Faculty Advisor

Richard D. Sisson Jr.

Faculty Advisor

Diran Apelian

Faculty Advisor

Makhlouf M. Makhlouf

Faculty Advisor

Diana Lados

Faculty Advisor

Kumar Sadayappan




Hot tearing is a common and severe defect encountered in alloy castings and perhaps the pivotal issue defining an alloy's castability. Once it occurs, the casting has to be repaired or scraped, resulting in significant loss. Over the years many theories and models have been proposed and accordingly many tests have been developed. Unfortunately many of the tests that have been proposed are qualitative in nature; meanwhile, many of the prediction models are not satisfactory as they lack quantitative information, data and knowledge base. The need exists for a reliable and robust quantitative test to evaluate/characterize hot tearing in cast alloys. This work focused on developing an advanced test method and using it to study hot tearing in cast aluminum alloys. The objectives were to: 1) develop a reliable experimental methodology/setup to quantitatively measure and characterize hot tearing; and 2) quantify the mechanistic contributions of the process variables and investigate their effects on hot tearing tendency. The team at MPI in USA and CANMET-MTL in Canada has collaborated and developed such a testing setup. It consists mainly of a constrained rod mold and the load/displacement and temperature measuring system, which gives quantitative, simultaneous measurements of the real-time contraction force/displacement and temperature during solidification of casting. The data provide information about hot tearing formation and solidification characteristics, from which their quantitative relations are derived. Quantitative information such as tensile coherency, incipient crack refilling, crack initiation and propagation can be obtained. The method proves to be repeatable and reliable and has been used for studying the effects of various parameters (mold temperature, pouring temperature and grain refinement) on hot tearing of different cast aluminum alloys. In scientific sense this method can be used to study and reveal the nature of the hot tearing, for industry practice it provides a tool for production control. Moreover, the quantitative data and fundamental knowledge gained in this thesis can be used for validating and improving the existing hot tearing models.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Materials Science & Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





Hot tearing, Aluminum alloys, Process parameters, Grain structure, Hot Tearing measurement