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.
In the paper, presented is a research on effectiveness of absorbing electromagnetic waves at frequency 2.45 GHz by unhardened moulding sands prepared of three kinds of high-silica base and a selected grade of sodium silicate. Measurements of power loss of microwave radiation (Pin) expressed by a total of absorbed power (Pabs), output power (Pout) and reflected power (Pref) were carried-out on a stand of semiautomatic microwave slot line. Values of microwave power loss in the rectangular waveguide filled with unhardened moulding sands served for determining effectiveness of microwave heating. Balance of microwave power loss is of technological and economical importance for manufacture of high-quality casting moulds and cores of various shapes and sizes. It was found that relative density influences parameters of power output and power reflected from samples of moulding sand placed in a waveguide. Absorption expressed by the parameter Pabs is not related to granularity of high-silica base: fine, medium and coarse. It was found that the semiautomatic microwave slot line supports evaluation of effectiveness of microwave absorption on the grounds of power loss measurements and enables statistic description of influence of relative density of the sandmix on penetration of electromagnetic waves in unhardened moulding sands.
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).
Investigations were carried out to ensure the granulated blast furnace (GBF) slag as an alternative mould material in foundry industry by assessing the cast products structure property correlations. Sodium silicate-CO2 process was adopted for preparing the moulds. Three types of moulds were made with slag, silica sand individually and combination of these two with 10% sodium silicate and 20 seconds CO2 gassing time. A356 alloy castings were performed on these newly developed slag moulds. The cast products were investigated for its metallography and mechanical properties. Results reveal that cast products with good surface finish and without any defects were produced. Faster heat transfers in slag moulds enabled the cast products with fine and refined grain structured; and also, lower Secondary Dendrite Arm Spacing (SDAS) values were observed than sand mould. Slag mould casting shows improved mechanical properties like hardness, compression, tensile and impact strength compared to sand mould castings. Two types of tensile fracture modes, namely cleavage pattern with flat surfaces representing Al−Si eutectic zone and the areas of broken Fe-rich intermetallic compounds which appear as flower-like morphology was observed in sand mould castings. In contrast, GBF slag mould castings exhibit majority in dimple fracture morphology with traces of cleavage fracture. Charpy impact fractured surfaces of sand mould castings shows both transgranular and intergranular fracture modes. Only intergranular fracture mode was noticed in both GBF slag and mixed mould castings.