Ablation casting is a technological process in which the increased cooling rate causes microstructure refinement, resulting in improved mechanical properties of the final product. This technology is particularly suitable for the manufacture of castings with intricate shapes and thin walls. Currently, the ablation casting process is not used in the Polish industry. This article presents the results of strength tests carried out on moulding sands based on hydrated sodium silicate hardened in the Floster S technology, intended for ablation casting of the AlSi7Mg (AK7) aluminium alloy. When testing the bending and tensile strengths of sands, parameters such as binder and hardener content were taken into account. The sand mixtures were tested after 24h hardening at room temperature. The next stage of the study describes the course of the ablation casting process, starting with the manufacture of foundry mould from the selected moulding mixture and ending in tests carried out on the ready casting to check the surface quality, structure and mechanical properties. The results were compared with the parallel results obtained on a casting gravity poured into the sand mould and solidifying in a traditional way at ambient temperature.
The aim of this study is to demonstrate the possibility of using moulds made from the environmentally friendly sands with hydrated sodium silicate in modified ablation casting. The ablation casting technology is primarily intended for castings with diversified wall thickness and complex shapes made in sand moulds. The article presents the effect of binder content and hardening time on the bending strength Rg u of moulding sands with binders based on hydrated sodium silicate hardened by microwave technology. The aim of the research was to develop an optimal sand composition that would provide the strength necessary to make a mould capable of withstanding the modified ablation casting process. At the same time, the sand composition should guarantee the susceptibility of the mould to the destructive action of the ablation medium, which in this case is water. Tests have shown that microwave hardening provides satisfactory moulds’ strength properties even at a low binder content in the sand mixture.