Our research is focused on designing and developing an optimised casting method for the production of lead sheets, used in both the construction and healthcare industries, through computer modelling and simulation.

At a glance

Liquid metal casting is a hugely energy intensive process and many processes are inefficient in both their use of materials and energy.

Most engineering metals require a theoretical 1GJ (gigajoule) per tonne of energy to melt but, in practice, this can be 100-1,000 times more when measured against the tonnes of good castings produced. Net shape processes (creating a finished form) and those which produce higher materials yields (efficiencies) also improve energy efficiencies and reduce waste and the volume of materials in the recycling loop.

Our research is developing a defect-free direct method of casting lead sheets. To achieve this, current defects in the direct method of casting lead sheets are being investigated. This is by developing computer models and simulating the casting process to identify the source of defects and the optimum conditions for the direct method of casting lead.

A complete model of the current casting process has now been developed. The key parameters of the casting process are being established through quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques including operator questionnaires, temperature sensors, defect analysis and maintenance records of the direct method casting equipment.

Once all relevant data has been collected, the model will be simulated using the key process parameters identified on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, Flow 3D, to establish the cause and effect of each parameter on the overall quality of the cast sheet.