The word tundish originates from a shallow wooden dish with an outlet channel, fitting into the bunghole of a tun or cask and forming a kind of funnel for filling it. These were originally used in brewing.
The term is still used today in plumbing, where a funnel or hopper is filled by an outlet pipe above it. This is often provided for intermittent overflows, or where an air gap is required, to avoid possible back-contamination.
In metal casting, a tundish is a broad, open container with one or more holes in the bottom. It is used to feed molten metal into an ingot mould so as to avoid splashing and give a smoother flow. The tundish allows a reservoir of metal to feed the casting machine while ladles are switched, thus acting as a buffer of hot metal, as well as smoothing out flow, regulating metal feed to the moulds and cleaning the metal. Metallic remains left inside a tundish are known as tundish skulls and need to be removed, typically by mechanical means (scraping, cutting). A casting tundish is lined with refractory bricks specific to the liquid metal which is being cast.
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