Introduction to Casting Defects

The following are the major defects, which are likely to occur in sand castings
  •      Gas defects
  •      Shrinkage cavities
  •      Molding material defects
  •      Pouring metal defects
  •      Mold shift
Casting defects
Fig Casting Defects

Gas Defects
A condition existing in a
casting caused by the trapping of gas in the molten metal or by mold
gases evolved during the pouring of the casting. The defects in this
category can be classified into blowholes and pinhole porosity.
Blowholes are spherical or elongated cavities present in the casting on
the surface or inside the casting. Pinhole porosity occurs due to the
dissolution of hydrogen gas, which gets entrapped during heating of
molten metal. 
The lower gas-passing tendency
of the mold, which may be due to lower venting, lower permeability of
the mold or improper design of the casting. The lower permeability is
caused by finer grain size of the sand, high percentage of clay in mold
mixture, and excessive moisture present in the mold.
  •      Metal contains gas
  •      Mold is too hot
  •      Poor mold burnout
Shrinkage Cavities
These are caused by liquid
shrinkage occurring during the solidification of the casting. To
compensate for this, proper feeding of liquid metal is required. For
this reason risers are placed at the appropriate places in the mold.
Sprues may be too thin, too long or not attached in the proper location,
causing shrinkage cavities. It is recommended to use thick sprues to
avoid shrinkage cavities. 
Molding Material Defects
The defects in this category are cuts and washes, metal penetration, fusion, and swell.
Cut and washes
These appear as rough spots and
areas of excess metal, and are caused by erosion of molding sand by the
flowing metal. This is caused by the molding sand not having enough
strength and the molten metal flowing at high velocity. The former can
be taken care of by the proper choice of molding sand and the latter can
be overcome by the proper design of the gating system.
Metal penetration
When molten metal enters into
the gaps between sand grains, the result is a rough casting surface.
This occurs because the sand is coarse or no mold wash was applied on
the surface of the mold. The coarser the sand grains more the metal
This is caused by the fusion of
the sand grains with the molten metal, giving a brittle, glassy
appearance on the casting surface. The main reason for this is that the
clay or the sand particles are of lower refractoriness or that the
pouring temperature is too high.
Under the influence of
metallostatic forces, the mold wall may move back causing a swell in the
dimension of the casting. A proper ramming of the mold will correct
this defect.
Particles of slag, refractory
materials, sand or deoxidation products are trapped in the casting
during pouring solidification. The provision of choke in the gating
system and the pouring basin at the top of the mold can prevent this
Pouring Metal Defects
The likely defects in this category are
  •      Mis-runs and
  •      Cold shuts.
A mis-run is caused when the
metal is unable to fill the mold cavity completely and thus leaves
unfilled cavities. A mis-run results when the metal is too cold to flow
to the extremities of the mold cavity before freezing.  Long, thin sections are subject to this defect and should be avoided in casting design.

A cold shut is caused when two
streams while meeting in the mold cavity, do not fuse together properly
thus forming a discontinuity in the casting. When the molten metal is
poured into the mold cavity through more-than-one gate, multiple liquid
fronts will have to flow together and become one solid.  If the flowing metal fronts are too cool, they may not flow together, but will leave a seam in the part. 
Such a seam is called a cold shut, and can be prevented by assuring
sufficient superheat in the poured metal and thick enough walls in the
casting design.
The mis-run and cold shut
defects are caused either by a lower fluidity of the mold or when the
section thickness of the casting is very small. Fluidity can be improved
by changing the composition of the metal and by increasing the pouring
temperature of the metal. 

Mold Shift
The mold shift defect occurs when cope and drag or molding boxes have not been properly aligned.
Casting Defects:
defects in a casting may be due to pattern and moulding box equipment,
moulding sand, cores,gating system or molten metal. Some of the defects
1: Mould shift
It results in a mismatching of the top and the bottom parts of the casting , usually at the parting line.
2: Swell
It is an enlargement of the mould cavity by molten metal pressure resulting in localized or general enlargement of the casting.
3: Fins and Flash
are thin projections of the metal not intended as a part of casting.
These usually occurs at the parting line of the mould.
4: Sand Wash
It usually occurs near the in the gates as rough lumps on the surface of a casting.
5: Shrinkage
is a crack or breakage in the casting on the surface of the work piece,
which results from un equal contraction of the metal during
6: Hot Tear
It is an internal or external ragged discontinuously in the metal casting resulting just after the metal has solidified.
7: Sand Blow or Blow Hole
It is smooth depression on the outer surface of the casting work piece.
8: Honeycombing or Slag holes
These are smooth depression on the upper surface of the casting. They usually occur near the ingates.
9: Scabs
These are patches of sand on the upper surface of the casting component.
10: Cold Shut and Misruns
These happens when the mould cavity is not completely filled by the molten and insufficient material or metal.
11: Run-outs and Bust-outs

These permit drainage of the metal from the cavity and result in incomplete casting.