In this work, an assessment and comparison of the quality of selected bentonites and bentonite mixtures was made. The samples consisted of available foundry materials used for bonding green sands. Determining the homogeneity degree and specific surface area of the grains allowed us to compare the examined materials and determine their influence on other parameters. On the basis of a thermal analysis of the bentonites or bentonite mixtures, the changes occurring in the sample during its heating were determined. Determining the potential for ion exchange and montmorillonite content enabled us to assess the binding properties of the materials. The preparation of six green sands with different bentonites or bentonite mixtures gave us the opportunity to assess the changes in apparent density, permeability, compressive strength and friability as a function of humidity, and the impact of different materials on the mentioned parameters. Their charts were analyzed, and the molding sand with the addition of bentonite or a bentonite mixture was selected for which these parameters are favorable. On this basis, the best-presented binding material was assessed and selected.
Bentonite is clay rock, which is created by decomposition of vulcanic glass. It is formed from mixture of clay minerals of smectite group, mainly montmorillonite, beidellite and nontronite. Its typical characteristics is, that when in contact with water, it intensively swells. First who used this term was W.C. Knight in 1887. The rock had been named after town Fort Benton in American state Montana. For its interesting technological properties and whiteness has wide technological use. Bentonite is selectively mined and according to its final use separately modified, which results in high quality product with specific parameters. In the beginning of 21st century belong bentonite moulding mixtures in foundry to always perspective. Mainly increased ratio of ductile cast iron castings production cannot be ensured without the need of quality bentonite. Great area of scope remains to further research of moulding materials, which return also to bentonite producers.
Casting quality depends on many factors including the quality of the input materials, technology, material securing and last but not least, the mould into which the casting is casted. By pouring into a single-shot mould, based mainly on 1st generation binders, is is a very important factor. Basically, a bentonite mixture represents either a three- or four-component system, but each component of the system is a heterogeneous substance. This heterogeneity punctuates mainly a non-stationary heat field, presented throughout the whole process of the casting production. The most important component is a binder and in the case of first generation binders mostly bentonites are used - clays that contain minimum of 80% of montmorillonite