The powerful tool for defect analysis is an expert system. It is a computer programme based on the knowledge of experts for solving the quality of castings. We present the expert system developed in the VSB-Technical University of Ostrava called ‘ESWOD’. The ESWOD programme consists of three separate modules: identification, diagnosis / causes and prevention / remedy. The identification of casting defects in the actual form of the system is based on their visual aspect.
Diagnostics of composite castings, due to their complex structure, requires that their characteristics are tested by an appropriate description method. Any deviation from the specific characteristic will be regarded as a material defect. The detection of defects in composite castings sometimes is not sufficient and the defects have to be identified. This study classifies defects found in the structures of saturated metallic composite castings and indicates those stages of the process where such defects are likely to be formed. Not only does the author determine the causes of structural defects, describe methods of their detection and identification, but also proposes a schematic procedure to be followed during detection and identification of structural defects of castings made from saturated reinforcement metallic composites. Alloys examination was conducted after technological process, while using destructive (macroscopic tests, light and scanning electron microscopy) and non-destructive (ultrasonic and X-ray defectoscopy, tomography, gravimetric method) methods. Research presented in this article are part of author’s work on castings quality.
A significant part of the knowledge used in the production processes is represented with natural language. Yet, the use of that knowledge in computer-assisted decision-making requires the application of appropriate formal and development tools. An interesting possibility is created by the use of an ontology that is understandable both for humans and for the computer. This paper presents a proposal for structuring the information about the foundry processes, based on the definition of ontology adapted to the physical structure of the ongoing technological operations that make up the process of producing castings.
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.
Changes of gas pressure in the moulding sand in the zone adjacent to mould cavity were analysed during pouring of cast iron. No significant effect of pressure on the surface quality of castings was observed. In the second series of tests, the concentration of hydrogen in the gas atmosphere was measured. It has been found that the value of this concentration depends on metal composition and is particularly high in cast iron containing magnesium. This is due to the reduction of water vapour with the element that has high affinity to oxygen. The presence of hydrogen causes the formation of gas-induced defects on the casting surface.
The article summarizes the theoretical knowledge from the field of brazing of graphitic cast iron, especially by means of conventional flame brazing using a filler metal based on CuZn (CuZn40SnSi – brass alloy). The experimental part of the thesis presents the results of performance assessment of brazed joints on other than CuZn basis using silicone (CuSi3Mn1) or aluminium bronze (CuAl10Fe). TIG electrical arc was used as a source of heat to melt these filler materials. The results show satisfactory brazed joints with a CuAl10Fe filler metal, while pre-heating is not necessary, which favours this method greatly while repairing sizeable castings. The technological procedure recommends the use of AC current with an increased frequency and a modified balance between positive and negative electric arc polarity to focus the heat on a filler metal without melting the base material. The suitability of the joint is evaluated on the basis of visual inspection, mechanic and metallographic testing.
Foundry technologists use their own style of gating system designing. Most of their patterns are caused by experience. The designs differ from plant to plant and give better or worse results. This shows that the theory of gating systems is not brought into general use sufficiently and therefore not applied in practise very often. Hence, this paper describes the theory and practical development of one part of gating systems - sprue base for automated horizontal moulding lines used for iron castings. Different geometries of sprue bases with gating system and casting were drawn in Solid Edge ST9. The metal flow through the gating systems was then simulated with use of MAGMA Express 220.127.116.11, and the results were achieved. The quality of flow was considered in a few categories: splashes, air entrapment, vortex generation and air contact. The economical aspect (weight of runner) was also taken under consideration. After quantitative evaluation, the best shape was chosen and optimised in other simulations with special attention on its impact on filling velocity and mould erosion. This design (a sprue base with notch placed in drag and cope) is recommended to be used in mass production iron foundries to reduce oxide creation in liquid metal and especially to still metal stream to improve filtration.
The chosen, typical causes of quality defects of cast-iron „alphin” rings embedded in aluminum cast are being presented in this paper. Diffusive joint of those inserts with the pistons casts is being used, due to extreme work conditions of destructive influence of the fuel mix and variable thermo-mechanical loads, which reign in the combustion motor working chamber.
Magnesium alloys due to their low density and high strength-to-weight ratio are promising material for the automotive and aerospace industries. Many elements made from magnesium alloys are produced by means of sand casting. It is essential to investigate impact of the applied mould components on the microstructure and the quality of the castings. For the research, six identical, 100x50x20mm plates has been sand cast from the Elektron 21 magnesium casting alloy. Each casting was fed and cooled in a different way: one, surrounded by mould sand, two with cast iron chills 20mm and 40mm thick applied, another two with the same chills as well as feeders applied and one with only the feeder applied. Solid solution grain size and eutectics volume fraction were evaluated quantitatively in Met-Ilo program, casting defects were observed on the scanning electron microscope Hitachi S3400N. The finest solid solution grain was observed in the castings with only the chills applied. Non metallic inclusions were observed in each plate. The smallest shrinkage porosity was observed in the castings with the feeders applied.
Gas atmosphere at the sand mould/cast alloy interface determines the quality of the casting obtained. Therefore the aim of this study was to measure and evaluate the gas forming tendency of selected moulding sands with alkyd resins. During direct and indirect gas measurements, the kinetics of gas evolution was recorded as a function of the temperature of the sand mixture undergoing the process of thermal destruction. The content of hydrogen and oxygen was continuously monitored to establish the type of the atmosphere created by the evolved gases (oxidizing/reducing). The existing research methodology [1, 7, 8] has been extended to include pressure-assisted technique of indirect measurement of the gas evolution rate. For this part of the studies, a new concept of the measurement was designed and tested. This article presents the results of measurements and compares gas emissions from two sand mixtures containing alkyd resins known under the trade name SL and SL2002, in which the polymerization process is initiated with isocyanate. Studies of the gas forming tendency were carried out by three methods on three test stands to record the gas evolution kinetics and evaluate the risk of gas formation in a moulding or core sand. Proprietary methods for indirect evaluation of the gas forming tendency have demonstrated a number of beneficial aspects, mainly due to the ability to record the quantity and composition of the evolved gases in real time and under stable and reproducible measurement conditions. Direct measurement of gas evolution rate from the tested sands during cast iron pouring process enables a comparison of the results with the results obtained by indirect methods.
The FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) method consists in analysis of failure modes and evaluation of their effects based on determination of cause-effect relationships for formation of possible product or process defects. Identified irregularities which occur during the production process of piston castings for internal combustion engines were ordered according to their failure rates, and using Pareto-Lorenz analysis, their per cent and cumulated shares were determined. The assessments of risk of defects occurrence and their causes were carried out in ten-point scale of integers, while taking three following criteria into account: significance of effects of the defect occurrence (LPZ), defect occurrence probability (LPW) and detectability of the defect found (LPO). A product of these quantities constituted the risk score index connected with a failure occurrence (a so-called “priority number,” LPR). Based on the observations of the piston casting process and on the knowledge of production supervisors, a set of corrective actions was developed and the FMEA was carried out again. It was shown that the proposed improvements reduce the risk of occurrence of process failures significantly, translating into a decrease in defects and irregularities during the production of piston castings for internal combustion engines.
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.
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.
Nowadays, the most popular production method for manufacturing high quality casts of aluminium alloys is the hot and cold chamber die casting. Die casts made of hypereutectoid silumin Silafont 36 AlSi9Mg are used for construction elements in the automotive industry. The influence of the metal input and circulating scrap proportion on porosity and mechanical properties of the cast has been examined and the results have been shown in this article. A little porosity in samples has not influenced the details strength and the addition of the circulating scrap has contributed to the growth of the maximum tensile force. Introducing 80% of the circulating scrap has caused great porosity which led to reduce the strength of the detail. The proportion of 40% of the metal input and 60% of the circulating scrap is a configuration safe for the details quality in terms of porosity and mechanical strength.
Fatigue investigations of two 4XXX0-series aluminum alloys (acc. PN-EN 1706) within a range of fewer than 104 cycles at a coefficient of cycle asymmetry of R = –1 were performed in the current paper. The so-called modified low-cycle test, which provided additional information concerning the fatigue life and strength of the tested alloys, was also performed. The obtained results were presented in the form of diagrams: stress amplitude σa – number of cycles before damage N. On the basis of the microscopic images of sample fractures, the influence of the observed casting defects on the decrease of cycle numbers at a given level of stress amplitude were analyzed. Based on the images and dimensions of the observed defects, stress intensity factor KI was analytically determined for each. Their numerical models were also made, and stress intensity factor KI was calculated by the finite element method (FEM).
The analysis of influence of mould withdrawal rate on the solidification process of CMSX-4 single crystal castings produced by Bridgman method was presented in this paper. The predicted values of temperature gradient, solidification and cooling rate, were determined at the longitudinal section of casting blade withdrawn at rate from 1 to 6mm/min using ProCAST software. It was found that the increase of withdrawal rate of ceramic mould results in the decrease of temperature gradient and the growth of cooling rate, along blade height. Based on results of solidification parameter G/R (temperature gradient/solidification rate), maximum withdrawal rate of ceramic mould (3.5 mm/min), which ensures lower susceptibility to formation process of new grain defects in single crystal, was established. It was proved that these defects can be formed in the bottom part of casting at withdrawal rate of 4 mm/min. The increase of withdrawal rate to 5 and 6 mm/min results in additional growth of susceptibility of defects formation along the whole height of airfoil.
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 paper presents the results of investigations concerning the influence of negative (relative) pressure in the die cavity of high pressure die casting machine on the porosity of castings made of AlSi9Cu3 alloy. Examinations were carried out for the VertaCast cold chamber vertical pressure die casting machine equipped with a vacuum system. Experiments were performed for three values of the applied gauge pressure: -0.3 bar, -0.5 bar, and -0.7 bar, at constant values of other technological parameters, selected during the formerly carried initial experiments. Porosity of castings was assessed on the basis of microstructure observation and the density measurements performed by the method of hydrostatic weighing. The performed investigation allowed to find out that – for the examined pressure range – the porosity of castings decreases linearly with an increase in the absolute value of negative pressure applied to the die cavity. The negative pressure value of -0.7 bar allows to produce castings exhibiting porosity value less than 1%. Large blowholes arisen probably by occlusion of gaseous phase during the injection of metal into the die cavity, were found in castings produced at the negative pressure value of -0.3 bar. These blowholes are placed mostly in regions of local thermal centres and often accompanied by the discontinuities in the form of interdendritic shrinkage micro-porosity. It was concluded that the high quality AlSi9Cu3 alloy castings able to work in elevated temperatures can be achieved for the absolute value of the negative pressure applied to the die cavity greater than 0.5 bar at the applied set of other parameters of pressure die casting machine work.
The paper analyses specific defects of castings produced by semi-solid casting process, especially rheocasting method SEED, which uses mechanical swirling for reaching proper structure in semisolid state with high content of solid fraction. Heat treated alloy AlSi7Mg0.3 was applied for producing an Engine Bracket casting part. For observing structure, metallographic observation by light and SEM microscopy was used. To analyse the process, software ProCAST was used to simulate the movements in shot chamber and filling of the mold.