Organic binders applied in foundry plants based on synthetic resins, from the one side influence obtaining the required technological properties by the moulding sand and – in consequence – obtaining good quality castings, and on the other side are the source of volatile organic compounds (VOC). Together with synthetic resins their hardeners, which although added in very small amounts emit during their thermal decomposition substances negatively influencing the natural environment, are also used. Both, resins and hardeners only at the influence of high temperatures accompanying moulds pouring with liquid metal generate harmful volatile organic compounds including compounds from the BTEX group. Investigations of the temperature influence on the kind and amount of organic compounds formed during the thermal decomposition of selected binders and hardeners and their mixtures allow to determine temperature ranges the most favourable for emitting harmful substances as well as to compare their emission from the selected materials. The aim of this study was the determination the temperature influence on formation substances from the BTEX group, during thermal decomposition of the selected binder, its hardener and their mixture. The BTEX group emission constitutes one of the basic criteria in assessing the harmfulness of materials applied for moulding and core sands and it can undergo changes in dependence of the applied system resin-hardener. Investigations were carried out on the specially developed system for the thermal decomposition of organic substances in the temperature range: 5000 C – 13000 C, at the laboratory scale. The investigations subject was the furan resin, its hardener and hardened furan resin. The assessment of the emission degree of the BTEX group in dependence of the system subjected to the temperature influence was performed, within the studies. The temperature range, in which maximal amounts of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes were emitted from tested materials – was defined. The qualitative and quantitative analysis of the BTEX group were carried out with using the gas chromatography technique coupled with the mass spectrometry (GC/MS).
Modern techniques of castings production, including moulding sands production, require a strict technological regime and high quality materials. In the case of self-hardening moulding sands with synthetic binders those requirements apply mainly to sand, which adds to more than 98% of the whole moulding sand mixture. The factors that affect the quality of the moulding sands are both chemical (SiO2 , Fe2O3 and carbonates content) and physical. Among these factors somewhat less attention is paid to the granulometric composition of the sands. As a part of this study, the effect of sand quality on bending strength Rgu and thermal deformation of self-hardening moulding sands with furfural and alkyd resin was assessed. Moulding sands with furfural resin are known  to be the most susceptible to the sand quality. A negative effect on its properties has, among others, high content of clay binder and so-called subgrains (fraction smaller than 0,1mm), which can lead to neutralization of acidic hardeners (in the case of moulding sands with furfuryl resin) and also increase the specific surface, what forces greater amount of binding agents. The research used 5 different quartz sands originating from different sources and characterized with different grain composition and different clay binder content.