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In the EMD-2 Joint Directed Attack Munition (JDAM), the A357 aluminum alloy housing had been redesigned and cast via permanent mold casting, but did not meet the design strength requirements of the previous design. Mechanical tests on thick and thin sections of the forward housing assembly revealed tensile properties well below the allowable design values. Radiology and CT evaluations revealed no casting defects. Optical microscopy revealed porosity uniformly distributed throughout the casting on the order of 0.1 mm pore diam. Scanning electron microscopy revealed elongated pores, which indicated turbulent filling of the mold. Spherical pores would have indicated the melt had been improperly degassed. Based on these findings, it was recommended that the manufacturer analyze and redesign the gating system to eliminate the turbulent flow problem during the permanent mold casting process.

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Steven C. Medeiros, Failure Analysis of an Aluminum Casting, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Processing Errors and Defects, ASM International, 2019,

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