The article presents research results of physico-chemical and environmental issues for the dust generated during dedusting of the installation for the processing and preparation of moulding sand with bentonite. Particular attention was paid to the content of heavy metals and emission of gases from the BTEX group, which is one of the determinants of the moulding sands harmfulness for the environment. The analysis of heavy metals in the test samples indicate that there is an increase of the content of all metals in the dust compared to the initial mixture of bentonite. The most significant (almost double) increase observed for zinc is probably related to the adsorption of this element on the dust surface by contact with the liquid metal. The study showed, that dust contained more than 20% of the amount of montmorillonite and had a loss on ignition at a similar level. The addition of 1% of dust to the used moulding sand results in almost 30% increase in the total volume of gases generated in casting processes and nearly 30% increase of the benzene emission.
The spectroscopic FT-IR and FT-Raman methods allowed to identify the cross-linking process of the aqueous composition of poly(acrylic acid)/sodium salt of carboxymethyl starch (PAA/CMS-Na) applied as a binder for moulding sands (as a novel group binders BioCo). The cross-linking was performed by physical agent, applying the UV-radiation. The results of structural studies (IR, Raman) confirm the overlapping of the process of cross-linking polymer composition PAA/CMS-Na in UV radiation. Taking into account the ingredients and structure of the polymeric composition can also refer to a curing process in a binder - mineral matrix mixture. In the system of bindermineral matrix under the influence of ultraviolet radiation is also observed effect of binding. However, the bonding process does not occur in the entire volume of the investigated system, but only on the surface, which gives some possibilities for application in the use of UV curing surface of cores, and also to cure sand moulds in 3D printing technology
The intercalation into interlayer spaces of montmorillonite (MMT), obtained from natural calcium bentonite, was investigated. Modification of MMT was performed by the poly(acrylic acid-co-maleic acid) sodium salt (co-MA/AA). Efficiency of modification of MMT by sodium salt co-MA/AA was assessed by the infrared spectroscopic methods (FTIR), X-ray diffraction method (XRD) and spectrophotometry UV-Vis. It was found, that MMT can be relatively simply modified with omitting the preliminary organofilisation – by introducing hydrogel chains of maleic acid-acrylic acid copolymer in a form of sodium salt into interlayer galleries. A successful intercalation by sodium salt of the above mentioned copolymer was confirmed by the powder X-ray diffraction (shifting the reflex(001) originated from the montmorillonite phase indicating an increase of interlayer distances) as well as by the infrared spectroscopy (occurring of vibrations characteristic for the introduced organic macromolecules). The performed modification causes an increase of the ion exchange ability which allows to assume that the developed hybrid composite: MMT-/maleic acid-acrylic acid copolymer (MMT-co- MA/AA) can find the application as a binding material in the moulding sands technology. In addition, modified montmorillonites indicate an increased ability for ion exchanges at higher temperatures (TG-DTG, UV-Vis). MMT modified by sodium salt of maleic acid-acrylic acid copolymer indicates a significant shifting of the loss of the ion exchange ability in the direction of the higher temperature range (500–700°C).