Skip to main content

Role of Grain Refinement in the Hot Tearing of Cast Al-Cu Alloy


The effects of grain refinement on hot tear formation and contraction behavior in a modified Al-Cu alloy 206 (M206) have been studied. The experiments were conducted using a newly developed mold which could simultaneously measure the contraction force/temperature during solidification for a restrained casting, and thereby could be used to investigate hot tear formation. Quantitative information on crack initiation and propagation was obtained by analyzing load measurement data. Al-Ti and Al-Ti-B master alloys were added to the melt to refine the grains to obtain grains ranging from columnar dendritic to equiaxed dendritic and globular structures. Effects of grain structure and grain size on hot tearing susceptibility were investigated. The correlations between microstructure evolution in grain-refined castings at various levels and hot tear formation were determined and discussed. Grain refinement was found to have a complex effect on load onset. Hot tearing tendency was significantly affected by both grain size and grain morphology as reflected by the measured data.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7


  1. 1.

    S. Li, K. Sadayappan, and D. Apelian: Int. J. Cast Metals Res., 2011, vol. 24(2), pp. 88–95.

  2. 2.

    D.G. Eskin, Suyitno, and L. Katgerman: Prog. Mater. Sci., 2004, vol. 49, pp. 629–711.

  3. 3.

    W. I. Pumphrey and J. V. Lyons: J. Inst. Met., 1948, vol. 118, pp. 439-455.

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    M. Fortier, D. J. Lahaine, M. Bounchard, and J. Langlais: Light Metals, TMS, New Orleans, 2001. pp. 839-846.

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    M. Easton, J. Grandfield, D. StJohn, and B. Rinderer: Mater. Sci. Forum, 2006, vol. 30, pp. 1675-1680.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    [6] M. Easton, H. Wang, J. Grandfield, D. StJohn, and E. Sweet: Mater. Sci. Forum, 2004, vol. 28, pp. 224-229.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    [7] D. Warrington and D. G. McCartney: Cast Metals, 1991, vol. 3, pp. 202-208.

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    J. A. Spittle and A. A. Cushway: Metals Technology, 1983, vol. 10, pp. 6-13.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    M. Sadayappan, M. Sahoo, M. Shkuka, B. J. Yang, and R. W. Smith: AFS Trans., 2002, vol. 110, pp. 407-415.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    S. Lin, C. Aliravci, and M. O. Pekguleryuz: Metall. Mater. Trans. A, 2007, vol. 38A, 1056-1068.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    F. D’Elia and C. Ravindran: AFS Trans., 2009, Paper 09-055.

  12. 12.

    D. B. Spencer, R. Mehrabian, and M. C. Flemings: Metallurgical Transactions, 1972, vol. 3, pp. 1925-1932.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    A. Rodriguez, R. Chavez, J. Hernandez, Y. Raymond, and F. J. Major: Modern Casting, 2010, vol. 100, pp. 42-44.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    F. A. Fasoyinu, M. Sadayappan, D. Cousineau, and M. Sahoo: AFS Trans., 1998, vol. 106, pp. 327-338.

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    F. Matsuda, K. Nakata, and Y. Shimokusu: Trans. of JWRI, 1983, vol. 12, pp. 81-87.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    T. W. Clyne and G. J. Davies: The British Foundrymen, 1975, vol. 68, pp. 238-244.

    Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    R. A. Rosenberg, M. C. Flemings, and H. F. Taylor: AFS Trans., 1960, vol. 69, pp. 518-528.

    Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    L. Bäckerud, G. Chai, and J. Tamminen: Solidification Characteristics of Aluminum Alloys, AFS/Skanaluminum, Oslo, Norway, 1990.

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    N. L. M. Veldman, A. K. Dahle, D. H. StJohn, and L. Arngerg: Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, 2001, vol. 32, pp. 147-155.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors gratefully acknowledge the member companies of the Advanced Casting Research Center (ACRC) for their support of this work and for their continued support of research focused on the science and technology of metal casting at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The authors also would like to thank Jim Thomson, Geethe Nadugala, and Stuart Amey of CANMET for their support during this work.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Diran Apelian.

Additional information

The following copyright notice pertains only to K. Sadayappan: Printed by permission of Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Natural Resources, 2013.

Manuscript submitted December 20, 2010.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Li, S., Sadayappan, K. & Apelian, D. Role of Grain Refinement in the Hot Tearing of Cast Al-Cu Alloy. Metall Mater Trans B 44, 614–623 (2013).

Download citation


  • Riser
  • Mushy Zone
  • Grain Morphology
  • Interdendritic Liquid
  • Liquid Film Thickness