Recently, some major changes have occurred in the structure of the European foundry industry, such as a rapid development in the production of castings from compacted graphite iron and light alloys at the expense of limiting the production of steel castings. This created a significant gap in the production of heavy steel castings (exceeding the weight of 30 Mg) for the metallurgical, cement and energy industries. The problem is proper moulding technology for such heavy castings, whose solidification and cooling time may take even several days, exposing the moulding material to a long-term thermal and mechanical load. Owing to their technological properties, sands with organic binders (synthetic resins) are the compositions used most often in industrial practice. Their main advantages include high strength, good collapsibility and knocking out properties, as well as easy mechanical reclamation. The main disadvantage of these sands is their harmful effect on the environment, manifesting itself at various stages of the casting process, especially during mould pouring. This is why new solutions are sought for sands based on organic binders to ensure their high technological properties but at the same time less harmfulness for the environment. This paper discusses the possibility of reducing the harmful effect of sands with furfuryl binders owing to the use of resins with reduced content of free furfuryl alcohol and hardeners with reduced sulphur content. The use of alkyd binder as an alternative to furfuryl binder has also been proposed and possible application of phenol-formaldehyde resins was considered.
The presented work discusses the influence of material of foundry mould on the effect of modification of AlSi11 alloy. For this purpose castings were produced in moulds made of four various materials. Castings of the first type were cast in a metal die, the second ones in the conventional mould of bentonite-bound sand, those of the third type in the sand mould with oil binder, the last ones in a shell mould where phenol-formaldehyde resin was applied as a binder. All the castings were made of AlSi11 alloy modified with strontium. For a purpose of comparison also castings made of the non-modified alloy were produced. The castings were examined with regard to their microstructures. The performed investigations point out that the addition of strontium master alloy results in refining of the alloy structure, particularly of the α-phase, causes some morphological changes in the alloy and the refinement of eutectics. The advantageous influence of modifier on the structure of the examined silumin was observed particularly in the case of alloy cast either in the conventional oil-bound sand mould or in the shell mould. The non-modified alloy cast into a metal die exhibits a structure similar to those of modified alloy solidifying in the other moulds. The improvement in both tensile strength and unit elongation suggests that the modification was carried out correctly. The best mechanical properties were found for the alloy cast in a metal die, both with and without modification treatment.
The work deals with the influence of change in the filling conditions of the ceramic moulds with plaster binder on the presence of gaseous porosity and the microstructure of the achieved test castings with graded wall thickness. Castings made of EN AC-44000 alloy, produced either by gravity casting, or by gravity casting with negative pressure generated around the mould (according to the Vacumetal technology), or by counter-gravity casting were compared. The results of examinations concerning the density of the produced castings indicate that no significant change in porosity was found. The increased size of silicon crystals was found for the increased wall thicknesses due to the slower cooling and solidification of castings.
The performed examinations concerning the process of filling the plaster ceramic moulds with aluminium alloys allowed to assess the influence of various methods of introducing the metal into the mould cavity on the macro- and microstructure of the obtained experimental castings. The comparison was performed for castings with graded wall thickness made either of EN AC-44000 alloy or of EN AC-46000 alloy, produced either by gravity casting, or by gravity casting with negative pressure generated around the mould (according to the Vacumetal technology), or by counter-gravity casting. It was found that the silicon crystals grow in size with an increase in wall thickness due to the slower cooling and solidification of castings.
Homogeneity of die castings is influenced by wide range of technological parameters as piston velocity in filling chamber of die casting machine, filling time of mould cavity, temperature of cast alloy, temperature of the mould, temperature of filling chamber, surface pressure on alloy during mould filling, final pressure and others. Based on stated parameters it is clear, that main parameters of die casting are filling time of die mould cavity and velocity of the melt in the ingates. Filling time must ensure the complete filling of the mould cavity before solidification process can negatively influence it. Among technological parameters also belong the returning material, which ratio in charge must be constrained according to requirement on final homogeneity of die castings. With the ratio of returning material influenced are the mechanical properties of castings, inner homogeneity and chemical composition.