The present article describes selected aspects of investment casting technology for manufacturing of open-cell aluminium. The main focus is, among others, on the precursor thickening. Two groups of total 30 samples were produced, basing on open-cell polyurethane foam used as the precursor. Each of the two sample groups was thickened with a different type of suspension consisting of carbonaceous substances and organic binders. The influence of the coating mixture type was compared, leading to conclusions regarding the desired composition and fluidity of the suspensions. Both sample groups of the obtained open-cell aluminium had stochastic cell distributions, the average pore diameter was 5.2 mm and the PPI index was 8. The apparent densities were respectively: 0.485 g/cm3 and 0.312 g/cm3, which reflected the impact of the precursor coating. Additionally, samples from both groups differed in quality.
In 2014 we finished research works involved in the development of a technology for manufacturing innovative ceramic-carbon foam filters for molten metal alloys filtration, which were financed by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBiR) from INNOTECH programme resources. A batch of the filters produced in this technology was tested in practice in domestic cast steel and cast iron foundries. The trials were successful and foundries declared their intention to purchase the newly-developed filters for the current production of casts. This provided an incentive for “Ferro-Term” Sp. z o.o. to start design works on the prototype line for a serial production of these filters. At the same time, in co-operation with a scientific consortium, including the co-authors of the technology, i.e. the Institute of Ceramics and Building Materials, Refractory Materials Division in Gliwice, Institute for the Chemical Processing of Coal in Zabrze and Foundry Research Institute in Cracow, the company made a successful attempt to raise some funds for the necessary adaptation of the developed technology from the semi-technical to industrial scale from Intelligent Development Operational Programme. In the article we have presented information on the effects of works performed within the framework of the project entitled “Modernization and adaptation of the existing technological line for purposes related to technology verification and start-up of the production of innovative ceramic-carbon filters for molten metal alloy filtration”.