Process modeling, such as casting simulations, predict how changes in process parameters will result in changes in microstructure and properties. The greater the accuracy of these simulations, the more useful they are as a predictive tool. Detailed knowledge of the specific boundary conditions, material properties, and solidification pathway during the casting process is required to ensure the simulations can predict a defective part before it is cast.
In this work, casting experiments using a vacuum induction furnace provide heat transfer and thermal history data for a model Bi-Sn alloy. The effect of changing processing parameters, such as pour temperature, mold preheat, and mold material, on cooling rate can be measured in both experiments and models. This data, combined with characterization of the resultant microstructure, is used to validate the model.
Using the heat transfer and cooling rate data, greater understanding of process modeling and processing – microstructure relationship is obtained.