This is the author’s final draft of the paper published as Journal of Materials Science, 2008, 43 (16), pp. 5448-5455. The final published version is available at www.springerlink.com, Doi: 10.1007/s10853-008-2828-2.New Rheocasting (the NRC process) is a recently developed semisolid processing route. There are two versions of this route. In one, molten alloy is poured directly into a tilted mould and through careful temperature control during cooling a spheroidal semisolid microstructure is achieved, before the material in the mould is upended into a shot sleeve and hence forced into a die. Alternatively, the molten alloy is poured onto a cooling slope and thence into a mould before processing. The aim of the work described in this paper, and its companion, was to develop understanding of the microstructural development during the initial stages of this process i.e. in the mould before processing and with the cooling slope/mould combination. In this first paper, an analogue system based on aqueous ammonium chloride has been used to visualise what happens when an alloy is poured into a tilted mould with a chill wall. In the companion paper, the results for pouring A356 aluminium alloy directly into a mould, and also via a cooling slope into a mould are presented
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