Solidification is their passion

The Solidification Laboratory within the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Iowa conducts research into fundamental aspects of solidification and their application in casting of metals. The laboratory is supported by federal agencies and by industry. The research ranges from basic experimental and computational studies of microstructure evolution, to modelling and simulation of industrial metal casting processes. The emphasis in the research is on micro- and macro-scale transport phenomena during solidification, particularly in the presence of melt flow. Collaboration with the casting industry has resulted in custom-made software for process control, strategies for yield improvement and defect prevention, as well as the development of new simulation capabilities in MAGMASOFT®. Facilities include numerous state-of-the-art computer workstations and experimental test setups.

One focus of the collaboration between the researchers at the Solidification Laboratory, headed by Professor Christoph Beckermann, and MAGMA has been on the simulation of steel casting. These efforts have resulted in capabilities to simulate macrosegregation and simulation models for surface defects such as burn-on/penetration and reoxidation inclusions. A further area of common research and development has been in the prediction of porosity formation, both macroscopic shrinkage and microporosity, in a variety of alloy systems, as well as in modelling of stresses, dimensional changes and hot tears in castings.