The paper presents results of initial research on the possibility of applying microwave radiation in an innovative process of making casting moulds from silica sand, where gypsum CaSO4∙2H2O was acting as a binding material. In the research were compared strengths and technological properties of moulding mixture subjected to: natural bonding process at ambient temperature or natural curing with additional microwave drying or heating with the use of microwaves immediately after samples were formed. Used in the research moulding sands, in which dry constituents i.e. sand matrix and gypsum were mixed in the ratio: 89/11. On the basis of the results of strength tests which were obtained by various curing methods, beneficial effect of using microwaves at 2.45 GHz for drying up was observed after 1, 2 and 5 hours since moisture sandmix was formed. Applying the microwaves for hardening just after forming the samples guarantees satisfactory results in the obtained mechanical parameters. In addition, it has been noted that, from a technological and economic point of view, drying the silica sand with gypsum binder in microwave field can be an alternative to traditional molding sand technologies.
This paper presents initial findings from research into the possibility of using gypsum binders in quartz moulding sand that could be used in the production of casting moulds and cores. For the purposes of the research two commercial types of gypsum were used as binders: building gypsum and gypsum putty. Dry components of moulding sand i.e. medium quartz sand and gypsum were mixed in proportion of 89/11 parts by weight. In order to achieve bonding properties for the binders, 5 parts by weight of water was added to the mixture of dry components. After 24 hours of adding water and mixing all the components, the moulding sand, naturally hardened, was subjected to high temperature. The moulding sand thus produced, i.e. with cheap and environmentally-friendly gypsum binders, was eventually analysed after heating (at temperatures of 300oC, 650oC and 950oC) and cooling in order to determine changes in the following parameters: LOI – loss on ignition, chemical composition and pH. Moreover, investigated were bonding bridges, before and after the moulding sand was roasted. The research results revealed differences in the structure of bonding bridges and the occurrence of automatic adhesive destruction for both types of gypsum binders. For two types of moulding sands under the investigation of the LOI exceeded 2.59wt.% (with building gypsum) or 2.84wt.% (with putty gypsum) and pH increased to ca. 12 as a result of increasing roasting temperature from 300oC to 650oC. Next, roasting at 950oC decrease value of LOI in both types of moulding sands. Moulding sand with builoding gypsum roasted at 950oC revealed a return to the value of pH parameter measured prior to annealing.