The paper presents the use of rapid prototyping technology of three dimensional printing (3DP) to make a prototype shell casting mold. In the first step, for identification purposes, a mold was prepared to enable different alloys to be cast. All molds being cast were designed in a universal CAD environment and printed with the zp151 composite material (Calcium sulfate hemihydrate) with a zb63 binder (2- pyrrolidone). It is designated to be used to prepare colourful models presenting prototypes or casting models and molds. The usefulness of 3DP technology for use with copper alloys, aluminum and zinc was analyzed. The strength of the mold during casting was assumed as a characteristic comparative feature in the material resistance to high temperature, the quality of the resulting casting and its surface roughness. Casting tests were carried out in vacuum – pressure casting. The casting programs applied, significantly increased the quality of castings and enabled precise mold submergence. Significant improvement was noted in the quality compared to the same castings obtained by gravity casting.
The performed examinations concerning the process of filling the plaster ceramic moulds with aluminium alloys allowed to assess the influence of various methods of introducing the metal into the mould cavity on the macro- and microstructure of the obtained experimental castings. The comparison was performed for castings with graded wall thickness made either of EN AC-44000 alloy or of EN AC-46000 alloy, produced either by gravity casting, or by gravity casting with negative pressure generated around the mould (according to the Vacumetal technology), or by counter-gravity casting. It was found that the silicon crystals grow in size with an increase in wall thickness due to the slower cooling and solidification of castings.
The work deals with the influence of change in the filling conditions of the ceramic moulds with plaster binder on the presence of gaseous porosity and the microstructure of the achieved test castings with graded wall thickness. Castings made of EN AC-44000 alloy, produced either by gravity casting, or by gravity casting with negative pressure generated around the mould (according to the Vacumetal technology), or by counter-gravity casting were compared. The results of examinations concerning the density of the produced castings indicate that no significant change in porosity was found. The increased size of silicon crystals was found for the increased wall thicknesses due to the slower cooling and solidification of castings.
The paper presents the results of investigations concerning the influence of negative (relative) pressure in the die cavity of high pressure die casting machine on the porosity of castings made of AlSi9Cu3 alloy. Examinations were carried out for the VertaCast cold chamber vertical pressure die casting machine equipped with a vacuum system. Experiments were performed for three values of the applied gauge pressure: -0.3 bar, -0.5 bar, and -0.7 bar, at constant values of other technological parameters, selected during the formerly carried initial experiments. Porosity of castings was assessed on the basis of microstructure observation and the density measurements performed by the method of hydrostatic weighing. The performed investigation allowed to find out that – for the examined pressure range – the porosity of castings decreases linearly with an increase in the absolute value of negative pressure applied to the die cavity. The negative pressure value of -0.7 bar allows to produce castings exhibiting porosity value less than 1%. Large blowholes arisen probably by occlusion of gaseous phase during the injection of metal into the die cavity, were found in castings produced at the negative pressure value of -0.3 bar. These blowholes are placed mostly in regions of local thermal centres and often accompanied by the discontinuities in the form of interdendritic shrinkage micro-porosity. It was concluded that the high quality AlSi9Cu3 alloy castings able to work in elevated temperatures can be achieved for the absolute value of the negative pressure applied to the die cavity greater than 0.5 bar at the applied set of other parameters of pressure die casting machine work.
The presented work is aimed to deal with the influence of changes in the value of negative (relative) pressure maintained in the die cavity of pressure die casting machine on the surface quality of pressure castings. The examinations were held by means of the modified Vertacast pressure die casting machine equipped with a vacuum system. Castings were produced for the parameters selected on the basis of previous experiments, i.e. for the plunger velocity in the second stage of injection at the level of 4 m/s, the pouring temperature of the alloy equal to 640°C, and the die temperature of 150°C. The examinations were carried on for three selected values of negative gauge pressure: - 0.03, - 0.05, and - 0.07 MPa. The quality of casting was evaluated by comparing the results of the surface roughness measurements performed for randomly selected castings. The surface roughness was measured by means of Hommel Tester T1000. After a series of measurements it was found that the smoothest surface is exhibited by castings produced at negative gauge pressure value of - 0.07 MPa.