The third main issue investigated in detail in the optimization process was the geometry of both the gating system and the runner system. By studying the geometry, the engineers were able to highlight the importance of the gating boreholes and the runner borehole/borehole union in terms of both the heat transfer and transport capabilities as well as in terms of the allowable inclusions. Heavily tamped areas due to incompatible minerals should not touch the borehole wall. Inclusion leakage associated with reoxidation problems should not occur from the runner system into the gating system. The geometry of the gating system boreholes should not be in contact with each other and the inclusions should not form an uneven pressure distribution along and across the gating system borehole walls.
With multiple casting shots in the same component it is important to explore the potential for optimization of an existing production process, the potential for rapid improvement, and the desirability of undertaking such a process. This paper has shown that MAGMASOFT® has provided valuable support and guidance for this process. The rich information provided by either SEM or X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) enables an iterative process to be followed that enables the identification of the problem to be investigated and the subsequent method for its solution. The value of SEM and X-ray EDS have been demonstrated to the engineers in this case.
The publication of this article is supported by the Water Research Commission under contract NIR-QPC-5102421055. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Midlands Magma Technology Centre and the donation of equipment for the X-ray work. Sophie Rakhit has had her travel to the 2014 GEA project workshop generously paid by the company.
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