In highly developed countries, a significant progress in the use of alternative and clean energy sources has recently been observed. The European Union has implemented a programme to build wind turbines. It is estimated that in the coming years, thanks to the support in tax and credit, the global energy will develop very intensively. Many components of the wind turbines are castings. The basic material used for these castings is ductile iron, which in this particular case must meet high requirements imposed by the operating conditions of wind turbines. Anticipating an increase in customer demand for this type of castings, Krakodlew SA has decided to modernize its foundry using the ability to obtain external financing. The ductile iron manufacturing technology is now being developed and adapted to the specific conditions of the foundry plant, including the melting process yielding cast material with the required chemical composition, the technology of moulding, and the conditions for possible secondary metallurgy, spheroidizing treatment and graphitizing inoculation. The fulfilment of the imposed conditions for the casting production demands the use of advanced casting technologies introduced to the manufacturing process. The development of technology to launch the production of ductile iron castings for the wind power industry was supported by The National Centre for Research and Development (NCBiR). This article presents part of research on the binding kinetics of furan resin sands and choice of their composition for moulds and cores to make heavy castings used as components of equipment for the wind power industry.
The article contains the results of tests performed under the target project in Hardtop Foundry Charsznica. The objective of the tests and studies was to develop a technology of making high-quality ductile iron castings, combined with effective means of environmental protection. The studies presented in this article related to castings weighing from 1 to 300 kg made from ductile iron of grades 400-15 and 500-7, using two-layer moulds, where the facing and core sand was the sand with an alkaline organic binder, while backing sand was the sand with an inorganic geopolymer binder. A simplified method of sand reclamation was applied with possible reuse of the reclaim as an addition to the backing sand. The cast iron spheroidising treatment and inoculation were selected taking into account the specific conditions of Hardtop Foundry. A pilot batch of castings was made, testing the gating and feeding systems and using exothermic sleeves on risers. The study confirmed the validity of the adopted concept of making ductile iron castings in layer moulds, while maintaining the content of sand with an organic binder at a level of maximum 15%.