Core sands for blowing processes, belong to these sands in which small amount of the applied binding material has the ability of covering the sand matrix surface in a way which - at relatively small coating thickness - allows to achieve the high strength. Although the deciding factor constitute, in this aspect, strength properties of a binder, its viscosity and ability to moisten the matrix surface, the essential meaning for the strength properties of the prepared moulding sand and the mould has the packing method of differing in sizes sand grains with the coating of the binding material deposited on their surfaces. The knowledge of the influence of the compaction degree of grains forming the core on the total contact surface area can be the essential information concerning the core strength. Forecasting the strength properties of core sands, at known properties of the applied chemically hardened binder and the quartz matrix, requires certain modifications of the existing theoretical models. They should be made more realistic with regard to assumptions concerning grain sizes composition of quartz sands and the packing structure deciding on the active surface area of the contacts between grains of various sizes and - in consequence - on the final strength of cores.
The paper presents results of initial research on the possibility of applying microwave radiation in an innovative process of making casting moulds from silica sand, where gypsum CaSO4∙2H2O was acting as a binding material. In the research were compared strengths and technological properties of moulding mixture subjected to: natural bonding process at ambient temperature or natural curing with additional microwave drying or heating with the use of microwaves immediately after samples were formed. Used in the research moulding sands, in which dry constituents i.e. sand matrix and gypsum were mixed in the ratio: 89/11. On the basis of the results of strength tests which were obtained by various curing methods, beneficial effect of using microwaves at 2.45 GHz for drying up was observed after 1, 2 and 5 hours since moisture sandmix was formed. Applying the microwaves for hardening just after forming the samples guarantees satisfactory results in the obtained mechanical parameters. In addition, it has been noted that, from a technological and economic point of view, drying the silica sand with gypsum binder in microwave field can be an alternative to traditional molding sand technologies.
Moulding sands containing sodium silicate (water-glass) belong to the group of porous mixture with low resistance to increased humidity. Thanks to hydrophilic properties of hardened or even overheated binder, possible is application of effective methods of hydrous reclamation consisting in its secondary hydration. For the same reason (hydrophilia of the binder), moulds and foundry cores made of high-silica moulding sands with sodium silicate are susceptible to the action of components of atmospheric air, including the contained steam. This paper presents results of a research on the effect of (relative) humidity on mechanical and technological properties of microwave-hardened moulding mixtures. Specimens of the moulding sand containing 1.5 wt% of sodium water-glass with module 2.5 were subjected, in a laboratory climatic chamber, to long-term action of steam contained in the chamber atmosphere. Concentration of water in atmospheric air was stabilized for 28 days (672 h) according to the relative humidity parameter that was ca. 40%, 60% and 80% at constant temperature 20 °C. In three cycles of the examinations, the specimens were taken out from the chamber every 7 days (168 h) and their mechanical and technological parameters were determined. It was found on the grounds of laboratory measurements that moulds and cores hardened with microwaves are susceptible to action of atmospheric air and presence of water (as steam) intensifies action of the air components on glassy film of sodium silicate. Microwave-hardened moulding sands containing sodium silicate may be stored on a longterm basis in strictly determined atmospheric conditions only, at reduced humidity. In spite of a negative effect of steam contained in the air, the examined moulding mixtures maintain a part of their mechanical and technological properties, so the moulds and foundry cores stored in specified, controlled conditions could be still used in manufacture.
The effects of silica additive (Poraver) on selected properties of BioCo3 binder in form of an aqueous poly(sodium acrylate) and dextrin (PAANa/D) binder were determined. Based on the results of the thermoanalytical studies (TG-DTG, FTIR, Py-GC/MS), it was found that the silica additive results in the increase of the thermostability of the BioCo3 binder and its contribution does not affect the increase in the level of emissions of organic destruction products. Compounds from group of aromatic hydrocarbons are only generated in the third set temperature range (420-838°C). The addition of silicate into the moulding sand with BioCo3 causes also the formation of a hydrogen bonds network with its share in the microwave radiation field and they are mainly responsible for maintaining the cross-linked structures in the mineral matrix system. As a consequence, the microwave curing process in the presence of Poraver leads to improved strength properties of the moulding sand (���� �� ). The addition of Poraver's silica to moulding sand did not alter the permeability of the moulding sand samples, and consequently reduced their friability. Microstructure investigations (SEM) of microwave-cured samples have confirmed that heterogeneous sand grains are bonded to one another through a binder film (bridges).