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 results of mechanical reclamation of waste moulding sands with furfuryl resin and activators of new generation are presented. The aim of the research described in this study was to determine what effect the addition of reclaim obtained in the process of dry mechanical reclamation could have on the properties of furan sands. The sand supplied by one of the domestic foundries was after the initial reclamation subjected to a two-step proper reclamation process. The following tests were carried out on the obtained reclaim: pH, S and N content, loss on ignition and comprehensive sieve analysis. The obtained reclaim was next used as a component of moulding sands with furfuryl resin, wherein it formed 50% and 80% of the base moulding material, respectively. The strength properties of the ready sand mixtures (bending strength Rg u and tensile strength Rm u ) were determined after the hardening time of 0.5, 1, 2, 4 and 24 hours.
The paper presents the impact of biodegradable material - polycaprolactone (PCL) on selected properties of moulding sands. A self-hardening moulding sands with phenol-furfuryl resin, which is widely used in foundry practice, and an environmentally friendly self-hardening moulding sand with hydrated sodium silicate where chosen for testing. The purpose of the new additive in the case of synthetic resin moulding sands is to reduce their harmfulness to the environment and to increase their “elasticity” at ambient temperature. In the case of moulding sands with environmentally friendly hydrated sodium silicate binder, the task of the new additive is to increase the elasticity of the tested samples while preserving their ecological character. Studies have shown that the use of 5% PCL in moulding sand increases their flexibility at ambient temperature, both with organic and inorganic binders. The influence of the new additive on the deformation of the moulding sands at elevated temperatures has also been demonstrated.
Growing emission requirements are forcing the foundry industry to seek new, more environmentally friendly solutions. One of the solutions may be the technologies of preparing moulding and core sands using organic biodegradable materials as binders. However, not only environmental requirements grow but also those related to the technological properties of moulding sand. Advancing automation and mechanization of the foundry industry brings new challenges related to the moulding sands. Low elasticity may cause defects during assembly of cores or moulds by the manipulators. The paper presents the study of flexibility in the room temperature according to new method and resistance to thermal deformation of selfhardening moulding sands with furfuryl resin, containing biodegradable material PCL. The task of the new additive is to reduce the moulding sands harmfulness to the environment and increase its flexibility in the room temperature. The impact of the additive and the effect of the amount of binder on the properties of mentioned moulding sands were analysed. Studies have shown that the use of 5% of PCL does not change the nature of the thermal deformation curve, improves the bending strength of tested moulding mixtures and increases their flexibility at room temperature.