Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Matthew J. M. Krane

Committee Chair

Matthew J. M. Krane

Committee Member 1

Timothy Fisher

Committee Member 2

David Johnson

Committee Member 3

Kevin Trumble


Direct chill (DC) casting is the primary processing route for wrought aluminum alloys. This semicontinuous process consists of primary cooling as the metal is pulled through a water cooled mold followed by secondary cooling with a water jet spray and free falling water. To gain insight into this complex solidification process, a fully transient model of DC casting was developed to predict the transport phenomena of aluminum alloys for various conditions. This model is capable of solving mixture mass, momentum, energy, and species conservation equations during multicomponent solidification. Various DC casting process parameters were examined for their effect on transport phenomena predictions in an alloy of commercial interest (aluminum alloy 7050). The practice of placing a wiper to divert cooling water from the ingot surface was studied and the results showed that placement closer to the mold causes remelting at the surface and increases susceptibility to bleed outs.

Numerical models of metal alloy solidification, like the one previously mentioned, are used to gain insight into physical phenomena that cannot be observed experimentally. However, uncertainty in model inputs cause uncertainty in results and those insights. The analysis of model assumptions and probable input variability on the level of uncertainty in model predictions has not been calculated in solidification modeling as yet.

As a step towards understanding the effect of uncertain inputs on solidification modeling, uncertainty quantification (UQ) and sensitivity analysis were first performed on a transient solidification model of a simple binary alloy (Al-4.5wt.%Cu) in a rectangular cavity with both columnar and equiaxed solid growth models. This analysis was followed by quantifying the uncertainty in predictions from the recently developed transient DC casting model. The PRISM Uncertainty Quantification (PUQ) framework quantified the uncertainty and sensitivity in macrosegregation, solidification time, and sump profile predictions. Uncertain model inputs of interest included the secondary dendrite arm spacing, equiaxed particle size, equiaxed packing fraction, heat transfer coefficient, and material properties. The most influential input parameters for predicting the macrosegregation level were the dendrite arm spacing, which also strongly depended on the choice of mushy zone permeability model, and the equiaxed packing fraction. Additionally, the degree of uncertainty required to produce accurate predictions depended on the output of interest from the model.