Ablation casting is a technological process in which the increased cooling rate causes microstructure refinement, resulting in improved mechanical properties of the final product. This technology is particularly suitable for the manufacture of castings with intricate shapes and thin walls. Currently, the ablation casting process is not used in the Polish industry. This article presents the results of strength tests carried out on moulding sands based on hydrated sodium silicate hardened in the Floster S technology, intended for ablation casting of the AlSi7Mg (AK7) aluminium alloy. When testing the bending and tensile strengths of sands, parameters such as binder and hardener content were taken into account. The sand mixtures were tested after 24h hardening at room temperature. The next stage of the study describes the course of the ablation casting process, starting with the manufacture of foundry mould from the selected moulding mixture and ending in tests carried out on the ready casting to check the surface quality, structure and mechanical properties. The results were compared with the parallel results obtained on a casting gravity poured into the sand mould and solidifying in a traditional way at ambient temperature.
This article proposes to use abrasive waterjet cutting (AWJ) for deflashing, deburring and similar finishing operations in casting. The basic requirements concerning the dimensional accuracy and surface texture of cast components are not met if visible surface flaws are detected. The experiments focused on the removal of external flash from elements made of EN-GJL-150 cast iron. The method employed for finishing was abrasive waterjet cutting. The tests were carried out using an APW 2010BB waterjet cutting machine. The form profiles before and after flash removal were determined with a Taylor Hobson PGI 1200 contact profiler. A Nikon AZ100 optical microscope was applied to observe and measure the changes in the flash height and width. The casting surface after finishing was smooth, without characteristic sharp, rough edges that occur in the cutting of objects with a considerable thickness. It should be emphasized that this method does not replace precise cutting operations. Yet, it can be successfully used to finish castings for which lower surface quality is required. An undoubted advantage of waterjet cutting is no effect of high temperature as is the case with plasma, laser or conventional cutting. This process is also easy to automate; one tool is needed to perform different finishing operations in order to obtain the desired dimensions, both internal and external.
The formation of oxide film on the surface of aluminium melts, i.e. bifilms, are known to be detrimental when they are incorporated into the cast part. These defects causes premature fractures under stress, or aid porosity formation. In this work, Al-12 Si alloy was used to cast a step mould under two conditions: as-received and degassed. In addition, 10 ppi filters were used in the mould in order to prevent bifilm intrusion into the cast part. Reduced pressure test samples were collected for bifilm index measurements. Samples were machined into standard bars for tensile testing. It was found that there was a good agreement with the bifilm index and mechanical properties.
One way to ensure the required technical characteristics of castings is the strict control of production parameters affecting the quality of the finished products. If the production process is improperly configured, the resulting defects in castings lead to huge losses. Therefore, from the point of view of economics, it is advisable to use the methods of computational intelligence in the field of quality assurance and adjustment of parameters of future production. At the same time, the development of knowledge in the field of metallurgy, aimed to raise the technical level and efficiency of the manufacture of foundry products, should be followed by the development of information systems to support production processes in order to improve their effectiveness and compliance with the increasingly more stringent requirements of ergonomics, occupational safety, environmental protection and quality. This article is a presentation of artificial intelligence methods used in practical applications related to quality assurance. The problem of control of the production process involves the use of tools such as the induction of decision trees, fuzzy logic, rough set theory, artificial neural networks or case-based reasoning.
The purpose of this paper was testing suitability of the time-series analysis for quality control of the continuous steel casting process in production conditions. The analysis was carried out on industrial data collected in one of Polish steel plants. The production data concerned defective fractions of billets obtained in the process. The procedure of the industrial data preparation is presented. The computations for the time-series analysis were carried out in two ways, both using the authors’ own software. The first one, applied to the real numbers type of the data has a wide range of capabilities, including not only prediction of the future values but also detection of important periodicity in data. In the second approach the data were assumed in a binary (categorical) form, i.e. the every heat(melt) was labeled as ‘Good’ or ‘Defective’. The naïve Bayesian classifier was used for predicting the successive values. The most interesting results of the analysis include good prediction accuracies obtained by both methodologies, the crucial influence of the last preceding point on the predicted result for the real data time-series analysis as well as obtaining an information about the type of misclassification for binary data. The possibility of prediction of the future values can be used by engineering or operational staff with an expert knowledge to decrease fraction of defective products by taking appropriate action when the forthcoming period is identified as critical.