Investment casting technology that utilizes lost-wax casting is one of the most-important achievements of ancient society. In Lower Silesia, Poland (Grzybiany, Legnica county), a 7-6 BC casting workshop was discovered with numerous artifacts, confirming the existence of the manufacturing process of metal ornaments using ceramic molds. The paper presents the research of molds and casts from the Bronze and Early Iron Ages. Microscopic analyses of the casting molds were performed, along with radiographic and chemical composition tests of the artifacts (the latter employing the use of the X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy method). The clustering method was used for alloy classification. The microstructure was analyzed by means of Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy. Conclusions from the research were utilized in further experiments
The casting workshop was discovered with numerous artifacts, confirming the existence of the manufacturing process of metal ornaments using ceramic molds and investment casting technology in Lower Silesia (Poland) in 7-6 BC. The research has yielded significant technological information about the bronze casting field, especially the alloys that were used and the artifacts that were made from them. Based on the analyses, the model alloys were experimentally reconstructed. Taking advantage of the computer-modeling method, a geometric visualization of the bronze bracelets was performed; subsequently, we simulated pouring liquid metal in the ceramic molds and observed the alloy solidification. These steps made it possible to better understand the casting processes from the perspective of the mold technology as well as the melting and casting of alloys.
The paper presents results of measuring thermal conductivity and heat capacity of bentonite foundry sand in temperature range ambient – 900 OC. During the experiments a technical purity Cu plate was cast into the green-sand moulds. Basing on measurements of the mould temperature field during the solidification of the casting, the temperature relationships of the measured properties were evaluated. It was confirmed that water vaporization strongly influences thermal conductivity of the moulding sand in the first period of the mould heating by the poured casting.