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 paper presents the issue of synthetic cast iron production in the electric induction furnace exclusively on the steel scrap base. Silicon carbide and synthetic graphite were used as carburizers. The carburizers were introduced with solid charge or added on the liquid metal surface. The chemical analysis of the produced cast iron, the carburization efficiency and microstructure features were presented in the paper. It was stated that ferrosilicon can be replaced by silicon carbide during the synthetic cast iron melting process. However, due to its chemical composition (30% C and 70% Si) which causes significant silicon content in iron increase, the carbon deficit can be partly compensated by the carburizer introduction. Moreover it was shown that the best carbon and silicon assimilation rate is obtained where the silicon carbide is being introduced together with solid charge. When it is thrown onto liquid alloy surface the efficiency of the process is almost two times less and the melting process lasts dozen minutes long. The microstructure of the cast iron produced with the silicon carbide shows more bulky graphite flakes than inside the microstructure of cast iron produced on the pig iron base.
Foundry technologists use their own style of gating system designing. Most of their patterns are caused by experience. The designs differ from plant to plant and give better or worse results. This shows that the theory of gating systems is not brought into general use sufficiently and therefore not applied in practise very often. Hence, this paper describes the theory and practical development of one part of gating systems - sprue base for automated horizontal moulding lines used for iron castings. Different geometries of sprue bases with gating system and casting were drawn in Solid Edge ST9. The metal flow through the gating systems was then simulated with use of MAGMA Express 220.127.116.11, and the results were achieved. The quality of flow was considered in a few categories: splashes, air entrapment, vortex generation and air contact. The economical aspect (weight of runner) was also taken under consideration. After quantitative evaluation, the best shape was chosen and optimised in other simulations with special attention on its impact on filling velocity and mould erosion. This design (a sprue base with notch placed in drag and cope) is recommended to be used in mass production iron foundries to reduce oxide creation in liquid metal and especially to still metal stream to improve filtration.