Investment casting combined with the additive manufacturing technology enables production of the thin-walled elements, that are geometrically complex, precise and can be easy commercialized. This paper presents design of aluminium alloy honeycombs, which are characterized with light structure, internal parallel oriented channels and suitable stiffness. Based on 3D printed pattern the mould was prepared from standard ceramic material subjected subsequently to appropriate heat treatment. Into created mould cavity with intricate and susceptible structure molten AC 44200 aluminium alloy was poured under low pressure. Properly designed gating system and selected process parameters enabled to limit the shrinkage voids, porosities and misruns. Compression examination performed in two directions showed different mechanisms of cell deformation. Characteristic plateau region of stress-strain curves allowed to determine absorbed energy per unit volume, which was 485 or 402 J/mm3 depending on load direction. Elaborated technology will be applied for the production of honeycomb based elements designated for energy absorption capability.
The effect of cobalt aluminate inoculant addition and melt-pouring temperature on the structure and mechanical properties of Ni-based superalloy was studied. The first major move to control the quality of investment cast blades and vanes was the control of grain size. Cobalt aluminate (CoAl2O4) is the most frequently utilized inoculant in the lost-wax casting process of Ni-based superalloys. The inoculant in the prime coat of moulds and pouring temperature play a significant role in grain size control. The finest surface grains were obtained when the internal surface of shell mould was coated with cobalt aluminate and subsequently pouring was at 1480°C. The influence of selected casting parameters and inoculant addition on mechanical properties was investigated on the basis of tensile, creep and hardness testing. The effect of grain refinement on mechanical properties were consistent with established theories. Tests conducted at ambient temperature indicated a beneficial effect of grain refinement both on tensile strength and hardness. In contrast at elevated temperature during creep, the reverse trend was observed.
Nowadays, there are growing demands on the accuracy of production. Most of this is reflected in precise manufacturing, such as the investment casting process. Foundries are looking for causes of defects in some cases for a very long time, and it may happen that the source of defects is completely different from what was originally assumed. During the casting process there exist potential causes of defects as oxygen inclusions. This paper represents a summary of the beginnings of a wider research that will address the problems of gating systems in investment casting technology. In general, the influence of the melt flow is underestimated and the aim of the whole scientific research is to demonstrate the significant influence of laminar or turbulent flow on the resulting casting quality. Specifically, the paper deals with the analysis of the most frequent types of defects found in castings made of expensive types of materials casted in an open atmosphere and demonstration of connection with the design of gating systems in the future.
The results of testing of the selected group of wax mixtures used in the investment casting technology, are presented in the paper. The measurements of the kinetics of the mixtures shrinkage and changes of viscous-plastic properties as a temperature function were performed. The temperature influence on bending strength of wax mixtures was determined.
First part of the article describes how we can by change of gating system achieve better homogeneity of product made by investment casting. Turbine engine flap was made by investment casting technology – lost wax casting. The casting process was realised in vacuum. The initial conditions (with critical occurrence of porosity) was simulated in ProCAST software. Numerical simulation can clarify during analysis of melt turbulent flow in gate system responsible for creation of entrained oxide films. After initial results and conclusions, the new gating system was created with subsequent turbulence analysis. The new design of gating system support direct flow of metal and a decrease of porosity values in observed areas was achieved. Samples taken from a casting produced with use of newly designed gating system was processed and prepared for metallography. The second part of article deals with identification of structural components in used alloy - Inconel 718. The Ni – base superalloys, which are combined unique physical and mechanical properties, are used in aircraft industry for production of aero engine most stressed parts, as are turbine blades.
The casting workshop was discovered with numerous artifacts, confirming the existence of the manufacturing process of metal ornaments using ceramic molds and investment casting technology in Lower Silesia (Poland) in 7-6 BC. The research has yielded significant technological information about the bronze casting field, especially the alloys that were used and the artifacts that were made from them. Based on the analyses, the model alloys were experimentally reconstructed. Taking advantage of the computer-modeling method, a geometric visualization of the bronze bracelets was performed; subsequently, we simulated pouring liquid metal in the ceramic molds and observed the alloy solidification. These steps made it possible to better understand the casting processes from the perspective of the mold technology as well as the melting and casting of alloys.
The article presents an analysis of the applicability of the Replicast CS process as an alternative to the investment casting process, considered in terms of the dimensional accuracy of castings. Ceramic shell moulds were based on the Ekosil binder and a wide range of ceramic materials, such as crystalline quartz, fused silica, aluminosilicates and zirconium silicate. The linear dimensions were measured with a Zeiss UMC 550 machine that allowed reducing to minimum the measurement uncertainty.
Castability of thin-walled castings is sensitive to variation in casting parameters. The variation in casting parameters can lead to undesired casting conditions which result in defect formation. Variation in rejection rate due to casting defect from one batch to other is common problem in foundries and the cause of this variation usually remain unknown due to complexity of the process. In this work, variation in casting parameters resulting from human involvement in the process is investigated. Casting practices of different groups of casting operators were evaluated and resulting variations in casting parameters were discussed. The effect of these variations was evaluated by comparing the rejection statistics for each group. In order to minimize process variation, optimized casting practices were implemented by developing specific process instructions for the operators. The significance of variation in casting parameters in terms of their impact on foundry rejections was evaluated by comparing the number of rejected components before and after implementation of optimized casting practices. It was concluded that variation in casting parameters due to variation in casting practices of different groups has significant impact on casting quality. Variation in mould temperature, melt temperature and pouring rate due to variation in handling time and practice resulted in varying quality of component from one batch to other. By implementing the optimized casting instruction, both quality and process reliability were improved significantly.
The present article describes selected aspects of investment casting technology for manufacturing of open-cell aluminium. The main focus is, among others, on the precursor thickening. Two groups of total 30 samples were produced, basing on open-cell polyurethane foam used as the precursor. Each of the two sample groups was thickened with a different type of suspension consisting of carbonaceous substances and organic binders. The influence of the coating mixture type was compared, leading to conclusions regarding the desired composition and fluidity of the suspensions. Both sample groups of the obtained open-cell aluminium had stochastic cell distributions, the average pore diameter was 5.2 mm and the PPI index was 8. The apparent densities were respectively: 0.485 g/cm3 and 0.312 g/cm3, which reflected the impact of the precursor coating. Additionally, samples from both groups differed in quality.
Topic of this work is to compare metalurgy of cast irons poured into sand moulds and into shell molds at IEG Jihlava company and from it following differencies in structures of thin- and thick-walled castings. This work is dealing with investigation and experimental measurement on surfaces and sections suitable thin- and thick-walled investment castings at IEG Jihlava. Cast irons with flake graphite (grey cast iron) and cast irons with spheroidal graphite (ductile cast iron). Both mechanical and physical properties are determined using calculations from as measured values of wall thicknesses L and Lu, Vickers hardness and remanent magnetism. Measurement results are discussed, findings are formulated and methods for castings metallurgical quality improvement are recommended finally
The work presents the results of the studies of Co-Cr-Mo casting alloys used in the production of frame casts of removable dentures, crowns and bridges in dental prosthetics. The studies were performed on four Co-Cr-Mo alloys of different contents of Mo, W and other additives. Electrochemical tests were performed, which aimed at examining the corrosion resistance of the alloys and observing the alloy structure after chronoamperometric tests with the potential in the area of the occurrence of the passive layer breakpoint. The alloy microstructure images after chronoamperometric tests show the presence of non-uniformly distributed general corrosion. Moreover, a project of cobalt alloy casting was elaborated using a ceramic mold casting. Additionally, analysis of the obtained microstructure was performed. The microstructure of the examined alloys was of the dendrite type. This microstructure was chemically inhomogeneous and consisted of an austenitic matrix formed by a solid cobalt solution and chromium in the core dendritic structure.
Design of gating system is an important factor in obtaining defect-free casting. One of the casting defects is a porosity caused by internal shrinkage in solidification process. Prediction of the internal shrinkage porosity in the femoral stem of commercially pure titanium (CP-Ti) is investigated based on the gating system design. The objective of this research is to get the best gating system between three gating system designs. Three gating system designs of the femoral stem were simulated in an investment casting method. The internal shrinkage porosity occurs on the largest part and near the ingate of the femoral stem. The gating system design that has ingates cross section area: 78.5; 157; and 128.5 mm2 has the least of the internal shrinkage porosity. This design has the most uniform solidification in the entire of the femoral stem. An experiment is conducted to validate the simulation data. The results of internal shrinkage porosity in the three gating system designs in the simulation were compared with the experiment. Based on the comparison, the trend of internal shrinkage porosity at the three gating system designs in the simulation agrees with the experiment. The results of this study will aid in the elimination of casting defect.
Investment casting technology that utilizes lost-wax casting is one of the most-important achievements of ancient society. In Lower Silesia, Poland (Grzybiany, Legnica county), a 7-6 BC casting workshop was discovered with numerous artifacts, confirming the existence of the manufacturing process of metal ornaments using ceramic molds. The paper presents the research of molds and casts from the Bronze and Early Iron Ages. Microscopic analyses of the casting molds were performed, along with radiographic and chemical composition tests of the artifacts (the latter employing the use of the X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy method). The clustering method was used for alloy classification. The microstructure was analyzed by means of Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy. Conclusions from the research were utilized in further experiments
The study presents the results of the investigations of the effect of Cu, Ni, Cr, V, Mo and W alloy additions on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the AlSi7Mg0.3 alloy. The examinations were performed within a project the aim of which is to elaborate an experimental and industrial technology of producing elements of machines and devices complex in their construction, made of aluminium alloys by the method of precision investment casting. It was demonstrated that a proper combination of alloy additions causes the crystallization of complex intermetallic phases in the silumin, shortens the SDAS and improves the strength properties: Rm, Rp0.2,HB hardness. Elevating these properties reduces At, which, in consequence, lowers the quality index Q of the alloy of the obtained casts. Experimental casts were made in ceramic moulds preliminarily heated to 160 °C, into which the AlSi7Mg0.3 alloy with the additions was cast, followed by its cooling at ambient temperature. With the purpose of increasing the value of the quality index Q, it is recommended that the process of alloy cooling in the ceramic mould be intensified and/or a thermal treatment of the casts be performed (ageing)(T6).
Turbine blades have complex geometries with free form surface. Blades have different thickness at the trailing and leading edges as well as sharp bends at the chord-tip shroud junction and sharp fins at the tip shroud. In investment casting of blades, shrinkage at the tip-shroud and cord junction is a common casting problem. Because of high temperature applications, grain structure is also critical in these castings in order to avoid creep. The aim of this work is to evaluate the effect of different process parameters, such as, shell thickness, insulation and casting temperature on shrinkage porosity and grain size. The test geometry used in this study was a thin-walled air-foil structure which is representative of a typical hot-gas-path rotating turbine component. It was observed that, in thin sections, increased shell thickness helps to increase the feeding distance and thus avoid interdendritic shrinkage. It was also observed that grain size is not significantly affected by shell thickness in thin sections. Slower cooling rate due to the added insulation and steeper thermal gradient at metal mold interface induced by the thicker shell not only helps to avoid shrinkage porosity but also increases fill-ability in thinner sections.
This preliminary study characterizes the bronze metalworking on a defensive settlement of the Lusatian culture in former Kamieniec (Chełmno land, Poland) as it is reflected through casting workshop recovered during recent excavations. Among ready products, the ones giving evidence of local metallurgy (e.g. casting moulds and main runners) were also identified. With the shrinkage cavities and dendritic microstructures revealed, the artifacts prove the implementing a casting method by the Lusatian culture metalworkers. The elemental composition indicates application of two main types of bronzes: Cu-Sn and Cu-Pb. Aside these main alloying additions, some natural impurities such as silver, arsenic, antimony and nickel were found which may be attributed to the origin of the ore and casting technology. The collection from Kamieniec was described in terms of its structure and composition. The investigations were made by means of the energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (ED-XRF), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with an energy dispersive Xray analysis system (EDS) and optical microscopy (OM). In order to fingerprint either local or non-local profile of the alloys, the ED-XRF data-set was statistically evaluated using a factor analysis (FA).
This paper shows the results of studying the technology of manufacturing cortical electrode-instruments (EI) with the use of indirect methods of the Rapid Prototyping technology. Functional EI prototypes were made by layered synthesis of the photopolymer material with the use of the stereolithography technology (SLA - Stereo Lithography Apparatus). The article is focused on two methods of indirect EI manufacturing. One of the EI prototypes was used for making a molded wax model for hot investment casting, followed by applying copper coating. The second prototype was used for applying copper plating to a prepared current-conductive layer. As a result of EDMing a steel workpiece, both EIs reached the desired depth, which is 1 mm. The copper plating applied to the EI preserves its integrity. Through the use of the casting technology, there is a possibility to cut the economic costs by 35%. Using a prototype with preliminarily applied conductive coating makes it possible to make geometrically-complex EIs.
The new investigation method of a permeability of ceramic moulds applied in the investment casting technology, is presented in the paper. Some concepts of performing permeability measurements are shown. Investigations in which the influence of the solid phase fraction in the liquid ceramic moulding sand (LCMS) on a permeability of a multi-layer ceramic mould were performed and discussed. The permeability was estimated during two the most important stages of the technological process: in the first – after wax melting and in the second – after mould annealing. Also an influence of the matrix grain sizes (material for sprinkling) on a ceramic mould permeability was estimated.
The article presents chosen aspects of foundry engineering of the settlement dwellers, including the archaeometric characteristics and metal science analysis of the artefacts, as well as an attempted reconstruction of the production organization. Discovered in Szczepidło (Greater Poland), the foundry workshop is unique in Central European Bronze Age. This workshop foundry operated roughly XIV-XII Century BC. Its production is evidenced by the presence of markers of the whole production cycle: semi-finished and finished products, production waste, fragments of crucibles and casting ladles with traces of usage, and tools. On this basis, the alloys and foundry technologies used have been described. The analysis of foundry technology of copper alloys in the settlement area was carried out by observing the surface and structure of the products, semi-finished artefacts and fragments of crucibles by applying optical microscopy (OM), confocal microscopy (CLSM) and Xray radiography (RT). The investigations of compositions were made by means of the energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (ED-XRF) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with an energy dispersive X-ray analysis system (EDS).
This study characterizes the bronze jewellery recovered from the Lusatian culture urn-field in Mała Kępa (Chełmno land, Poland). Among many common ornaments (e.g. necklaces, rings, pins) the ones giving evidence of a steppe-styled inspiration (nail earrings) were also identified. With the dendritic microstructures revealed, the nail earrings prove the implementing of a lost-wax casting method, whereas some of the castings were further subjected to metalworking. The elemental composition indicates the application of two main types of bronze alloys: Cu-Sn and Cu-Sn-Pb. It has been established that the Lusatian metalworkers were familiar with re-melting the scrap bronze and made themselves capable of roasting the sulphide-rich ores. The collection from Mała Kępa has been described in terms of its structure and composition. The investigations were made by means of the energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (ED-XRF), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with an energy dispersive X - ray analysis system (EDS) and optical microscopy (OM). In order to fingerprint an alloy profile of the castings with a special emphasis on the nail earrings, the data-set (ED-XRF, EDS) was statistically evaluated using multidimensional analyses (FA, DA).
The article presents the results of a comparative analysis of the metal substructure for dental prosthesis made from a Co-Cr-Mo-W alloy by two techniques, i.e. precision investment casting and selective laser melting (SLM). It was found that the roughness of the raw surface of the SLM sinter is higher than the roughness of the cast surface, which is compensated by the process of blast cleaning during metal preparation for the application of a layer of porcelain. Castings have a dendritic structure, while SLM sinters are characterized by a compact, fine-grain microstructure of the hardness higher by about 100 HV units. High performance and high costs of implementation the SLM technology are the cause to use it for the purpose of many dental manufacturers under outsourcing rules. The result is a reduction in manufacturing costs of the product associated with dental work time necessary to scan, designing and treatment of sinter compared with the time needed to develop a substructure in wax, absorption in the refractory mass, casting, sand blasting and finishing. As a result of market competition and low cost of materials, sinter costs decrease which brings the total costs related to the construction unit making using the traditional method of casting, at far less commitment of time and greater predictability and consistent sinter quality.
With increasing technology development, an increasing emphasis is placed on the precision of products, but cannot be guaranteed without a stable production process. To ensure the stability of the production process, it is necessary to monitor it in detail, find its critical locations and eliminate or at least control it. With such a precise manufacturing method as investment casting, such a process is a must. This paper therefore deals with monitoring the production process of wax models of large turbine blades using infrared thermography. The aim was to evaluate the critical locations of this production and to propose recommendations for their elimination or, at the very least, significant mitigation of their impact on the final quality of the large turbine blade casting.
The investigation results of the kinetics of binding ceramic moulds, in dependence on the solid phase content in the liquid ceramic slurries being 67, 68 and 69% - respectively, made on the basis of the aqueous binding agents Ludox AM and SK. The ultrasonic method was used for assessing the kinetics of strengthening of the multilayer ceramic mould. Due to this method, it is possible to determine the ceramic mould strength at individual stages of its production. Currently self-supporting moulds, which must have the relevant strength during pouring with liquid metal, are mainly produced. A few various factors influence this mould strength. One of them is the ceramic slurry viscosity, which influences a thickness of individual layers deposited on the wax model in the investment casting technology. Depositing of layers causes increasing the total mould thickness. Therefore, it is important to determine the drying time of each deposited layer in order to prevent the mould cracking due to insufficient drying of layers and thus the weakening of the multilayer mould structure.
The work presents the results of the investigations of the effect of inhibitors coated on the internal walls of a ceramic mould on the quality of the obtained casts made of the AM60 alloy containing additions of chromium and vanadium. In order to reduce the reactivity of magnesium alloy cast by the technology of investment casting with the material of the mould and the ambient atmosphere, solid inhibitors were applied in the form of a mixture of KBF4 and H3BO3 after the stage of mould baking and before the mould’s being filled with the liquid alloy. For the purpose of examining the effect of the inhibitors on the surface quality of the obtained casts, profilometric tests were performed and the basic parameters describing the surface roughness, Ra, Rz and Rm, were determined.
Development of open cellular metal foam technology based on investment casting applying the polyurethane pattern is discussed. Technological process comprises preparing of the ceramic mold applying PUR foam as the pattern, firing of the mold, pouring of the liquid Zn-Al alloy into the mold and washing out of the ceramic material from cellular casting. Critical parameters such as the temperature of mold and poured metal, design of gating system affected by metalostatic pressure allowed to produce castings with cellular structure characterized by the open porosity. Metal cellular foams with the open porosity embedded in phase change material (PCM) enhance heat transfer and reduce time operations in energy storage systems. Charging and discharging were performed at the laboratory accumulator by heating and cooling with flowing water characterized by the temperatures of 97-100oC. Temperature measurements were collected from 7 different thermocouples located in the accumulator. In relation to the tests with pure paraffin, embedding of the metal Zn-Al cellular foam in paraffin significantly decreases temperature gradients and melting time of paraffin applied as PCM characterized by the low thermal conductivity. Similarly, reduction of discharging time by this method improves the efficiency of thermal energy storage system applied in solar power plants or for the systems of energy efficient buildings.