Casting industry has been enriched with the processes of mechanization and automation in production. They offer both better working standards, faster and more accurate production, but also have begun to generate new opportunities for new foundry defects. This work discusses the disadvantages of processes that can occur, to a limited extend, in the technologies associated with mould assembly and during the initial stages of pouring. These defects will be described in detail in the further part of the paper and are mainly related to the quality of foundry cores, therefore the discussion of these issues will mainly concern core moulding sands. Four different types of moulding mixtures were used in the research, representing the most popular chemically bonded moulding sands used in foundry practise. The main focus of this article is the analysis of the influence of the binder type on mechanical and thermal deformation in moulding sands.
In recent years, an increasing interest in sandmixes containing inorganic binders has been observed. These binders, including water-glass, are harmless for the environment, neutral for humans, and relatively cheap. In spite of numerous advantages, their wide application is restricted by poor knock-out properties and problems related to rebonding. Therefore, numerous researches aimed at eliminating the disadvantages of water-glass binders are directed, among others, to modifying the structure of hydrated sodium silicate or to applying new hardening techniques. An innovative method of rapid hardening by microwave heating, permitting the restriction of the quantity of binder used and thus improving knock-out properties, meets the expectations of present-day foundries. In this paper, available information is compiled on microwave hardening of water-glass containing sandmixes; furthermore, the costs of practical application of this technology are evaluated on the grounds of the authors' own research.