Methods and apparatuses for casting inorganic materials are provided. The inorganic materials include metals, metal alloys, metal hydrides and other materials. Thermal control zones may be established to control the propagation of a freeze front through the casting. Agitation from a mechanical blade or ultrasonic energy may be used to reduce porosity and shrinkage in the casting. After solidification of the casting, the casting apparatus may be used to anneal the cast part.
The U.S. Government has rights to this invention pursuant to contract number DE-AC05-00OR22800 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Y-12, LLC.