solidi¿cation times contour map. Variant V3± Figure 9. Useful liquid alloy available in riser until casting
riser dR x HR =80 x 136 mm, riser necN section bN x hN = solidi¿cation. Variant V3-riser dR x HR =80mm x 136mm,
48 x 48mm. riser necN section bN x hN = 48 x 48mm.

Figure 10. Solidi¿cation times contour map. Variant V4± Figure 11. Useful liquid alloy available in riser until
riser dR x HR =104 x 144 mm, riser necN section bN x hN = casting solidi¿cation. Variant V4-riser dR x HR =104mm x
32 x 32mm. 104mm, riser necN section bN x hN = 32 x 32mm.

International Journal of Metalcasting/Volume 8, Issue 4, 2014 69

Figure 12. Solidi¿cation times contour map. Variant V5± Figure 13. Useful liquid alloy available in riser until
riser dR x HR =96 x 152mm, riser necN section bN x hN = casting solidi¿cation. Variant V5-riser dR x HR =96mm x
48 x 48mm. 152mm, riser necN section bN x hN = 48 x 48mm.

Figure 14. Solidi¿cation times contour map. Variant V6± Figure 15. Useful liquid alloy available in riser until
riser dR x HR = 64 x 152mm, riser necN section bN x hN = casting solidi¿cation. Variant V6-riser dR x HR = 64mm x
48 x 48mm. 152mm, riser necN section bN x hN = 48 x 48mm.

Figure 16. Solidi¿cation times contour map. Variant V7± Figure 17. Useful liquid alloy available in riser until
riser dR x HR =88 x 144mm, riser necN section bN x hN = casting solidi¿cation. Variant V7-riser dR x HR = 88mm x
48 x 48mm. 144mm, riser necN section bN x hN = 48 x 48mm.

70 International Journal of Metalcasting/Volume 8, Issue 4, 2014

Analysis of Simulation Results function properly. The alloy solidification directing in the
system is not adequate. The communication riser-casting
The analysis of the results obtained by simulation led to the is stopped before complete solidification of the casting (tSN
following 7 case studies: = 508s < tC = 543s), causing the malfunction. This variant
highlights the great influence of the riser neck section on
Case 1—Riserless casting have a solidification time tC = the riser operation.
524s. The hot spot is located in the casting area with maxi-
mum thickness (Fig. 4). Case 5—Casting with riser dR = 96 x152mm (3.78 x 5.98
in), and riser neck section hN x bN = 48 x 48mm (1.89x1.89
Case 2—Casting with riser having dR x HR = 80 in). The final hot spot is formed near the riser center. The
x120mm (3.15 x 4.72 in), and riser neck with section alloy solidification is properly directed tC:tN:tR = 1:1,33:1,73.
bN x hN = 32 x 32mm (1.26x1.26 in). The solidification The riser feeds the casting throughout solidification (tSN =
times map (Fig. 5) shows that the main hot spot is formed 631.5s > tC = 604.5s). The amount of useful liquid alloy
in riser. The solidification time of the casting (tC = 541.5) in riser can compensate a solidification contraction βMAX =
is higher than the solidification time of the riserless cast- 9.9%. This is more than the steel solidification shrinkage
ing. This confirms that the real solidification modulus (βSTEEL = 5.5%). The possibility of reducing the riser size
of the casting increases in the presence of the riser. The should be examined.
solidification time map shows two hot spots. The tem-
peratures map at the end of solidification shows a single Case 6—Casting with riser dR x HR = 64 x 152mm (2.52
hot spot. The secondary hot spot in the casting is caused x5.98 in), and riser neck hN x bN = 48 x 48mm (1.89x1.89
by the brief time until the interruption of communication in). The final hot spot is formed in the riser neck. Although
between casting and riser (tSN = 387s < tC). The cause is the riser neck section is great, the riser does not work prop-
the small riser neck section. The alloy solidification di- erly. The solidification times (tC:tN tR = 1: 1,11:1.) and the
recting the system is not adequate (tC:tN:tR = 1:0,91:1,3). real solidification modulus show that the riser is undersized.
This situation is reflected by the real solidification modu- The amount of useful liquid alloy in riser at the end of cast-
lus ratio, calculated using the Equation 2 (MC:MN:MR = ing solidification is not enough.
1:0,85:1,05). The comparison of Fig. 5 (isotherms at al-
loy solidification end) and Fig. 6 (solidification time map) Case 7—Casting with riser dR x HR = 88 x 152mm (3.46
reveals the importance of riser operation analysis based x 5.98 in), and riser neck hN x bN = 48 x 48mm (1.89x1.89
on solidification times and not on the alloy temperature in). The alloy solidification is properly directed (tC:tN:tR =
map at the end of solidification. The map at the end of 1:1,29:1,52). The amount of useful liquid alloy available in
solidification temperatures (Fig. 5) did not highlight the riser can compensate a solidification shrinkage βMAX = 5.89
secondary hot spot in casting (Fig. 6). The cause is tem- %. This is enough to yield a sound steel casting.
perature map changes (after solidification), due to thermal
conduction of the alloy. The analysis of the results shows that variants 2 and 4 are
eliminated because the communication riser-part is stopped
Case 3—Casting with riser dR x HR = 80 x 136mm (3.15 x before complete solidification. Variants 3 and 6 do not sat-
5.35 in) and riser neck with section hN x bN = 48 x 48mm isfy the condition for maximum contraction possible to com-
(1.89x1.89 in). There is a single hot spot in the riser, near pensate βMAX <β STEEL. The conditions regarding the feeding
the level of the riser neck (Fig. 8). The ratio of the solidifica- interruption of casting from riser, the solidification directing
tion times casting–riser neck-riser is tC:tN: tR = 1:1,24:1,35. and the contraction possible to be compensated are satisfied
It does not comply with Eqn. 5. This shows that the alloy so- only by variants 5 and 7. Finally, the two variants are com-
lidification time is not enough from casting to riser. The total pared from an economic perspective. Version 7 has a greater
amount of useful liquid alloy available in the riser is insuf- index of liquid alloy use, which makes it more advantageous
ficient. This can only compensate a solidification shrinkage (IU = 35.47% for version 7 compared to IU =30.76% for
EMAX = 3.353% lower than the steel solidification shrinkage variant 5).
(βSTEEL = 5.5 %).
Case 4—Casting with riser dR x HR = 104 x 144mm
(4.09 x 5.67 in), and riser neck section hN x bN = 32 x The last stage of this paper was aimed at experimentally
32mm (1.26 x1.26 in). The final hot spot is formed in the verifying the simulated results. The main simulated riser
center of the riser (Fig. 10). The amount of useful liquid variants were cast experimentally, followed by visualization
alloy in riser can compensate a contraction at solidifica- of the position of the shrink holes in the castings and risers.
tion of 13.93%, more than sufficient for achieving sound The experimental results were compared to those obtained
parts. This shows that the riser is oversized. However the by simulation in order to verify the conclusions related to
solidification maps (Fig. 10) shows that a secondary hot the riser operation. The more significant variants V1, V2,
spot appears in casting, suggesting that the riser does not V4, V5, V6, and V7 were cast experimentally from steel.

International Journal of Metalcasting/Volume 8, Issue 4, 2014 71

The parts were cast simultaneously in the same mold, to • The riser neck section has a significant influence
ensure the same casting temperature, chemical composition on riser functioning; even over-dimensioned risers
and solidification contraction. Table 5 features the cast steel (with a real solidification modulus considerably
chemical composition. Figures 18 and 19 show the loca- greater than necessary) do not function correctly if
tion of the models during molding. The molds were made the riser neck section is small.
from silica sand chemically hardened with sodium silicate • The useful liquid alloy available in riser is the liquid
and CO2, using lost foam (polystyrene) models. The models alloy capable of flowing from the riser into the cast-
were extracted from the mold by burning, prior to assembly. ing during casting solidification. This is the liquid
The temperature of the liquid alloy (measured in the casting alloy located in the riser above the riser neck level.
ladle prior to filling the mold) was 1661.2˚C (3002˚F), and • The area corresponding to the useful liquid inside
the casting temperature measured in the funnel of the gating the riser (plotted in Figs. 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17) is not
upon completed filling was 1648.7˚C (3000˚F). Filling/pour- identical to the shrink hole volume. When the use-
ing time was 10 seconds.

Experimental Results

Figure 20 shows the experimental castings.

In all cases shrink holes appeared in the area
of hot spots revealed by simulation. The hot
spots highlighted by simulation correspond to
the inferior tip of the shrink holes. In variants
2 and 4 (with a small riser neck section) small
secondary shrink holes appeared in the casting
in the vicinity of the riser. These correspond to
the position of the secondary hot spots also re-
vealed in simulation. The significant influence
of the riser neck on riser operation was thus
confirmed experimentally.

In variants 5 and 7 compact, shrink hole-free

castings were obtained, in accordance with
the results of the simulation-based analysis. In
variant 6 (riser with a very small real solidifica-
Figure 18. Location of the castings, risers and gating in the mold
tion modulus) the shrink hole stretches to the (dimensions in mm).
area of the riser neck. This is in agreement with
the position of the hot spot determined in simu-
lation and reveals an inadequate corresponding
functioning of the riser.


The results obtained by simulation and experi-

mentally have yielded the following conclusions:
• Solidification analysis based on the
temperature map (map of isotherms)
in the cast alloy at the end of solidifi-
cation is not conclusive for highlight-
ing the hot spots, or for the function-
ing of the risers.
• The solidification study and the high-
lighting of hot spots must be achieved
based on the map of solidification times. Figure 19. A schematic vertical section through the mold.

Table 5. Composition of the Cast Alloy

72 International Journal of Metalcasting/Volume 8, Issue 4, 2014

ful liquid alloy available in the riser is insufficient, 1:1,1:1,2 (Eqn 3); this corresponds to a ratios of
the shrink hole volume is greater than this area, be- solidification times of tC:tN:tR = 1:1,2:1.45.
cause the solidification contraction of the casting is • The shrink holes obtained in the risers as part of
not totally compensated. When more than neces- the experimental research have an elongated shape
sary liquid alloy is available in the riser (more than with the inferior tip located in the hot spot; this
required for compensating the solidification con- stretched shape is explained by the fact that shrink
traction of casting and riser), this area also includes holes start forming at the time of gating solidifica-
the solidified alloy in the mushy zone and is greater tion, before casting complete solidification.
that the shrink hole volume. • The hot spot highlighted in simulation corresponds
• The geometrical solidification modulus computed to the inferior tip of the shrink holes.
with Chvorinov’s formula (Eqn. 1) is not correlat- • The experimental results on shape and location of
ed with the solidification time (does not verify Eqn. shrink holes confirm that riser functioning analysis
4); it does not provide correct information on the by simulation, using the criteria described yields
solidification direction, as the geometrical modu- correct results and allows advanced optimization
lus does not consider the real circumstances of heat of the riser system.
transfer within the casting mold. • If several riser systems ensure shrink hole-free
• The directing of the riser-casting system is charac- solidification of the castings, selection should be
terized, with sufficient accuracy, by means of the made by economic analysis based on the yield of
real solidification modulus, because these are cor- liquid alloy utilization.
related with the solidification time in Eqn 4. • This presented methodology can be completed
• The ratio of the real solidification modulus that with an analysis of the occurrence tendency of mi-
ensures good riser functioning is MC: MN: MR= cro-shrink holes, based on Niyama’s criterion.

(a) (b) (c)

(d) (e) (f)

Figure 20. Sectioned views of six experimental castings(V1, 2,4, 5, 6 & 7).

International Journal of Metalcasting/Volume 8, Issue 4, 2014 73

NOTE: Square section risers were used in this study due to  6FLDPD*9LVFRQWH'³6LPXODWLRQGHOD
the ease of manufacturing (by manual cutting) of the pat- VROLGL¿FDWLRQGHUDFFRUGHPHQWVGHSODTXHVVHORQ
tern used for molding. In industrial practice circular section GLIIHUHQWVSUR¿OVDQJXODLUHV&RHI¿FLHQWVGHIRUPH,”
risers and semi-spherical upper end are commonly used. FonderieFondeur d¶auMourd¶huiQRSS௅
These are more efficient, because they provide the smallest  
surface/volume ratio. The methodology of analysis for riser  )OHQGHU(6WXUP-³7HFKQLFDO'HYHORSPHQW
functioning, systematized in the paper, is however valid for 5HSRUW7KLUW\<HDUVRI&DVWLQJ3URFHVV6LPXODWLRQ´
any riser type or geometry (including thermally insulated or International Journal of MetalcastingYROLVVXH
exothermal risers). SS௅  
Validation,” AFS Transactions$PHULFDQ)RXQGU\
The contributions of this paper include: 6RFLHW\'HV3ODLQHV,/ 86$ YROSS±
• A systematization of the analysis methodology of  
riser functioning based on simulation, as an instru-  +RX7;3HKONH5:LONHV-2³)(0 6LPXODWRU
ment for riser design in foundry/metalcasting in- IRU(I¿FLHQW&DVWLQJ6ROLGL¿FDWLRQ0RGHOLQJ” AFS
dustry was performed. Transactions$PHULFDQ)RXQGU\6RFLHW\'HV3ODLQHV
• This work highlights that solidification analysis ,/ 86$ YROSS±  
and riser design have to be based on the solidifica-  ,PDIXNX,&KLMLLZD.$³$0DWKHPDWLFDO0RGHO
tion times map (and not on temperature distribu- IRU6KULQNDJH&DYLW\3UHGLFWLRQLQ6WHHO&DVWLQJV´
tion at the end of solidification, as is often done in AFS Transactions$PHULFDQ)RXQGU\6RFLHW\'HV
industry). 3ODLQHV,/ 86$ YROSS௅  
• It also highlights the necessity of analyzing the  /HZLV5//LRX66KLQ<' “/LWHUDWXUH5HYLHZ
quantity of useful liquid alloy within the riser and RI6ROLGL¿FDWLRQ6LPXODWLRQLQWKH'HVLJQRI6DQG
of the percentage contraction that the riser is able Castings,” Steel Founders¶ Research Journal,YRO
to compensate. SS௅  
• Reveals the opportunity of a simplified analysis  &KYRULQRY1³7KHRU\RI&DVWLQJ6ROLGL¿FDWLRQ
of directing solidification by the real solidification 7HRULDVROLGL¿FăULLSLHVHORUWXUQDWH ´*LHVVHUHL
modulus, because it is correlated with the solidifi- PDLSS௅*LHVVHUHLPDLSS
cation time. ௅*LHVVHUHLLXQLHSS௅
• The importance of analyzing the useful liquid met- &LREDQX,0XQWHDQX6,&ULúDQ$%HGR
al available in the riser is illustrated by the follow- 7³7KH5HDO6ROLGL¿FDWLRQ0RGXOHRI&DVWLQJV±
ing example: two parts are to be cast, one of mass (FXDWLRQV'H¿QLQJDQG$SSOLFDELOLW\´Metalurgia
mP1 = 10kg and the real solidification modulus of InternationalQRSS௅,661
the thickest area (of the hot spot in the part) of MP1 5R   
= 30mm, and another part of mass mP2 = 20kg and 'HIUHWLQ*³&DOFXOGHVPRGXOHVGHVROLGL¿FDWLRQ
the same real solidification modulus MP2 = 30mm. apparents des pieces de fonderie,” FonderieSS
Considering the real solidification modulus in both  )U  'HFHPEHU 
cases a riser with real solidification modulus MM = 5DYL%6ULQLYDVDQ01³&DVWLQJVROLGL¿FDWLRQ
36mm is required. But it is evident that in the case DQDO\VLVE\PRGXOXVYHFWRUPHWKRG´International
of the second part, the riser should provide double Journal of Cast Metals ResearchYROQRSS௅
the amount of liquid alloy to compensate the solidi-   8. 
fication contraction of the part. &DUOVRQ.'%HFNHUPDQQ&³3UHGLFWLRQ
REFERENCES Dimensionless Niyama Criterion,” Metallurgical
and Materials Transactions AQR$SS௅
a proceselor de turnare,” [Numerical Optimization of 1L\DPD(8FKLGD70RULNDZD06DLWR6³$
Casting Processes], Revista de turnătorie [Foundry 0HWKRGRI6KULQNDJH3UHGLFWLRQDQGLWV$SSOLFDWLRQWR
Journal@QR௅SS௅,661 5R  6WHHO&DVWLQJ3UDFWLFH” AFS International Cast Metals
8QLYHUVLW\RI$ODEDPD7XVFDORRVD$/ 86$ ,6%1 6WHHO&DVWLQJV´International Journal of Cast Metals
;   ResearchYROQR  

74 International Journal of Metalcasting/Volume 8, Issue 4, 2014

([SHULPHQWRI6LP'6RIWZDUH,QWHQGHGIRU&DVWLQJV Materials,” National Science Foundation, Mechanical
6ROLGL¿FDWLRQ6LPXODWLRQ´Metalurgia International, Engineering and Applied Mechanical Division, pp
QRSS௅,661 5R    ±  

Technical Review & Discussion system and hot spot positions. This is explained by the short
filling time (under 10 seconds), the temperature equalization
Riser Analysis Using Casting Simulation during filling (due to the forced convection during filling),
7HFKQLTXHVGXULQJ6ROLGL¿FDWLRQ the small sections of the riser pipe and its distance from cas-
Ioan Ciobanu, Sorin Munteanu, Aurel Crisan, ting.
Tibor Bedo, Vlad Monescu Transilvania University of
Brasov, Romania Reviewer: The use of round risers is common foundry prac-
tice. Why were they not used in this study?
Editor’s note: The published paper was originally submitted
in three parts dealing with both iron and steel casting. The Authors: Riser patterns of square section were used, both
authors have modified this IJMC paper to focus strictly on in simulations and in experiments because they are easi-
steel casting. er to make by manual cutting in polystyrene. We believe
that the methodology for analyzing the riser operation is
Reviewer: The study seems to indicate that the gating sy- not influenced by the riser geometry. Of course if we use
stem and filling process don’t have significant influence on a cylindrical riser, the yield of liquid alloy used would be
solidification time. Were the simulations specific to steel slightly larger. For example, in the case of variant 7, this
castings? What thermal characteristics were used? index will be IU = 40.68% (against IU =35.47% for riser
with square section).
Authors: When we revised the paper, we re-ran all simulati-
ons for steel castings, taking into account the gating system Reviewers: How were the simulations condition such as the
in the same simulation conditions (temperature, mold type). cooling co-efficient validated?
Thermal characteristics of the mold and liquid steel consi-
dered in the simulation are those used by the most popular Authors: The cooling coefficient values used to calculate
commercial software. The results showed that in the case of the real solidification modulus are adopted depending on
the small casting we studied, the gating system and filling the local cooling conditions (hot corners, parallel surfaces
process don’t have significant influence on solidification, in neighboring). This is based on previous calculations and ex-
terms of solidification time, temperature distribution in the periments that are not the subject of this paper.

International Journal of Metalcasting/Volume 8, Issue 4, 2014 75