IMS: Measuring Solidification Boundaries using a Moving Thermocouple

Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Exhibit Hall 1 (America's Center)
Dr. Bryce Hill , Montana Technological University, Butte, MT
In metal casting the solidification boundary can be tracked through imaging techniques such as x-ray. These methods are costly and invasive in the process. Tracking the solidification boundary can determine specific material properties of the final product giving a value to the gradient function in the Stefanescu equation. We propose a novel method to measure this boundary using a moving thermocouple placed within a quartz tube to measure the temperature gradient along a single axis. Previous work has attempted to make this measurement using multiple thermocouples, but the small variations in properties between the thermocouples made the comparison of the measured values of little value. Using a single thermocouple, the variability between separate sensors can be eliminated with the added benefit of measuring over a continuous axis rather than at fixed points. Hardware and software have been developed to control and track the movement of the thermocouple as it passes through the tube. Future iterations of the software may be capable of tracking the solidification boundary itself as it moves through the cooling metal.
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