The work presents the results of examinations concerning the influence of various amounts of home scrap additions on the porosity of castings made of MgAl9Zn1 alloy. The fraction of home scrap in the metal charge ranged from 0 to 100%. Castings were pressure cast by means of the hot-chamber pressure die casting machine under the industrial conditions in one of the domestic foundries. Additionally, for the purpose of comparison, the porosity of specimens cut out directly of the MgAl9Zn1 ingot alloy was also determined. The examinations consisted in the qualitative assessment of porosity by means of the optical microscopy and its quantitative determination by the method of weighting specimens in air and in water. It was found during the examination that the porosity of castings decreases with an increase in the home scrap fraction in the metal charge. The qualitative examinations confirmed the beneficial influence of the increased home scrap fraction on the porosity of castings. It was concluded that the reusing of home scrap in a foundry can be a good way of reduction of costs related to the production of pressure castings.
The scope of this work focuses on the aspects of quality and safety assurance of the iron cast manufacturing processes. Special attention was given to the processes of quality control and after-machining of iron casts manufactured on automatic foundry lines. Due to low level of automation and huge work intensity at this stage of the process, a model area was established which underwent reorganization in accordance with the assumptions of the World Class Manufacturing (WCM). An analysis of work intensity was carried out and the costs were divided in order to identify operations with no value added, particularly at individual manufacturing departments. Also an analysis of ergonomics at work stations was carried out to eliminate activities that are uncomfortable and dangerous to the workers' health. Several solutions were proposed in terms of rationalization of work organization at iron cast after-machining work stations. The proposed solutions were assessed with the use of multi-criteria assessment tools and then the best variant was selected based on the assumed optimization criteria. The summary of the obtained results reflects benefits from implementation of the proposed solutions.
The paper outlines the methodology of virtual design of a foundry plant as a system. The most important stage in the procedure involves the development of a model defined as a set of data about the system. Model development involves two stages: defining the model’s architecture and specifying the model data in the form of parameters and input-output relationships. The structure is understood as configuration of machines and transport units, representing the sub-systems and system components. As the main purpose of the simulation procedure is to find the characteristics of the system’s behaviour, the merits of the iterative method involving analysis, synthesis and evaluation of results are fully explored.
The dimensional accuracy of a final casting of Inconel 738 LC alloy is affected by many aspects. One of them is the choice of method and time of cooling the wax model for precision investment casting. The main objective of this work was to study the initial deformation of the complex shape of a rotor blades casting. Various approaches have been tested for cooling a wax pattern. When wax models are air cooled and without clamping in the jig for cooling, deviations from the ideal shape of the casting are very noticeable (up to 8 mm) and most are in extreme positions of the model. When the blade is cooled in the fixing jig in a water environment, the resulting deviations compared to those of air cooling are significantly larger, sometimes up to 10 mm. This itself does not mean that the final shape of the casting is dimensionally more accurate with the usage of wax models, which have smaller deviations from the ideal position. Another deformation occurs when the shell mould is produced around the wax pattern and further deformations emerge while cooling the blade casting. This paper demonstrates the first steps in describing the complex process of deformations occurring in Inconel alloy blades produced with investment casting technology by comparing results of thermal imagery, simulations in foundry simulation software ProCAST 2010, and measurements from a CNC scanning system using a Carl Zeiss MC 850. Conclusions are so far not groundbreaking, but it seems that deformations of the wax pattern and deformations of the castings do in some cases cancel each other by having opposite directions. Describing the whole process of deformations will help increase the precision of blade castings so that the models at the beginning and the blades in the end are the same.
Foundry resistance furnaces are thermal devices with a relatively large time delay in their response to a change in power parameters. Commonly used in automation classical PID controllers do not meet the requirements of high-quality control. Developed in recent years, fuzzy control theory is increasingly being used in various branches of economy and industry. Fuzzy controllers allow to introduce new developments in control systems of foundry furnaces as well. Correctly selected fuzzy controller can significantly reduce energy consumption in a controlled thermal process of heating equipment. The article presents a comparison of energy consumption by control system of foundry resistance furnace, equipped with either a PID controller or fuzzy controller optimally chosen.
The article describes the optimization of the melting brass. Brasses, as one of the most popular alloys of copper, deserve special attention in the context of the processes of melting, which in turn would provide not only products of better quality, but also reduce the cost of their production or refining. For this purpose, several studies carried out deriatographic (DTA) and thermogravimetric (TG) using derivatograph. The results were confronted with the program SLAG - PROP used to evaluate the physicochemical properties of the coatings extraction. Based on the survey and analysis of the program can identify the most favorable physico - chemical properties, which should be carried out treatments. This allows for slag mixtures referred configurations oxide matrix containing specific stimulators of the reaction. Conducted empirical studies indicate a convergence of the areas proposed by the application. It should also be noted that the program also indicates additional areas in which to carry out these processes would get even better, to optimize the melting process, the results.
The problem considered in the paper is motivated by production planning in a foundry equipped with the furnace and casting line, which provides a variety of castings in various grades of cast iron/steel for a large number of customers. The quantity of molten metal does not exceed the capacity of the furnace, the load is a particular type of metal from which the products are made. The goal is to create the order of the melted metal loads to prevent delays in delivery of goods to customers. This problem is generally considered as a lot-sizing and scheduling problem. The paper describes a mathematical programming model that formally defines the optimization problem and its relaxed version that is based on the conception of rolling-horizon planning
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 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.
The effects of filling the core box cavity and sand compaction in processes of core production by blowing methods (blowing, shooting) depend on several main factors. The most important are: geometrical parameters of cavity and complexity of its shape, number, distribution and shape of blowing holes feeding sands as well as the venting of a technological cavity. Values of individual parameters are selected according to various criteria, but mostly they should be adjusted to properties of the applied core sand. Various methods developed by several researchers, including the authors own attempts, allow to assess core sands properties on the basis of special technological tests projecting the process into a laboratory scale. The developed criteria defining a degree or a filling ability factor provide a better possibility of assessing the core sand behavior during flowing and core box filling, which indicate the value and structure of the obtained compacting decisive – after hardening – for strength and permeability. The mentioned above aspects are analyzed – on the basis of authors’ own examinations - in the hereby paper.
The results of the efficiency of the primary reclamation process as well as the influence of the used sand temperature and other process parameters on it are presented in this paper. A separate stand realized on a reduced scale was built, which is an analogous process of the primary reclamation treatment of spent foundry sands. The used sands were introduced to the crushing process in an agglomerated form in the way typically used in industrial devices. The primary reclamation process was realized on a set of four horizontal sieves with decreasing mesh clearances while maintaining their geometrical dimensions applied in the Regmas industrial device. The model system consists of a vibratory drive mounted on the table, allowing us to control the supply frequency of the vibratory motors within a range of 40-60 Hz as well as the computer system for measuring the vibration parameters and drive power. The used sand on the quartz matrix with the KALTHARZ U404 resin and 100T3 hardener was used in our investigations. The used sand was prepared under the following conditions: cubic-shaped elements made of the applied furan sand was compacted by vibrations then hardened and subjected to heating under controlled conditions (as a “simulation” of the overheating process taking place in the mold after pouring). Time functions of the crushing and sieving process in dependence of the overheating degree of the reference sand samples (100°, 200°, and 300°C) were investigated at various table vibration frequencies and feed loads of the sieve set. The relative index of the crushing ability was determined.
The article discusses the weldment to casting conversion process of rocker arm designed for operation in a special purpose vehicle to obtain a consistency of objective functions, which assume the reduced weight of component, the reduced maximum effort of material under the impact of service loads achieved through topology modification for optimum strength distribution in the sensitive areas, and the development of rocker arm manufacturing technology. As a result of conducted studies, the unit weight of the item was reduced by 25%, and the stress limit values were reduced to a level guaranteeing safe application.
The paper presents the theory of constraints (TOC) as a method used to improve results in a complex, multiplants organization. In the article the assumptions of this method has been presented as well as iterative approach concerning how to launch it in practice. Main indicators for organizational effectiveness assessment have also been presented. The maximization of production assets utilization is a key issue for competitive organization in the changing market conditions. An appropriate usage of the theory of constraints enables efficient allocation of financial assets among particular plants within a capital group. An application of a method has been presented based on throughput analyses and its influence to improve financial results of one plant organization and synergy effect in multiplants organization. The theory of constraints can be used in almost every kind of business sectors, among them are metal and foundry industries. It allows to be implemented in production organizations as well as in any other company’s profiles. Everywhere the constraint has been defined there is a chance to achieve an improvement following the presented method. The examples have been taken from the casting plants which use continuous and mold casting technologies. The examples show that TOC approach can be successfully employed as the improvement tool of foundries’ performances.
The paper presents the results of the crystallization process of silumin by the TDA thermographic method and the results of the cast microstructure obtained in the sampler TDA-10, that was cooling down in ambient air. The study was conducted for silumin AlSi11 unmodified. The work demonstrated that the use of thermal imaging camera allows for the measurement and recording the solidification process of silumin. Thermal curve was registered with the infrared camera and derivative curve that was calculated on the base of thermal curve have both a very similar shape to adequate them TDA curves obtained from measurements using a thermocouple. Test results by TDA thermographic method enable quantitative analysis of the kinetics of the cooling and solidification process of neareutectic silumin.
The article presents analysis of the influence of ingate size on the Lost Foam casting process. In particular, analysis of simulation tests has been carried out to determine the ingate size influence on the rate of filling of the mould cavity, pressure in the gas gap and size of the gas gap. A specially prepared mathematical model of the process and an original calculation algorithm were used in simulation tests of full-mould casting. The tests have indicated that the increase of the ingate size results in the increase of filling rate and increase of pressure of gases in the gas gap. However, significant influence on mould cavity filling occurs only when the ingate size is less than ~1 cm2. .
As experience shows the practical, reliable assessment and optimisation of total costs of logistical processes implemented in supply chains of foundry plants is a quite complex and complicated process, because it requires to enclose all, without exception, performed actions, including them in various reference cross-sections, systematic activities and finally transforming them in a totally homogenous collection. Only solid analysis and assessment of assortment management in logistical supply systems in foundry plants of particular assortment groups allows to lower the supply costs significantly. In the article the analysis and assessment of the newest implemented optimising algorithms are presented in the process stock management of selected material groups used in a production process of a chosen foundry plant. A practical solution to solve a problem of rotary stock cost minimisation is given as well as of costs while creating a stock with the usage of economical volume and value of order.
The paper discusses the impact of the geometry of foundry pallet components on the value of temperature gradient on the wall crosssection during heat treatment. The gradient is one of the most important factors determining the distribution of thermal stresses in these items. Analysis of quantitative simulation was carried out to detect possible effect of the type of connection between pallet walls and thickness of these walls (ribs) on the interior temperature distribution during rapid cooling. The analysis was performed for five basic designs of wall connections used in pallets. Basing on the results obtained, the conclusions were drawn on the best connection between the ribs in foundry pallets.
The last decade has seen growing interest in professional public about applications of porous metallic materials. Porous metals represent a new type of materials with low densities, large specific surface, and novel physical and mechanical properties, characterized by low density and large specific surface. They are very suitable for specific applications due to good combination of physical and mechanical properties such as high specific strength and high energy absorption capability. Since the discovery of metal foams have been developed many methods and techniques of production in liquid, solid and gas phases. Condition for the use of metal foams - advanced materials with unique usability features, are inexpensive ways to manage their production. Mastering of production of metallic foams with defined structure and properties using gravity casting into sand or metallic foundry moulds will contribute to an expansion of the assortment produced in foundries by completely new type of material, which has unique service properties thanks to its structure, and which fulfils the current demanding ecological requirements. The aim of research conducted at the department of metallurgy and foundry of VSB-Technical University Ostrava is to verify the possibilities of production of metallic foams by conventional foundry processes, to study the process conditions and physical and mechanical properties of metal foam produced. Two procedures are used to create porous metal structures: Infiltration of liquid metal into the mold cavity filled with precursors or preforms and two stage investment casting.
Theory and practice of environmental protection in the case of foundries in Europe and Asia • Experience resulting from the cooperation with the foundries in a few European countries, China and India • Phenomena and factors affecting the pollution of the natural environment and the implementation of measures aiming at the environmental protection Every specialist dealing with foundry processes and their impact on environmental pollution must have encountered in their professional careers numerous situations in which the theory of environmental protection confronts the stark reality. The discrepancy between theory and practice can particularly be noticed in foundry engineering in developing countries where the contrasts between different countries and casting plants are extremely striking. The comparison of working conditions in European and Asian foundries provides a vast scope for further observations and analyses. Environmental protection seems not only a concern of manufacturers of castings, but also of their customers whose opinion exerts a significant influence on both the acceptability of working conditions and on the approach to environmental pollution adopted in metal casting industry. The article presents a number of examples of various outlooks on environmental issues in foundries manufacturing a wide range of cast steel and cast iron castings, where different technologies and production processes are applied.
It has been found that the area where one can look for significant reserves in the procurement logistics is a rational management of the stock of raw materials. Currently, the main purpose of projects which increase the efficiency of inventory management is to rationalise all the activities in this area, taking into account and minimising at the same time the total inventory costs. The paper presents a method for optimising the inventory level of raw materials under a foundry plant conditions using two different control models. The first model is based on the estimate of an optimal level of the minimum emergency stock of raw materials, giving information about the need for an order to be placed immediately and about the optimal size of consignments ordered after the minimum emergency level has occurred. The second model is based on the estimate of a maximum inventory level of raw materials and an optimal order cycle. Optimisation of the presented models has been based on the previously done selection and use of rational methods for forecasting the time series of the delivery of a chosen auxiliary material (ceramic filters) to a casting plant, including forecasting a mean size of the delivered batch of products and its standard deviation
In the paper, presented is a research on effectiveness of absorbing electromagnetic waves at frequency 2.45 GHz by unhardened moulding sands prepared of three kinds of high-silica base and a selected grade of sodium silicate. Measurements of power loss of microwave radiation (Pin) expressed by a total of absorbed power (Pabs), output power (Pout) and reflected power (Pref) were carried-out on a stand of semiautomatic microwave slot line. Values of microwave power loss in the rectangular waveguide filled with unhardened moulding sands served for determining effectiveness of microwave heating. Balance of microwave power loss is of technological and economical importance for manufacture of high-quality casting moulds and cores of various shapes and sizes. It was found that relative density influences parameters of power output and power reflected from samples of moulding sand placed in a waveguide. Absorption expressed by the parameter Pabs is not related to granularity of high-silica base: fine, medium and coarse. It was found that the semiautomatic microwave slot line supports evaluation of effectiveness of microwave absorption on the grounds of power loss measurements and enables statistic description of influence of relative density of the sandmix on penetration of electromagnetic waves in unhardened moulding sands.
The problem considered in the paper is motivated by production planning in a foundry equipped with the furnace and casting line, which provides a variety of castings in various grades of cast iron/steel for a large number of customers. The quantity of molten metal does not exceed the capacity of the furnace, the load is a particular type of metal from which the products are made in the automatic casting lines. The goal is to create the order of the melted metal loads to prevent delays in delivery of goods to customers. This problem is generally considered as a lot-sizing and scheduling problem. The paper describes two computational intelligence algorithms for simultaneous grouping and scheduling tasks and presents the results achieved by these algorithms for example test problems.
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.
Mathematical programming, constraint programming and computational intelligence techniques, presented in the literature in the field of operations research and production management, are generally inadequate for planning real-life production process. These methods are in fact dedicated to solving the standard problems such as shop floor scheduling or lot-sizing, or their simple combinations such as scheduling with batching. Whereas many real-world production planning problems require the simultaneous solution of several problems (in addition to task scheduling and lot-sizing, the problems such as cutting, workforce scheduling, packing and transport issues), including the problems that are difficult to structure. The article presents examples and classification of production planning and scheduling systems in the foundry industry described in the literature, and also outlines the possible development directions of models and algorithms used in such systems.