Forecasting and analysis SWOT are helping tools in the business activity, because under conditions of dynamic changes in both closer and more distant surroundings, reliable, forward-looking information and trends analysis are playing a decisive role. At present, the ability to use available data in forecasting and other analyzes according with changes in business environment are the key managerial skills required, since both forecasting and SWOT analysis are a integral part of the management process, and the appropriate level of forecasting knowledge is increasingly appreciated. Examples of practical use of some forecasting methods in optimization of the procurement, production and distribution processes in foundries are given. The possibilities of using conventional quantitative forecasting methods based on econometric and adaptive models applying the creep trend and harmonic weights are presented. The econometric models were additionally supplemented with the presentation of error estimation methodology, quality assessment and statistical verification of the forecast. The possibility of using qualitative forecasts based on SWOT analysis was also mentioned.
The paper presents validation tests for method which is used for the evaluation of the statistical distribution parameters for 3D particles’ diameters. The tested method, as source data, uses chord sets which are registered from a random cutting plane placed inside a sample space. In the sample space, there were individually generated three sets containing 3D virtual spheres. Each set had different Cumulative Distribution Function (CDF3) of the sphere diameters, namely: constant radius, normal distribution and bimodal distribution as a superposition of two normal distributions. It has been shown that having only a chord set it is possible, by using the tested method, to calculate the mean value of the outer sphere areas. For the sets of data, a chord method generates quite large errors for around 10% of the smallest nodules in the analysed population. With the increase of the nodule radii, the estimation errors decrease. The tested method may be applied to foundry issues e.g. for the estimation of gas pore sizes in castings or for the estimation of nodule graphite sizes in ductile cast iron.
The results of research on the effect of the type of cooling agent used during heat treatment and thermal-chemical treatment on the formation of temperature gradient and stress-deformation distribution in cast pallets, which are part of furnace accessories used in this treatment, are disclosed. During operation, pallets are exposed to the effect of the same conditions as the charge they are carrying. Cyclic thermal loads are the main cause of excessive deformations or cracks, which after some time of the cast pallet operation result in its withdrawal due to damage. One of the major causes of this damage are stresses formed under the effect of temperature gradient in the unevenly cooled pallet construction. Studies focused on the analysis of heat flow in a charge-loaded pallet, cooled by various cooling agents characterized by different heat transfer coefficients and temperature. Based on the obtained temperature distribution, the stress distribution and the resulting deformation were examined. The results enabled drawing relevant conclusions about the effect of cooling conditions on stresses formed in the direction of the largest temperature gradient.
This paper presents the impact of microwave penetration depth on the process of heating the moulding sand with sodium silicate. For each material it is affected by: the wavelength in vacuum and the real and imaginary components of the relative complex electrical permittivity εrfor a selected measurement frequency. Since the components are not constant values and they change depending on the electrical parameters of materials and the frequency of the electromagnetic wave, it is indispensable to carry out laboratory measurements to determine them. Moreover, the electrical parameters of materials are also affected by: temperature, packing degree, humidity and conductivity. The measurements of the dielectric properties of moulding sand with sodium silicate was carried out using the perturbation method on a stand of waveguide resonance cavity. The real and imaginary components of the relative complex electrical permittivity was determined for moulding sand at various contents of sodium silicate and at various packing degrees of the samples. On the basis of the results the microwave penetration depth of moulding sand with sodium silicate was established. Relative literature contains no such data that would be essential to predicting an effective process of microwave heating of moulding sand with sodium silicate. Both the packing degree and the amount of sodium silicate in moulding sand turned out to affect the penetration depth, which directly translates into microwave power density distribution in the process of microwave heating of moulding sand with sodium silicate.
The ecological meanings clearly indicates the need of reducing of the concentration of the CO2in the atmosphere, which can be accomplished through the lowering of the fuel consumption. This fact implies the research for the new construction solutions regarding the reduction of the weight of vehicles. The reduced weight of the vehicle is also important in the case of application of the alternative propulsion, to extend the lifetime of the batteries with the reduction of recharge cycles. The use of cast alloy AlZnMgCu compliant of plastic forming class 7xxx alloy, are intended to significantly reduce the weight of the structures, while ensuring high strength properties. The wide range of the solidification temperature, which is more than 150°C, characterizes this alloy with a high tendency to create the micro and macro porosity. The study presents the relationship between the cooling rate and the area of occurrence and percentage of microporosity. Then the results were linked to the local tensile strength predicted in the simulation analysis. The evaluation of the microporosity was performed on the basis of the CT (computed tomography) and the analysis of the alloy microstructure. The microstructure analysis was carried out on test specimen obtained from the varying wall thickness of the experimental casting. The evaluation of the mechanical properties was prepared on the basis of the static tensile test and the modified low cycle fatigue test (MLCF).
In this paper, crushability of foundry sand particles was studied. Three kinds of in-service silica sands in foundry enterprises selected as the study object, and foundry sand particles were subjected to mechanical load and thermal load during service were analyzed. A set of methods for simulating mechanical load and thermal load by milling and thermal-cold cycling were designed and researched, which were used to characterize the crushability for silica sand particles, the microstructure was observed by SEM. According to the user’s experience in actual application, the crushability of Sand C was the best and then Sand B, the last Sand A. The results indicated that mechanical load, thermal load and thermal-mechanical load can all be used to characterize the crushability of foundry sand particles. Microscopic appearances can qualitatively characterize the crushability of foundry sand particles to a certain extent, combining with the additions and cracks which are observed on the surface.
Among the copper based alloys, Cu-Al-X bronzes are commonly used as mold materials due to their superior physical and chemical properties. Mold materials suffer from both wear and corrosion, thus, it is necessary to know which one of the competitive phenomenon is dominant during the service conditions. In this study, tribo-corrosion behavior of CuAl10Ni5Fe4 and CuAl14Fe4Mn2Co alloys were studied and electrochemical measurements were carried out using three electrode system in 3.5 % NaCl solution in order to evaluate their corrosion resistance. In tribo-corrosion tests, alloys were tested against zirconia ball in 3.5 % NaCl solution, under 10N load with 0.04 m/s sliding speed during 300 and 600 m. The results indicate that (i) CuAl10Ni5Fe4 alloy is more resistant to NaCl solution compared to CuAl14Fe4Mn2Co alloy that has major galvanic cells within its matrix, (ii) although CuAl10Ni5Fe4 alloy has lower coefficient of friction value, it suffers from wear under dry sliding conditions, (iii) as the sliding distance increases, corrosion products on CuAl14Fe4Mn2Co surface increase at a higher rate compared to CuAl10Ni5Fe4 leading to a decrease in volume loss due to the lubricant effect of copper oxides.
The article presents an example of finishing treatment for aluminum alloys with the use of vibration machining, with loose abrasive media in a closed tumbler. For the analysis of selected properties of the surface layer prepared flat samples of aluminum alloy PA6/2017 in the state after recrystallization. The samples in the first stage were subjected to a treatment of deburring using ceramic media. In a second step polishing process performed with a strengthening metal media. In addition, for comparative purposes was considered. only the case of metal polishing. The prepared samples were subjected to hardness tests and a tangential tensile test. As a result of finishing with vibratory machining, it was possible to remove burrs, flash, rounding sharp edges, smoothing and lightening the surface of objects made. The basic parameters of the surface geometry were obtained using the Talysurf CCI Lite - Taylor Hobson optical profiler. As a result of the tests it can be stated that the greatest reduction of surface roughness and mass loss occurs in the first minutes of the process. Mechanical tests have shown that the most advantageous high values of tensile strength and hardness are obtained with two-stage vibration treatment, - combination of deburring and polishing. Moreover the use of metal media resulted in the strengthening of the surface by pressure deburring with metal media.
This article deals with the technology and principles of the laser cutting of ductile cast iron. The properties of the CO2laser beam, input parameters of the laser cutting, assist gases, the interaction of cut material and the stability of cutting process are described. The commonly used material (nodular cast iron - share of about 25% of all castings on the market) and the method of the laser cutting of that material, including the technological parameters that influence the cutting edge, are characterized. Next, the application and use of this method in mechanical engineering practice is described, focusing on fixing and renovation of mechanical components such as removing the inflow gate from castings with the desired quality of the cut, without the further using of the chip machining technology. Experimental samples from the nodular cast iron were created by using different technological parameters of laser cutting. The heat affected zone (HAZ), its width, microstructure and roughness parameter Pt was monitored on the experimental samples (of thickness t = 13 mm). The technological parameters that were varied during the experiments included the type of assist gases (N2and O2), to be more specific the ratio of gases, and the cutting speed, which ranged from 1.6 m/min to 0.32 m/min. Both parameters were changed until the desired properties were achieved.
The work presents the results of examinations concerning the influence of various amounts of home scrap additions on the porosity of castings made of MgAl9Zn1 alloy. The fraction of home scrap in the metal charge ranged from 0 to 100%. Castings were pressure cast by means of the hot-chamber pressure die casting machine under the industrial conditions in one of the domestic foundries. Additionally, for the purpose of comparison, the porosity of specimens cut out directly of the MgAl9Zn1 ingot alloy was also determined. The examinations consisted in the qualitative assessment of porosity by means of the optical microscopy and its quantitative determination by the method of weighting specimens in air and in water. It was found during the examination that the porosity of castings decreases with an increase in the home scrap fraction in the metal charge. The qualitative examinations confirmed the beneficial influence of the increased home scrap fraction on the porosity of castings. It was concluded that the reusing of home scrap in a foundry can be a good way of reduction of costs related to the production of pressure castings.
The paper presents results of bend tests at elevated temperatures of aluminium alloy EN AC-44200 (AlSi12) based composite materials reinforced with aluminium oxide particles. The examined materials were manufactured by squeeze casting. Preforms made of Al2O3 particles, with volumetric fraction 10, 20, 30 and 40 vol.% of particles joined with sodium silicate bridges were used as reinforcement. The preforms were characterised by open porosity ensuring proper infiltration with the EN AC-44200 (AlSi12) liquid alloy. The largest bending strength was found for the materials containing 40 vol.% of reinforcing ceramic particles, tested at ambient temperature. At increased test temperature, bending strength Rg of composites decreased in average by 30 to 50 MPa per 100°C of temperature increase. Temperature increase did not significantly affect cracking of the materials. Cracks propagated mainly along the interfaces particle/matrix, with no effect of the particles falling-out from fracture surfaces. Direction of cracking can be affected by a small number of agglomerations of particles or of non-reacted binder. In the composites, the particles strongly restrict plastic deformation of the alloy, which leads to creation of brittle fractures. At elevated temperatures, however mainly at 200 and 300°C, larger numbers of broken, fragmented particles was observed in the vicinity of cracks. Fragmentation of particles occurred mainly at tensioned side of the bended specimens, in the materials with smaller fraction of Al2O3 reinforcement, i.e. 10 and 20 vol.%.
An innovative method for determining the structural zones in the large static steel ingots has been described. It is based on the mathematical interpretation of some functions obtained due to simulation of temperature field and thermal gradient field for solidifying massive ingot. The method is associated with the extrema of an analyzed function and with its points of inflection. Particularly, the CET transformation is predicted as a time-consuming transition from the columnar- into equiaxed structure. The equations dealing with heat transfer balance for the continuous casting are presented and used for the simulation of temperature field in the solidifying virtual static brass ingot. The developed method for the prediction of structural zones formation is applied to determine these zones in the solidifying brass static ingot. Some differences / similarities between structure formation during solidification of the steel static ingot and virtual brass static ingot are studied. The developed method allows to predict the following structural zones: fine columnar grains zone, (FC), columnar grains zone, (C), equiaxed grains zone, (E). The FCCT-transformation and CET-transformation are forecast as sharp transitions of the analyzed structures. Similarities between steel static ingot morphology and that predicted for the virtual brass static ingot are described.
Preliminary tests aimed at obtaining a cellular SiC/iron alloy composite with a spatial structure of mutually intersecting skeletons, using a porous ceramic preform have been conducted. The possibility of obtaining such a composite joint using a SiC material with an oxynitride bonding and grey cast iron with flake graphite has been confirmed. Porous ceramic preforms were made by pouring the gelling ceramic suspension over a foamed polymer base which was next fired. The obtained samples of materials were subjected to macroscopic and microscopic observations as well as investigations into the chemical composition in microareas. It was found that the minimum width of a channel in the preform, which in the case of pressureless infiltration enables molten cast iron penetration, ranges from 0.10 to 0.17 mm. It was also found that the ceramic material applied was characterized by good metal wettability. The ceramics/metal contact area always has a transition zone (when the channel width is big enough), where mixing of the components of both composite elements takes place.
The paper presents influence of soaking parameters (temperature and time) on structure and mechanical properties of spheroidal graphite nickel-manganese-copper cast iron, containing: 7.2% Ni, 2.6% Mn and 2.4% Cu. Raw castings showed austenitic structure and relatively low hardness (150 HBW) guaranteeing their good machinability. Heat treatment consisted in soaking the castings within 400 to 600°C for 2 to 10 hours followed by air-cooling. In most cases, soaking caused changes in structure and, in consequence, an increase of hardness in comparison to raw castings. The highest hardness and tensile strength was obtained after soaking at 550°C for 6 hours. At the same time, decrease of the parameters related to plasticity of cast iron (elongation and impact strength) was observed. This resulted from the fact that, in these conditions, the largest fraction of fine-acicular ferrite with relatively high hardness (490 HV0.1) was created in the matrix. At lower temperatures and after shorter soaking times, hardness and tensile strength were lower because of smaller degree of austenite transformation. At higher temperatures and after longer soaking times, fine-dispersive ferrite was produced. That resulted in slightly lower material hardness.
High-tin bronzes are used for church bells and concert bells (carillons). Therefore, beside their decorative value, they should also offer other functional properties, including their permanence and good quality of sound. The latter is highly influenced by the structure of bell material, i.e. mostly by the presence of internal porosity which interferes with vibration of the bell waist and rim, and therefore should be eliminated. The presented investigations concerning the influence of tin content ranging from 20 to 24 wt% on mechanical properties of high-tin bronzes allowed to prove the increase in hardness of these alloys with simultaneous decrease in the tensile and the impact strengths (Rm and KV, respectively) for the increased tin content. Fractures of examined specimens, their porosity and microstructures were also assessed to explain the observed regularities. A reason of the change in the values of mechanical properties was revealed to be the change in the shape of α-phase crystals from dendritic to acicular one, and generation of grain structure related to the increased Sn content in the alloy.
The article presents results of pitting corrosion studies of selected silicon cast irons. The range of studies included low, medium and high silicon cast iron. The amount of alloying addition (Si) in examined cast irons was between 5 to 25 %. Experimental melts of silicon cast irons [1-3] were conducted in Department of Foundry of Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice and pitting corrosion resistance tests were performed in Faculty of Biomedical Engineering in Department of Biomaterials and Medical Devices Engineering of Silesian University of Technology in Zabrze. In tests of corrosion resistance the potentiostat VoltaLab PGP201 was used. Results obtained in those research complement the knowledge about the corrosion resistance of iron alloys with carbon containing Si alloying addition above 17 % [4-6]. Obtained results were supplemented with metallographic examinations using scanning electron microscopy. The analysis of chemical composition for cast irons using Leco spectrometer was done and the content of alloying element (silicon) was also determined using the gravimetric method in the laboratory of the Institute of Welding in Gliwice. The compounds of microstructure were identify by X-ray diffraction.
Using the available analytical methods, including the determination of chemical composition using wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescent spectroscopy technique and phase composition determined using X-ray diffraction, microstructural observations in a highresolution scanning microscope equipped with an X-ray microanalysis system as well as determination of characteristic softening and sintering temperatures using high-temperature microscope, the properties of particular chromite sands were defined. For the study has been typed reference sand with chemical properties, physical and thermal, treated as standard, and the sands of the regeneration process and the grinding process. Using these kinds of sand in foundries resulted in the occurrence of the phenomenon of the molding mass sintering. Impurities were identified and causes of sintering of a moulding sand based on chromite sand were characterized. Next, research methods enabling a quick evaluation of chromite sand suitability for use in the preparation of moulding sands were selected.
The present work, presented the study of effect of different inoculants on impact toughness in High Chromium Cast Iron. The molds were pouring in industrial conditions and samples were tested in laboratory in Faculty of Foundry Engineering at AGH. Seven samples were tested - one reference sample, three with different addition of Fe-Ti, and three with different addition of Al. The samples were subjected to impact toughness on Charpy hammer and the hardness test. The presented investigations indicate that for the each inoculant there is an optimal addition at which the sample obtained the highest value of impact toughness. For the Fe-Ti it is 0.66% and for Al is 0.17%. Of all the examined inoculants best results were obtained at a dose of 0.66% Fe-Ti. Titanium is a well-known as a good modifier but very interesting results gives the aluminum. Comparing the results obtained for the Fe-Ti and Al can be seen that in the case of aluminum hardness is more stable. The hardness of all samples is around 40-45 HRC, which is not high for this type of cast iron. Therefore, in future studies it is planned to carry out the heat treatment procedure that may improves hardness.
Railway buffers during the operation are staying in almost permanent contact with each other, creating friction node in the point of contact of two railway buffer heads. In consequence of overcoming track curves, turnouts and unevenness of track, the railway buffer heads moves relative to each other causing friction, which results in its wear. When the wear is excessive, it might be a reason to withdrawn vehicle from service, it causes flattening of buffer head, and in consequence its abnormal cooperation. To avoid this phenomenon the buffer heads should be covered with graphitized grease, but this method has many disadvantages. Accordingly, it was found that it would be beneficial to cover the buffer head with bronze using laser cladding. In this article the metallographic and mechanical analysis of the newly created top layer of railway buffer head are presented. In article the results from tribological tests conducted on Amsler test bench are also presented. Based on test results described in article concluded that the layer of bronze coat on working surface of railway buffer head can be beneficial from operational point of view.
In the paper, a research on effects of baking temperature on chromite sand base of moulding sands bonded with sodium silicate is presented. Pure chromite sand and its chromite-based moulding sand prepared with use of sodium silicate were subjected to heating within 100 to 1200 °C. After cooling-down, changes of base grains under thermal action were determined. Chromite moulding sand was prepared with use of 0.5 wt% of domestic made, unmodified sodium silicate (water-glass) grade 145. After baking at elevated temperatures, creation of rough layer was observed on grain surfaces, of both pure chromite sand and that used as base of a moulding sand. Changes of sand grains were evaluated by scanning microscopy and EDS analyses. It was found that changes on grain surfaces are of laminar nature. The observed layer is composed of iron oxide (II) that is one of main structural components of chromite sand. In order to identify changes in internal structure of chromite sand grains, polished sections were prepared of moulding sand hardened with microwaves and baked at elevated temperatures. Microscopic observations revealed changes in grains structure in form of characteristically crystallised acicular particles with limited magnesium content, intersecting at various angles. EDS analysis showed that these particles are composed mostly of chromium oxide (III) and iron oxide (II). The temperature above that the a.m. changes are observed in both chromite-based moulding sand and in pure chromite sand. The observed phenomena were linked with hardness values and mass of this sand.
The aim of this study is to design and implement a computer system, which will allow the semantic cataloging and data retrieval in the field of cast iron processing. The intention is to let the system architecture allow for consideration of data on various processing techniques based on the information available or searched by a potential user. This is achieved by separating the system code from the knowledge of the processing operations or from the chemical composition of the material being processed. This is made possible by the creation and subsequent use of formal knowledge representation in the form of ontology. So, any use of the system is associated with the use of ontologies, either as an aid for the cataloging of new data, or as an indication of restrictions imposed on the data which draw user attention. The use of formal knowledge representation also allows consideration of semantic meaning, a consequence of which may be, for example, returning all elements in subclasses of the searched process class or material grade.
In spite of the fact that in most applications, magnesium alloys are intended for operation in environments with room temperature, these alloys are subject to elevated temperature and oxidizing atmosphere in various stages of preparation (casting, welding, thermal treatment). At present, the studies focus on development of alloys with magnesium matrix, intended for plastic forming. The paper presents results of studies on oxidation rate of WE43 and ZRE1 magnesium foundry alloys in dry and humidified atmosphere of N2+1%O2. Measurements of the oxidation rate were carried out using a Setaram thermobalance in the temperature range of 350-480°C. Corrosion products were analyzed by SEM-SEI, BSE and EDS. It was found that the oxide layer on the WE43 alloy has a very good resistance to oxidation. The high protective properties of the layer should be attributed to the presence of yttrium in this alloy. On the other hand, a porous, two-layer scale with a low adhesion to the substrate forms on the ZRE1 alloy. The increase in the sample mass in dry gas is lower than that in humidified gas.
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 gas porosity is one of the most serious problems in the casting of aluminum. There are several degassing methods that have been studied. During smelting of aluminum, the intermetallic compound (IMC) may be formed at the interface between molten aluminum and solid steel of crucible furnace lining. In this study, the effect of degassing treatment on the formations of IMC has been investigated. The rectangular substrate specimens were immersed in a molten aluminum bath. The holding times of the substrate immersions were in the range from 300 s to 1500 s. Two degassing treatments, argon degassing and hexachloroethane tablet degassing, were conducted to investigate their effect on the IMC formation. The IMC was examined under scanning electron microscope with EDX attachment. The thickness of the IMC layer increased with increasing immersion time for all treatments. Due to the high content of hydrogen, substrate specimens immersed in molten aluminum without degasser had IMC layer which was thicker than others. Argon degassing treatment was more effective than tablet degassing to reduce the IMC growth. Furthermore, the hard and brittle phase of IMC, FeAl3, was formed dominantly in specimens immersed for 900 s without degasser while in argon and tablet degasser specimens, it was formed partially.
The aim of research was creation of a furnace for aluminum alloys smelting “in a liquid bath” in order to reduce metal loss. In the paper, the author demonstrates the results of research on smelting of aluminum alloys in a shaft-reverberatory furnace designed by the author. It has been shown that smelting aluminum alloy in a liquid bath was able to significantly reduce aluminum loss and that shaft-reverberatory design provided high efficiency and productivity along with lower energy costs. Ensuring continuous operation of the liquid bath and superheating chamber, which tapped alloy with the required texture, was achieved by means of the optimal design of partition between them. The optimum section of the connecting channels between the liquid bath of smelting and the superheating chamber has been theoretically substantiated and experimentally confirmed. The author proposed a workable shaft-reverberatory furnace for aluminum alloys smelting, providing solid charge melting in a liquid bath.