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The term gating or gating systems refers to all the
passageways through which metal enters a mould cavity. It
thus mainly includes parts such as pouring basin, sprue,
runner, and gates.
The chief requisites of a gating system are:




Metal should be able to flow through the gating

system with a minimum of turbulence and
aspiration of mould gases so as to prevent sand
erosion and gas pick-up. Turbulence is the most
important single factor affecting the design of the
gating. Excessive turbulence results in the
aspiration of air and the formation of dross.
The metal should be so introduced in the mould
cavity that the temperature gradients established
on the mould surfaces and within the metal
facilitate directional solidification towards the
The mould cavity should be completely filled with
molten metal in the shortest possible time; the
gating system should therefore be so designed
that the rate of entry of metal into the mould
cavity is well regulated.
The casting should be produced with a minimum
of excess metal in gates and risers.



Loose sand, oxides, and slag should be prevented

from entering the mould cavity by providing a
proper skimming action on the metal as it flows
through the gating system.
Erosion of the mould walls should be avoided.

These requisites can be achieved by controlled pouring,

use of proper pouring equipment, pouring metal at a
specific temperature, and by correct design of sprue,
runner, and gates.
The parts that constitute a gating system are the pouring
basin; sprue; runner; and gate
Pouring Basin
Molten metal is carried in a ladle from the furnace to
some type of pouring basin on or in the top of the mould.
The main purpose of the pouring basin is to establish a
proper flow system as rapidly as possible. For metals
such as aluminium and magnesium, which react quickly
when exposed to air, it is desirable to have a separate
pouring basin made of dry sand core or cast iron on top
of the mould. Sometimes, as funnel-shaped opening is
made at the top of the sprue in the cope itself, which
serves as a pouring basin.
The basin should be substantially large and should be
placed near enough to the edge of the flask for the pourer
to fill the mould quickly, keep it full during the entire
pouring operation, and position the ladle lip at all times
close to the pouring basin. If the pouring basin is

designed to regulate the rate of metal entry, metal flows

smoothly in to the sprue and turbulence is largely
The vertical passage through the cope and connecting
the pouring basin to the runner or gate is called the
The sprue size should satisfy certain conditions, for
instance, the sprue must be small enough for

The pourer to keep it full during the entire

pouring operation, and
The metal to enter the mould cavity at a velocity
that avoids spluttering and turbulence. At the
same time, the sprue must be large enough for
The mould cavity to fill completely
without laps, seams, or mistunes, and
A metal had to build up quickly enough to
prevent mould gases from being aspirated
into the metal.

The cross section of a sprue may be square, rectangular, or

circular. If a single sprue is not adequate to fill a large
casting in the required time, two or more sprues and the
same number of ladles may be employed for pouring. The
sprues are generally tapered downwards to avoid aspiration
of air and metal damage. If a sprue of uniform cross section
is used, severe aspiration occurs because the metal velocity
increases as it descends the vertical sprue. On the other

hand, if the sprue is tapered to a degree that the metal lies

firmly against the mould, aspiration and turbulence are
In large casting, molten is usually carried from the sprue
base to several gates around the cavity through a
passageway called the runner. When a mould has more
than one cavity, the common gate supplying metal to a
number of cavities is also called a runner, and the
branches from the runner to the respective mould cavities
are referred to as in-gates. The runner may be positioned
around the casting periphery so as to provide in-gates at a
number of points. Although the runner is generally
preferred in the drag, it may sometimes be located in the
cope, depending on the shape of the casting. The runner
should be streamlined to avoid aspiration and turbulence.
In order to obtain a flow of approximately equal volume
through each in-gate, the path of the runner is reduced in
area after each successive in-gate, the path of the runner is
in area after each successive in-gate by an
amount equal to the in-gate area. Such multiple in-gating
is usually advised in the case of light metal castings.
The gate is the passage that finally leads, molten metal
from the runner into the mould cavity. The location and
size of the gates are so arranged that the mould can be
filled in quickly with a minimum amount of cutting of the
mould surfaces by the flowing metal. The gates should be

so placed that cracks do not develop when the metal cools.

The gate connections should be located where they can be
readily removed without damaging the castings. In-gates
should not be placed too near the end of the runner. If
necessary, a well may be provided at the runner end.
According to their position in the mould cavity, gates
may be broadly classified as

Top gates;
Parting gates; and
Bottom gates.

The term gating ratio is used to describe the relative
cross-sectional areas of the components of a gating system.
It is defined as the ratio of sprue area to the total runner
area to the total gate area. A gating system having a sprue
of 1 sq cm cross-section, a runner of 3 sq cm cross-section,
and three gates, each of 1 sq cm cross-section, will have a
gating ration of 1:3:3.
The dimensions
calculated as follows:







Determine the casting weight.

Estimate the critical casting thickness from the
drawing. (The thinnest section through which metal
has to flow is the critical thickness.)


Determine the pouring rate of molten metal.

(a) For ferrous metals and copper base alloys, the
pouring rate in kg per second is given by the
empirical formula,

is the weight of the casting in kg, the critical
casting thickness in mm and
a quotient whose value
depends on the weight of the casting.
The value of

for different casting is as follows:

Weight of casting


Up to 500 Kg


500-5000 Kg


5000-15000 Kg


For light metal castings:

= ,

Where the value of


Value of

depends on the wall thickness:

Wall thickness

Value of

Below 6 mm


6-12 mm


Above 12 mm


In the case of cast iron, estimate metal fluidity

from the composition factor:

Composition factor = % total carbon+ (% silicion)+ (%

Composition factor

Metal fluidity (k)


0.5 to 0.7


0.6 to 0.9


0.75 to 1.0


0.90 to 1.2

In the case of other metals,


for metal
Calculate the adjusted pouring rate
and the effect of friction in the gating
system ( factor). The factor has a value of 0.850.90 for tapered sprues and 0.70-0.75 for straight


can be taken as unity.

Determine the effective sprue height

according to
the placement of the pattern in the mould:

Where is the height of the sprue, the total height of the

mould cavity, and " the height of the mould cavity in the

Calculate the area of the sprue base #$ :

#$ =

%& '2) *,

Where & is the density of molten metal.


Using the appropriate gating ratio, according to the

type of metal cast and the type of sprue (tapered or
straight), calculate the cross-sectional areas of
runner and in-gates, and form there arrive at the
corresponding sectional sizes. In the case of a
runner, it is good practice to reduce its crosssectional area after its path through each in-gate by
the area of the in-gate so as to maintain uniform
velocity of metal at each in-gate.

A riser is a hole cut or moulded in the cope to permit the
molten metal to rise above the highest point in the casting.
The riser serves a number of use full purposes. It enables
the pourer to see the metal as it falls into the mould cavity.
If the metal does not appear in the riser, it signifies that
either the metal is insufficient to fill the mould cavity or
there is some obstruction to the metal flow between the
sprue and riser. The riser facilitates ejection of the steam,
as, and air from the mould cavity as the mould is filled
with the molten metal. Most important, the riser serves as
a feeder to feed the molten metal into the main casting to
compensate for its shrinkage. The sue of several risers may
be necessary in the case of an intricate or large casting
with thin sections.
The main requisites of an effective riser are:

It must have sufficient volume as it should be the

last part of the casting to freeze.



It must completely cover the sectional thickness

that requires feeding.
The fluidity of the molten metal must be
adequately maintained so that the metal can
penetrate the portions of the mould cavity freezing
towards the end.
It should be so designed that it establishes and
effects temperature gradients within the casting
so that the latter solidifies directionally to-words
the riser.

Design and Positioning of Risers


Riser Shape and Size The most efficient shape a

riser can assume is that which will lose a minimum
of heat and thereby keep the metal in a molten state
as long as possible. This condition can be met when
the riser is spherical in shape so that its Surface
area is a minimum. For the same volume, the next
best shape is a cylinder, and then a square. As it is
difficult in practice, to mould a spherical riser, a
cylinder is the best shape to employ for the general
run of castings.
As regards the height of the riser, it must be tall
enough to ensure that any pipe formed in it does not
penetrate the casting. The ratio of height to diameter
usually varies from 1:1 to 1:5:1. The size of the riser,
i.e., its diameter, is still largely a matter of
experience. For general guidance, the empirical

formulae derived by Chvorinov, Caine, etc. can also

be used.
Chvorinovs rule is based on the assumption that
freeing time is governed by its + # ratio, where
+ # is the ratio of the volume of the casting to its
surface area and is known as moduls. Chvoinov
has stated that the freezing time of a casting,
= 1.

+ # ,

Where . is a solidification constant, depending on

the composition of cast metal and the positioning of the
mould cavity, i.e., along a horizontal or vertical axis. For
steel, it may be assumed that . = 2.09. values of + # and
freezing time for different cylinder diameters and various
metals and alloys have been ascertained in actual
experiments and noted in handbooks on cast metals. To
determine a suitable riser diameter, the + # ratio of the
given casting is computed and a riser hose + #
slightly larger than that of the casting (say 10-15% larger)
is chosen.
Caines method of evaluate riser size is based on the
relative freezing time of the casting and the riser. It defines
the relative freezing time to complete solidification as
(1234" 5 "35 74 "1 89)
;7<2=5 74 "1 89) : 1234" 5 "35 74 38153 ;7<2=5 74 38153 .
According to Caine, if the casting solidifies very rapidly, the
feeder volume need be only equal to the solidification
shrinkage of the casting. On the other hand, if the feeder

and casting solidify at the same rate, the feeder must be

infinitely large. This signifies that hyperbolic relationship
exists between relative freezing time and relative volume.
The relative freeing time, ? is given by


+ E,

Where G is volume of riser/volume of casting, H is the

relative contraction on freezing, and I and E are constants,
depending on the metal to be cast.
The values of I, E and H for three common cast metals
are as given in Table 5.3.

Cast metal
Grey cast iron




Given the values of the constants I and E and the value of

the relative contraction H and by assuming a certain value
of riser diameter, ? can be found out. Then, with the help
of a graph, as drawn in Fig the values of ? and G may be
plotted. If they meet above the soundness curve, the value
of the selected riser size will be satisfactory. If the meeting
point is below the curve, the riser will be unsuitable and
another value of riser diameter should be tried.



Riser Location The location of the riser should be

chosen keeping in view the metal to be cast, the
design of the casting, and the feasibility of
directional solidification. The riser may be located
either at the top of the casting or at the side. Top
risering is extensively used for light metals as it
enables the benefit of metallostatic pressure in the
riser. Frequently, the number of risers has to be
more than one so as to derive arranged so as to
minimize the shrinkage. The feeding range, which is
the distance a riser can feed the metal in a casting,
thus becomes an important consideration in riser
design. It is found that the casting thickness is the
main parameter affecting the feeding range. The
riser diameter and the riser height have only a
limited effect on it. It is usual practice to maintain a
feeding range of about 4.5 times the thickness (T) for
plate type castins and 2-2.5T or 6J for bar type
castings. Where an exothermic riser is used, the
feeding distance can be 50-75% more. It is advisable
to reduce the diameter of the riser at the neck by
about 30-45%. This improves the feeding range and
helps in easy knocking-off of the riser from the
casting. The neck area can be further reduced by
using wash-burn core or exothermic material
around the neck.
Types of Risers Risers may be classified as open
risers and blind risers. In the open riser, the upper
surface is open to the atmosphere and the riser is
usually placed on the top of the casting or at the

parting plane. The open riser seldom extends

downwards in to the drag, i.e., below the parting
plane. This riser, therefore, derives feeding pressure
from the atmosphere and from the force of gravity
on the metal contained in the riser. In case a certain
thickness of metal solidifies in the upper part of the
riser, atmospheric pressure no longer remains
effective, rendering metal flow from the riser to the
casting difficult.
The blind riser, on the other hand, is surrounded
by moulding sand on all sides and is in the form of a
rounded cavity in the mould placed at the side or
top of the casting. It may be located either in the
cope or in the drag. Sine this riser is closed from all
sides, atmospheric pressure is completely shut out.
The pressure due to the force of gravity is also
reduced due to the formation of vacuum within its
body. IN some of the improved desigens, a
permeable dry sand core, fitted at the top of the
blind riser, extends up through the cope to the
atmosphere. Due to its permeable nature, air is able
to enter the riser and exert some pressure. There is
also less chilling effect, due to the use of dry sand
core, and the solidification of the riser is slowed
down, thus making it more effective. Sometimes,
artificial pressure is created in blind risers by
putting some explosive substance in the riser cavity.
When the substance comes in constant with the
molten metal, it explodes, creating high pressure
within the riser.