In this work, the influence of microwave drying parameters such as irradiation time and microwave power level on the properties of synthetic moulding sands is presented. Determination of compressive strength Rc s, shear strength Rt s and permeability Ps of synthetic moulding sands with the addition of two different bentonites, after drying process with variable microwave parameters were made. The research works were carried out using the microwave oven with regulated power range of the electromagnetic field. From the results obtained, the significant influence of both drying time and microwave power level on the selected properties of moulding sands was observed. In comparison to the conventional drying method, microwave drying allows to obtain higher compressive strength of the synthetic moulding sand. The influence of application microwave irradiation on permeability was not observed. Higher strength characteristics and shorter drying time are major advantages of application of the electromagnetic irradiation for drying of the synthetic moulding sand with regard to conventional drying method.
Presented are results of a research on usability of an innovative reclamation process of microwave-hardened moulding sands containing water-glass, combined with activation of binder. After each subsequent stage of reclamation, quality of the reclaimed material was determined on the grounds of measurements of permeability and results of screen analysis. The reclaimed material was next used again to prepare new moulding sand. The sandmix based on high-silica sand prepared with water-glass grade 145, was subject to the following cyclical treatment operations: mixing components, consolidation, microwave hardening, cooling, heating the mould up to 800 °C, cooling to ambient temperature, mechanical reclamation dry and wet. It was found that the used-up and reclaimed sandmix containing water-glass is susceptible to the applied activation process of thermally reacted film of binder and, in addition, it maintains good quality and technological properties of high-silica base. Observations of surfaces of reclaimed high-silica grains with activated film of reacted inorganic binder were carried-out using a scanning microscope. Thanks to properly selected reclamation parameters, the high-silica base can be reused even five times, thus reducing demand for fresh aggregate and inorganic binder.
The paper presents the results of basic research on the influence of the properties of sand grains on electrical properties of water glass moulding sands. It shows electrical properties of the main component – sand grains, crucial to the kinetics of moulding sands heating, such as permittivity εr and loss factor tgδ. Measurements were carried out with the use of the perturbation method for silica, chromite and olivine sands of different mineral, chemical composition and particle size distribution, as well as for moulding sands with water glass grade 145. Analysis of the results of measurements of electrical properties shows that all moulding sands are characterized by a similar permittivity εr and loss factor tgδ. It was found that the electrical properties and the quantity and quality of other components may have a decisive influence on the effectiveness and efficiency of the microwave heating of moulding sands with sand grains. In determining the ability to efficiently absorb the microwave radiation for mixtures which moulding sands are, the impact of all components influencing their individual technological parameters should be taken into account.
Moulding sands containing sodium silicate (water-glass) belong to the group of porous mixture with low resistance to increased humidity. Thanks to hydrophilic properties of hardened or even overheated binder, possible is application of effective methods of hydrous reclamation consisting in its secondary hydration. For the same reason (hydrophilia of the binder), moulds and foundry cores made of high-silica moulding sands with sodium silicate are susceptible to the action of components of atmospheric air, including the contained steam. This paper presents results of a research on the effect of (relative) humidity on mechanical and technological properties of microwave-hardened moulding mixtures. Specimens of the moulding sand containing 1.5 wt% of sodium water-glass with module 2.5 were subjected, in a laboratory climatic chamber, to long-term action of steam contained in the chamber atmosphere. Concentration of water in atmospheric air was stabilized for 28 days (672 h) according to the relative humidity parameter that was ca. 40%, 60% and 80% at constant temperature 20 °C. In three cycles of the examinations, the specimens were taken out from the chamber every 7 days (168 h) and their mechanical and technological parameters were determined. It was found on the grounds of laboratory measurements that moulds and cores hardened with microwaves are susceptible to action of atmospheric air and presence of water (as steam) intensifies action of the air components on glassy film of sodium silicate. Microwave-hardened moulding sands containing sodium silicate may be stored on a longterm basis in strictly determined atmospheric conditions only, at reduced humidity. In spite of a negative effect of steam contained in the air, the examined moulding mixtures maintain a part of their mechanical and technological properties, so the moulds and foundry cores stored in specified, controlled conditions could be still used in manufacture.
Presented are results of a preliminary research on determining a possibility to use microwave radiation for drying casting protective coatings applied on patterns used in the lost foam technology. Taken were measurements of permittivity εr and loss factor tgδ at 2.45 GHz, as well as attempts were made of microwave drying of a protective coating based on aluminium silicates, applied on shapes of foamed polystyrene and rigid polymeric foam. Time and results of microwave drying were compared with the results obtained by drying at 50 °C by the traditional method commonly used for removing water from protective coatings. Analysis of the obtained drying kinetics curves demonstrated that selection of proper operation parameters of microwave equipment permits the drying time to be significantly shortened. Depending on kind of the pattern material, drying process of a protective coating runs in a different way, resulting in obtaining different quality of the dried coating.
Within the research, selected multilayer technological systems created as combinations of water-glass containing moulding sand with foundry tooling, were characterised on the grounds of their electrical properties. By measuring resonance frequency and quality factor of a waveguide resonance cavity, real component of permittivity εr′ and loss tangent tgδ were determined for multilayer foundry systems with various qualitative and quantitative compositions. It was demonstrated that combination of a sandmix and foundry tooling with known dielectric properties results in a system with different physico-chemical properties, whose relation to the parameters of individual components of the system is undefined at this research stage. On the grounds of measurement results, theoretical value of microwave heating power, dissipated in unit volume of the selected multilayer foundry system, was determined. Knowledge of theoretical heating power and evaluation of physical, chemical and structural changes occurring in moulding sands exposed to microwaves in such a technological system makes a ground for empirical modelling of the process of microwave heating of foundry moulds and cores.
The paper presents the results of preliminary research on the use of silica sands with hydrated sodium silicate 1.5% wt. of binder for the performance of eco-friendly casting cores in hot-box technology. To evaluate the feasibility of high quality casting cores performed by the use of this method, the tests were made with the use of a semiautomatic core shooter using the following operating parameters: initial shooting pressure of 6 bar, shot time 4 s and 2 s, core-box temperature 200, 250 and 300 °C and core heating time 30, 60, 90 and 150 s. Matrixes of the moulding sands were two types of high-silica sand: fine and medium. Moulding sand binder was a commercial, unmodified hydrated sodium silicate having a molar module SiO2/Na2O of 2.5. In one shot of a core-shooter were made three longitudinal samples (cores) with a total volume of about 2.8 dm3. The samples thus obtained were subjected to an assessment of the effect of shooting parameters, i.e. shooting time, temperature and heating time, using the criteria: core-box fill rate, bending strength (RgU), apparent density and surface quality after hardening. The results of the trials on the use of sodium silicate moluding sands made it possible to further refine the conditions of next research into the improvement of inorganic warm-box/hot-box technology aimed at: reduction of heating temperature and shot time. It was found that the performance of the cores depends on the efficiency of the venting system, shooting time, filling level of a shooting chamber and grains of the silica matrix used.
In recent years, an increasing interest in sandmixes containing inorganic binders has been observed. These binders, including water-glass, are harmless for the environment, neutral for humans, and relatively cheap. In spite of numerous advantages, their wide application is restricted by poor knock-out properties and problems related to rebonding. Therefore, numerous researches aimed at eliminating the disadvantages of water-glass binders are directed, among others, to modifying the structure of hydrated sodium silicate or to applying new hardening techniques. An innovative method of rapid hardening by microwave heating, permitting the restriction of the quantity of binder used and thus improving knock-out properties, meets the expectations of present-day foundries. In this paper, available information is compiled on microwave hardening of water-glass containing sandmixes; furthermore, the costs of practical application of this technology are evaluated on the grounds of the authors' own research.
This paper presents the results on the effects of die-casting process on the strength parameters of castings of the aluminium AlSi9Cu3 alloy belonging to the group of EN AB-46000, made on renovated high pressure die-casting machine. Specimens for quality testing were taken from the places of the casting most loaded during the service. The aim of a research was to prove how the new die-casting process control capabilities influence on the tensile strength of the cast material defined as a value of the breaking force of the specimens. It has been found that it is possible to specify a set of recommended settings valves of second (II) and third (III) phase, which are responsible for filling the metal mould on die-casting pressure machine. From the point of view of the finished cast element, it was noticed that exceeding the prescribed values of valve settings does not bring further benefits and even causes unnecessary overload and reduce the durability of the mold. Moreover, it was noticed that reduction of the predetermined setting of the second phase (II) valve leads to the formation of casting defects again.
Presented are results of a research on the possibility of using artificial neural networks for forecasting mechanical and technological parameters of moulding sands containing water-glass, hardened in the innovative microwave heating process. Trial predictions were confronted with experimental results of examining sandmixes prepared on the base of high-silica sand, containing various grades of sodium water-glass and additions of a wetting agent. It was found on the grounds of obtained values of tensile strength and permeability that, with use of artificial neural networks, it is possible complex forecasting mechanical and technological properties of these materials after microwave heating and the obtained data will be used in further research works on application of modern analytic methods for designing production technology of high-quality casting cores and moulds.
The paper presents results of initial research on the possibility of applying microwave radiation in an innovative process of making casting moulds from silica sand, where gypsum CaSO4∙2H2O was acting as a binding material. In the research were compared strengths and technological properties of moulding mixture subjected to: natural bonding process at ambient temperature or natural curing with additional microwave drying or heating with the use of microwaves immediately after samples were formed. Used in the research moulding sands, in which dry constituents i.e. sand matrix and gypsum were mixed in the ratio: 89/11. On the basis of the results of strength tests which were obtained by various curing methods, beneficial effect of using microwaves at 2.45 GHz for drying up was observed after 1, 2 and 5 hours since moisture sandmix was formed. Applying the microwaves for hardening just after forming the samples guarantees satisfactory results in the obtained mechanical parameters. In addition, it has been noted that, from a technological and economic point of view, drying the silica sand with gypsum binder in microwave field can be an alternative to traditional molding sand technologies.
This paper presents initial findings from research into the possibility of using gypsum binders in quartz moulding sand that could be used in the production of casting moulds and cores. For the purposes of the research two commercial types of gypsum were used as binders: building gypsum and gypsum putty. Dry components of moulding sand i.e. medium quartz sand and gypsum were mixed in proportion of 89/11 parts by weight. In order to achieve bonding properties for the binders, 5 parts by weight of water was added to the mixture of dry components. After 24 hours of adding water and mixing all the components, the moulding sand, naturally hardened, was subjected to high temperature. The moulding sand thus produced, i.e. with cheap and environmentally-friendly gypsum binders, was eventually analysed after heating (at temperatures of 300oC, 650oC and 950oC) and cooling in order to determine changes in the following parameters: LOI – loss on ignition, chemical composition and pH. Moreover, investigated were bonding bridges, before and after the moulding sand was roasted. The research results revealed differences in the structure of bonding bridges and the occurrence of automatic adhesive destruction for both types of gypsum binders. For two types of moulding sands under the investigation of the LOI exceeded 2.59wt.% (with building gypsum) or 2.84wt.% (with putty gypsum) and pH increased to ca. 12 as a result of increasing roasting temperature from 300oC to 650oC. Next, roasting at 950oC decrease value of LOI in both types of moulding sands. Moulding sand with builoding gypsum roasted at 950oC revealed a return to the value of pH parameter measured prior to annealing.
In the paper, an attempt is made to explain the previously observed increased effectiveness of utilising hydrated sodium water-glass grade 137 after hardening moulding sands with selected physical methods. In the modified process of preparing sandmixes, during stirring components, water as a wetting additive was introduced to the sand-binder system. Presented are examination results of influence of faster microwave heating and slower traditional drying of the so-prepared moulding sands on their tensile and bending strength, calculated per weight fraction of the binder. The measurement results were confronted with SEM observations of linking bridges and with chemical analyses of grain surfaces of high-silica base. On the grounds of comprehensive evaluation of hardened moulding sands, positive effects were found of the applied physical process of binder dehydration and presence of the wetting additive. It was observed that introduction of this additive during stirring, before adding the binder, improves flowing the binder to the places where durable linking bridges are created. It was also found that the applied methods of hardening by dehydration enable creation of very durable linking bridges, strongly connected with the sand base, which results in damages of high-silica grain surfaces, when the bridges are destroyed.
In the paper, an attempt was made to evaluate the effect of preliminary wetting of high-silica base during preparation of moulding sands containing a selected grade of sodium water-glass, designed for hardening by traditional drying or by electromagnetic microwaves at 2.45 GHz. In the research, some water was dosed during stirring the sandmix before adding 1.5 wt% of the binder that was unmodified sodium water-glass grade 137, characterised by high molar module within 3.2 to 3.4. Scope of the examinations included determining the effect of wetting the base on mechanical parameters like compression, bending and tensile strength, as well as on technological parameters like permeability, abrasion resistance and apparent density. The research revealed a significant positive effect of adding water to wet surfaces of high-silica base grains on mechanical properties and quality of moulding sands hardened by physical methods, in particular by microwave heating
In the paper presented are results of a research on influence of electrical and physico-chemical properties of materials being parts of multicomponent and multimaterial systems used in foundry practice on efficiency and effectiveness of microwave heating. Effectiveness of the process was evaluated on the grounds of analysis of interaction between selected parameters of permittivity and loss factor, as well as collective index of energy absorbed, reflected and transmitted by these materials. In the examinations used was a stand of waveguide resonance cavity for determining electrical properties and a stand of microwave slot line for determining balance of microwave power emitted into selected materials. The examinations have brought closer the possibility of forecasting the behaviour of multimaterial systems like e.g. model, moulding sand or moulding box in microwave field on the grounds of various electrical and physico-chemical properties. On the grounds of analysis of the results, possible was selecting a group of materials designed for building foundry instrumentation to be effectively used in electromagnetic field.
The aim of this work is the development of Cu-Al2O3 composites of copper Cu-ETP matrix composite materials reinforced by 20 and 30 vol.% Al2O3 particles and study of some chosen physical properties. Squeeze casting technique of porous compacts with liquid copper was applied at the pressure of 110 MPa. Introduction of alumina particles into copper matrix affected on the significant increase of hardness and in the case of Cu-30 vol. % of alumina particles to 128 HBW. Electrical resistivity was strongly affected by the ceramic alumina particles and addition of 20 vol. % of particles caused diminishing of electrical conductivity to 20 S/m (34.5% IACS). Thermal conductivity tests were performed applying two methods and it was ascertained that this parameter strongly depends on the ceramic particles content, diminishing it to 100 Wm-1K-1 for the composite material containing 30 vol.% of ceramic particles comparing to 400 Wm-1K-1 for the unreinforced copper. Microstructural analysis was carried out using SEM microscopy and indicates that Al2O3 particles are homogeneously distributed in the copper matrix. EDS analysis shows remains of silicon on the surface of ceramic particles after binding agent used during preparation of ceramic preforms.
In the paper, a research on effects of baking temperature on chromite sand base of moulding sands bonded with sodium silicate is presented. Pure chromite sand and its chromite-based moulding sand prepared with use of sodium silicate were subjected to heating within 100 to 1200 °C. After cooling-down, changes of base grains under thermal action were determined. Chromite moulding sand was prepared with use of 0.5 wt% of domestic made, unmodified sodium silicate (water-glass) grade 145. After baking at elevated temperatures, creation of rough layer was observed on grain surfaces, of both pure chromite sand and that used as base of a moulding sand. Changes of sand grains were evaluated by scanning microscopy and EDS analyses. It was found that changes on grain surfaces are of laminar nature. The observed layer is composed of iron oxide (II) that is one of main structural components of chromite sand. In order to identify changes in internal structure of chromite sand grains, polished sections were prepared of moulding sand hardened with microwaves and baked at elevated temperatures. Microscopic observations revealed changes in grains structure in form of characteristically crystallised acicular particles with limited magnesium content, intersecting at various angles. EDS analysis showed that these particles are composed mostly of chromium oxide (III) and iron oxide (II). The temperature above that the a.m. changes are observed in both chromite-based moulding sand and in pure chromite sand. The observed phenomena were linked with hardness values and mass of this sand.