Production processes at KGHM are complex and require from customers products of constantly higher quality at relatively lowest prices. Such situation results in an increase of the importance of optimisation of processes. As products and technologies change rapidly, technologists at the plant in Głogów have less time to achieve optimisation basing on own experiences. Analysing a particular process, we can e.g. detect occurring disturbances, find factors having an influence on quality problems, select optimal settings or compare various production procedures. Analysis of the course of production process is the basis of process optimisation. One optimisation in case of the process of decopperisation of flash slag can be a change of a technological additive to a less energy-consuming one, and its final result can be an improvement of the productivity index, a change of the relation between final effects and born expenditures, as well as optimisation of production costs.
With increasing technology development, an increasing emphasis is placed on the precision of products, but cannot be guaranteed without a stable production process. To ensure the stability of the production process, it is necessary to monitor it in detail, find its critical locations and eliminate or at least control it. With such a precise manufacturing method as investment casting, such a process is a must. This paper therefore deals with monitoring the production process of wax models of large turbine blades using infrared thermography. The aim was to evaluate the critical locations of this production and to propose recommendations for their elimination or, at the very least, significant mitigation of their impact on the final quality of the large turbine blade casting.
Mechanical reclamation process of spent moulding sands generate large amounts dusts containing mainly rubbed spent binding agents and quartz dust. The amounts of post-reclamation dusts, depending of the reclamation system efficiency and reclaim dedusting system, can reach 5 -10% in relation to the total reclaimed moulding sand. This dust due to the high content of the organic substances is a threat to the environment and therefore requires the storage on landfills specially adapted for this type of waste. On the other hand, the presence of organic substances causes that these dusts have relatively high energy values that could be used. However, at present there is no coherent, environmentally friendly concept for the management of this type of dust. The paper presents the results of tests of thermal utilization the dusts (as a source of energy) were carried out at AGH University of Science and Technology. Thermal utilization of dusts was carried out in the co-burning with carbon carriers process or in individual burning (Patent PL 227878 B1 and patent application PL - 411 902).
Inconel 713C alloy belongs to the group of materials with high application potential in the aerospace industry. This nickel alloy has excellent features such as high strength, good surface stability, high creep and corrosion resistance. The paper presents the results of metallographic examinations of a base material and padding welds made by laser beam on the Inconel 713C alloy. The tests were made on precisely cast test plates imitating low - pressure turbine blades dedicated for the aerospace industry. Observations of the macro- and microstructure of the padding welds, heat-affected zone and base material indicate, that the Inconel 713C alloy should be classified as a hard-to-weld material. In the investigated joint, cracking of the material is disclosed mainly in the heat-affected zone and at the melted zone interface, where pad weld crystals formed on partially melted grains. The results show that phases rich with chromium and molybdenum were formed by high temperature during welding process, which was confirmed by EDS analysis of chemical composition.
Secondary or multiple remelted alloys are common materials used in foundries. For secondary (recycled) Al-Si-Cu alloys, the major problem is the increased iron presence. Iron is the most common impurity and with presence of other elements in alloy creates the intermetallic compounds, which may negatively affect the structure. The paper deals with effect of multiple remelting on the microstructure of the AlS9iCu3 alloy with increased iron content to about 1.4 wt. %. The evaluation of the microstructure is focused on the morphology of iron-base intermetallic phases in caste state, after the heat treatment (T5) and after natural aging. The occurrence of the sludge phases was also observed. From the obtained results can be concluded that the multiple remelting leads to change of chemical composition, changes in the final microstructure and also increases sludge phases formation. The use of heat treatment T5 led to a positive change of microstructure, while the effect of natural aging is beneficial only to the 3rd remelting.
A common problem encountered in hydraulic valves is a progressing deterioration of tightness of their water flow cutting-off seats. The seats are provided usually with a copper-alloy insert joined mechanically with cast-iron valve housing. The problem of unreliability of such joints can be solved by providing surface of the seat with a coating, deposited with the use of HVOF method and resistant to abrasive and cavitation wear. The tests were carried out for a sealing-draining seat insert made of CuZn39Pb2Al brass used to date and a specimen taken from the cast-iron valve housing which was the substrate for a plasma-sprayed coating of powder containing 86.1% Cr, 7.2% Ni, and 6.7% C. The coating, 345 ± 15 μm thick, was characterized with good quality of bonding with cast-iron substrate and high compactness of the material. The cavitation wear test on materials used in the study were carried out with the use of Vibra-Cell ultrasonic liquid processor (Sonics) equipped with a piezoelectric probe operating at the frequency of 20 kHz. Based on profilograms taken along a line crossing centers of cavitation craters, measurements of the height parameter Rt, and microscopic observations of surfaces it has been found that the coating plasma-sprayed onto substrate of nodular cast iron demonstrated higher resistance to cavitation compared to copper-alloy inserts used so far in cast-iron hydraulic valves. Cavitation craters on the material used typically for valve seats to date were more distinctly outlined and deeper compared to craters observed on the coating. Larger were also sizes of local tear-outs which resulted in larger difference between the peaks line and the valleys line.
The paper deals with the issue of potential for improvement of resistance of wood chip fine grinders to abrasive wear by providing them with WCCoCr coating applied with the use of atmospheric plasma spraying (APS). The study focused on establishing parameters of the technological process of spraying a 250–270 μm thick coating onto surface of ductile cast iron castings used to date as grinder linings. The presented data include results of microstructure examination, chemical composition analysis, HV hardness measurements, and scratch tests for both previous and new variant of linings. The obtained scratch test results indicate that the material of the coating is characterized with definitely lower susceptibility to scratching. The scratch made on coating was 75–84 μm wide and 7.2–8.2 μm deep, while the scratch on cast iron was distinctly wider (200–220 μm) and deeper (8.5–12.8 μm). In case of cast iron, the range of variability in scratch width and depth was definitely larger. This can be explained with large difference in hardness of individual components of microstructure of cast iron and significantly larger plastic deformation of cast iron compared to the coating revealed in the course of indenter motion over surfaces of the two materials. It has been found that application of WCCoCr coating offered better resistance of lining surfaces to scratching which can be considered a rationale for undertaking in-service tests.
The article presents the investigations of 7xxx aluminium alloys performed by the method of thermal and derivational analysis. The studies made it possible to identify the effect of the changes in the Cu concentration, the total Zn and Mg weight concentrations and the Zn/Mg weight concentration ratio on their crystallization process: the cooling as well as the kinetics and dynamics of the thermal process of cooling and crystallization. Metallographic studies were performed on the microstructure of the examined alloys and their HB hardness was measured. The evaluation of the changes was presented in reference to the model alloys EN AW-7003 and EN AW-7010, whose microstructure under the conditions of thermodynamic equilibrium are described by the phase diagrams: Al-Zn-Mg and Al-Zn-Mg-Cu. The performed investigations confirmed that the hardness HB of the examined alloys is mainly determined by the reinforcement of the matrix αAl by the introduced alloy additions and the presence of phases Θ(Al2Cu) and S(Al2CuMg) rich in copper, as well as η(MgZn2), in the examined alloys' microstructure. The increase of the amount of intermetallic phases precipitated in the microstructure of the examined alloys is caused, beside Cu, by the characteristic change of Zn wt. concentration and Mg. It was proposed that the process of one-stage thermal treatment of the examined alloys be introduced at a temperature of up to tJ-20 °C, which will prevent the exceedance of the solidus temperature.
The use of environmentally friendly inorganic binders and new technologies for cores production is widely discussed topic in recent years. This paper contains information about new hot curing process for core making with alumina-silicate based inorganic binders – geopolymers. Main differences between hot cured geopolymers and hot cured alkali silicate based inorganic binders are discussed. The main objective of this research paper was to investigate basic technological properties of geopolymer binder system such as strength, compaction, storage ability and knock-out properties. For this purpose, three mixtures with different powder additives were prepared and tested in laboratory conditions using specific methods. Strength properties evaluation showed sufficient levels as well as knock-out properties measurement, even with additives B and C originally designed for the use with alkali silicate based two component binder systems. Additives B and C were considered compatible with geopolymer binders after casting production trial results. Storage ability of geopolymers seems to be more sensitive than of alkali silicate based binders in the same tested conditions. Mixtures with geopolymer binder showed 20% more decrease of strength compared to alkali silicate binders after 24 hours in conditions of 25 °C and 65 %RH.
In the family of iron-based alloys, ductile iron enjoys the highest rate of development, finding application in various industries. Ductile iron or the cast iron with spheroidal graphite can be manufactured by various methods. One of them is the Inmold spheroidization process characterized by different technological solutions, developed mainly to increase the process efficiency. So far, however, none of the solutions has been based on the use of a reactor made outside the casting mould cavity. The method of spheroidization inside the casting mould using a reaction chamber developed at the Foundry Research Institute is an innovative way of cast iron treatment. The innovative character of this method consists in the use of properly designed and manufactured reactor placed in the casting mould cavity. Owing to this solution, the Inmold process can be carried out in moulds with both horizontal and vertical parting plane. The study presents the results of examinations of the microstructure of graphite precipitates and metal matrix of castings after spheroidization carried out by the Inmold process using a reactor and mould with vertical parting plane. Special pattern assembly was made for the tests to reproduce plates with wall thicknesses of 3; 5; 7; 10; 20 and 30 mm. The content of residual magnesium was determined for all tested castings, while for castings of plates with a wall thickness equal to or larger than 10 mm, testing of mechanical properties was additionally performed.
The constantly developing and the broadly understood automation of production processes in foundry industry, creates both new working conditions - better working standards, faster and more accurate production - and new demands for previously used materials as well as opportunities to generate new foundry defects. Those high requirements create the need to develop further the existing elements of the casting production process. This work focuses on mechanical and thermal deformation of moulding sands prepared in hot-box technology. Moulding sands hardened in different time periods were tested immediately after hardening and after cooling. The obtained results showed that hardening time period in the range 30-120 sec does not influence the mechanical deformation of tested moulding sands significantly. Hot distortion tests proved that moulding sands prepared in hot-box technology can be characterized with stable thermal deformation up to the temperature of circa 320oC.
The paper presents the theory of constraints (TOC) as a method used to improve results in a complex, multiplants organization. In the article the assumptions of this method has been presented as well as iterative approach concerning how to launch it in practice. Main indicators for organizational effectiveness assessment have also been presented. The maximization of production assets utilization is a key issue for competitive organization in the changing market conditions. An appropriate usage of the theory of constraints enables efficient allocation of financial assets among particular plants within a capital group. An application of a method has been presented based on throughput analyses and its influence to improve financial results of one plant organization and synergy effect in multiplants organization. The theory of constraints can be used in almost every kind of business sectors, among them are metal and foundry industries. It allows to be implemented in production organizations as well as in any other company’s profiles. Everywhere the constraint has been defined there is a chance to achieve an improvement following the presented method. The examples have been taken from the casting plants which use continuous and mold casting technologies. The examples show that TOC approach can be successfully employed as the improvement tool of foundries’ performances.
The results of studies presented in this article are an example of the research activity of the authors related to lead-free alloys. The studies covered binary SnZn90 and SnZn95 lead-free alloys, including their microstructure and complex mechanical characteristics. The microstructure was examined by both light microscopy (LM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The identification of alloy chemical composition in micro-areas was performed by SEM/EDS method. As regards light microscopy, the assessment was of both qualitative and quantitative character. The determination of the geometrical parameters of microstructure was based on an original combinatorial method using phase quantum theory. Comprehensive characterization of mechanical behavior with a focus on fatigue life of alloys was performed by means of the original modified low cycle fatigue method (MLCF) adapted to the actually available test machine. The article discusses the fatigue life of binary SnZn90 and SnZn95 alloys in terms of their microstructure. Additionally, the benefits resulting from the use of the combinatorial method in microstructure examinations and MLCF test in the quick estimation of several mechanical parameters have been underlined.
In this work, the effects of 75 mm thick cast iron, (casting mould YIV) composition (Cu) and heat treatment were investigated on the microstructure and mechanical properties (hardness, elongation, tensile strength, yield strength) of ductile iron castings. As a result of adding Cu, the amount of pearlite is at 80% reduces of amount of ferrite. Normalizing of non-alloy cast iron increases the amount of pearlite to 70%. It also, increases tensile strength (659 MPa) and hardness (248 HB). Studied metallographic crossections were made from the grip sections of the tensile specimens. The structure composition and the characteristics of graphite were determined by computer image analysis. Measurements of graphite of non-alloy cast iron after normalizing and in cooper cast iron indicate the approximate amount of precipitates of graphite and their approximate average diameters. The applied normalizing and the additive alloy (Cu) were established to give comparable mechanical properties and structure of matrix in thick-walled castings.
The results of statistical analysis applied in order to evaluate the effect of the high melting point elements to pressure die cast silumin on its tensile strength Rm, unit elongation A and HB were discussed. The base alloy was silumin with the chemical composition similar to ENAC 46000. To this silumin, high melting point elements such as Cr, Mo, V and W were added. All possible combinations of the additives were used. The content of individual high melting point additives ranged from 0.05 to 0.50%. The tests were carried out on silumin with and without above mentioned elements. The values of Rm, A and HB were determined for all the examined chemical compositions of the silumin. The conducted statistical analysis showed that each of the examined high melting point additives added to the silumin in an appropriate amount could raise the values of Rm, A and HB. To obtain the high tensile strength of Rm = 291 MPa in the tested silumin, the best content of each of the additives should be in the range of 0.05-0.10%. To obtain the highest possible elongation A of about 6.0%, the best content of the additives should be as follows: chromium in the range of 0.05-0.15%, molybdenum 0.05% or 0.15%, vanadium 0.05% and tungsten 0.15%. To obtain the silumin with hardness of 117 HB, chromium, molybdenum and vanadium content should be equal to about 0.05%, and tungsten to about 0.5%.
In the foundry industry, many harmful compounds can be found, which as a result of gradual but long-term exposure to employees bring negative results. One of such compounds is phenol (aromatic organic compound), which its vapours are corrosive to the eyes, the skin, and the respiratory tract. Exposition to this compound also may cause harmful effects on the central nervous system and heart, resulting in dysrhythmia, seizures, and coma. Phenol is a component of many foundry resins, especially used in shell moulds in the form of resincoated sands. In order to identify it, the pyrolysis gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method (Py-GC/MS) was used. The tests were carried out in conditions close to real (shell mould process – temperature 300°C). During the measurement, attention was focused on the appropriate selection of chromatographic analysis conditions in order to best separate the compounds, as it is difficult to separate the phenol and its derivatives. The identification of compounds was based on own standards.
The paper presents the cellular automaton (CA) model for tracking the development of dendritic structure in non-equilibrium solidification conditions of binary alloy. Thermal, diffusion and surface phenomena have been included in the mathematical description of solidification. The methodology for calculating growth velocity of the liquid-solid interface based on solute balance, considering the distribution of the alloy component in the neighborhood of moving interface has been proposed. The influence of solidification front curvature on the equilibrium temperature was determined by applying the Gibbs Thomson approach. Solute and heat transfer equations were solved using the finite difference method assuming periodic boundary conditions and Newton cooling boundary condition at the edges of the system. The solutal field in the calculation domain was obtained separately for solid and liquid phase. Numerical simulations were carried out for the Al-4 wt.% Cu alloy at two cooling rates 15 K/s and 50 K/s. Microstructure images generated on the basis of calculations were compared with actual structures of castings. It was found that the results of the calculations are agreement in qualitative terms with the results of experimental research. The developed model can reproduce many morphological features of the dendritic structure and in particular: generating dendritic front and primary arms, creating, extension and coarsening of secondary branches, interface inhibition, branch fusion, considering the coupled motion and growth interaction of crystals.
The paper presents the results of an investigation of the thermal deformation of moulding sands with an inorganic (geopolymer) binder with a relaxation additive, whose main task is to reduce the final (residual) strength and improves knocking-out properties of moulding sand. The moulding sand without a relaxation additive was the reference point. The research was carried out using the hot-distortion method (DMA apparatus from Multiserw-Morek). The results were combined with linear deformation studies with determination of the linear expansion factor (Netzsch DIL 402C dilatometer). The study showed that the introduction of relaxation additive has a positive effect on the thermal stability of moulding sand by limiting the measured deformation value, in relation to the moulding sand without additive. In addition, a relaxation additive slightly changes the course of the dilatometric curve. Change in the linear dimension of the moulding sand sample with the relaxation additive differs by only 0.05%, in comparison to the moulding sand without additive.
One of the biggest problems for sand casting foundries must be the waste produced from disposable molds. Stricter environmental regulations make it harder to dispose of waste sand, so a truly competitive foundry does no longer only make great products, but also concentrates on a sustainable casting process. While methods for repurposing waste foundry sand are still limited, the internal circulation of such sands proves significant possibilities. This paper will focus on thermal reclamation of foundry sands in a special rotating drum furnace in a central facility to serve several foundries. Thermal reclamation is a process for handling foundry sands in elevated temperatures to combust unwanted substances from reusable base sand. The introduction focuses on background of the Finnish foundry business, the most common sand systems in Finland and their reclaim properties. The experimental part features presentation of the new reclamation plant process and the conducted test runs. The samples collected from each test run have been laboratory tested to assure proper sand quality. The results of this work showed that the reclamation of alkaline phenolic no-bake sands was excellent. Reclamation of green sands did not provide satisfactory results as expected and the reclamation of furan no-bake sands provided mixed results, as the raw material was imperfect to begin with. The most important result of this work is still the successful initiation of a centralized thermal reclamation plant, with the ability to reclaim sands of several foundries. With this all of industrial symbiosis, circular economy and sustainability advanced in Finland, and the future development of this plant provides even further opportunities and a possibility to spread the ideas on a global scale.
Silicon – molybdenum cast iron commonly called SiMo due to its unique properties has becoming more and more interesting engineering material. The history and development of this alloy is relatively long but, due to the significant difficulties during the manufacturing process resulting in the lower final quality than expected, it has not been applied to often in practice. The biggest challenge is its brittleness as a result of the carbides precipitations. During last few years, thanks to the many important researches made and the general foundry technology development, the interest in SiMo iron has been rapidly growing, especially for the castings for heavy duty applications like corrosion, high temperature and wear abrasion resistant parts. In the article the heat treatment attempts to improve the microstructure of SiMo castings has been presented. The goal was to destroy or at least to refine and uniformly distribute the carbides precipitations to improve mechanical properties of the exhaust manifold castings for the cars. The experiments were carried out for the alloy contains approx. 4% Si, 1% Mo and 3.2%C. The range of the research included: hardness measuring, standard mechanical properties and microstructure for as-cast state and after that the subsequent heat treatment process with another properties check. The result of the heat treatment was the elimination of pearlite from the metal matrix. Moreover, the changes of the carbide molybdenum – rich phase morphology were observed. The dispersion of the carbides precipitations in the carbides area was observed. The experiments proved the possibility to control the microstructure and the mechanical properties of the SiMo castings by means of heat treatment but only to some extent.
The essence of ablation casting technology consists in pouring castings in single-use moulds made from the mixture of sand and a watersoluble binder. After pouring the mould with liquid metal, while the casting is still solidifying, the mould destruction (washing out, erosion) takes place using a stream of cooling medium, which in this case is water. This paper focuses on the selection of moulding sands with hydrated sodium silicate for moulds used in the ablation casting. The research is based on the use of Cordis binder produced by the Hüttenes-Albertus Company. It is a new-generation inorganic binder based on hydrated sodium silicate. Its hardening takes place under the effect of high temperature. As part of the research, loose moulding mixtures based on the silica sand with different content of Cordis binder and special Anorgit additive were prepared. The reference material was sand mixture without the additive. The review of literature data and the results of own studies have shown that moulding sand with hydrated sodium silicate hardened by dehydration is characterized by sufficient strength properties to be used in the ablation casting process. Additionally, at the Foundry Research Institute in Krakow, preliminary semi-industrial tests were carried out on the use of Cordis sand technology in the manufacture of moulds for ablation casting. The possibility to use these sand mixtures has been confirmed in terms of both casting surface quality and sand reclamation.
A measuring system was developed for the measurement of ejector forces in the die casting process. When selecting the sensor technology, particular care was taken to ensure that measurements can be taken with a high sampling rate so that the fast-running ejection process can be recorded. For this reason, the system uses piezoelectric force sensors which measure the forces directly at the individual ejector pins. In this way, depending on the number of sensors, it is possible to determine both the individual ejector forces and the total ejector force. The system is expandable and adaptable with regard to the number and position of the sensors and can also be applied to real HPDC components. Automatic triggering of the measurements is also possible. In addition to the measuring system, a device and a method for in-situ calibration of the sensors have also been developed. To test the measuring system, casting experiments were carried out with a real aluminium HPDC aluminium component. The experiments showed that it is possible to measure the ejector forces with sufficient sampling rate and also to observe the process steps of filling, intensification and die opening by means of ejector forces. Experimental setup serves as a basis for future investigations regarding the influencing parameters on the ejection process.
The research described in this contribution is focused on fractographic analysis of the fracture area of newly developed eutectic silumin type AlSi9NiCuMg0.5 (AA 4032), which was developed and patented by a team of staff of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. The paper presents determination of the cause of casting cracks in operating conditions. Fractographic analysis of the fracture area, identification of the structure of the casting, identification of structural components on the surface of the fracture surface and chemical analysis of the material in the area of refraction were performed within the experiment. Al-Si alloys with high specific strength, low density, and good castability are widely used in pressure-molded components for the automotive and aerospace industries. The results shown that the inter-media phases Fe-Al and Fe-Si in aluminium alloys lead to breakage across the entire casting section and a crack that crossed the entire cross section, which was confirmed by EDS analysis.
By the very nature of their work, castings used in furnaces for heat treatment and thermo-chemical treatment are exposed to the effect of many unfavorable factors causing their deformation and cracking, significantly shortening the lifetime. The main source of damage are the micro- and macro-thermal stresses appearing in each cycle. As the cost of furnace instrumentation forms a significant part of the total furnace cost, in designing this type of tooling it is important to develop solutions that delay the damage formation process and thus extend the casting operation time. In this article, two structural modifications introduced to pallets castings to reduce thermal stresses arising at various stages of the cooling process are proposed. The essence of the first modification consists in making technological recesses in the wall connections, while the aim of the second one is to reduce the stiffness of the pallet by placing expanders in the external walls. Using the results of simulation analyses carried out by the finite element method, the impact of both proposed solutions on the level of thermal stresses was evaluated.
This article presents measurements of the thickness of alcohol-based coatings on sand foundry cores and moulds. These coatings were applied using two methods, the dipping method and the painting method. For the purposes of the study, a zircon alcohol-based coating was prepared with three different levels of nominal viscosity; very thin at 10s, average at 20s, and thick at 30s. The coating was applied to a core made of quartz sand and furan resin. The cores were made of sand with three different grain sizes; dL = 0.22 mm – fine sand, dL = 0.33 mm medium sand, and dL = 0.47 mm coarse sand. In the study, the thickness of the coating obtained to the core was measured immediately after application as well as after drying. Additionally, the extent of penetration into the intergranular spaces of the core matrix was measured. On the basis of this study, the impact of the grain size of the core matrix on the thickness of the coating and its penetration into the core was assessed. The thickness of coatings obtained using different application methods was also assessed.
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