Core sands for blowing processes, belong to these sands in which small amount of the applied binding material has the ability of covering the sand matrix surface in a way which - at relatively small coating thickness - allows to achieve the high strength. Although the deciding factor constitute, in this aspect, strength properties of a binder, its viscosity and ability to moisten the matrix surface, the essential meaning for the strength properties of the prepared moulding sand and the mould has the packing method of differing in sizes sand grains with the coating of the binding material deposited on their surfaces. The knowledge of the influence of the compaction degree of grains forming the core on the total contact surface area can be the essential information concerning the core strength. Forecasting the strength properties of core sands, at known properties of the applied chemically hardened binder and the quartz matrix, requires certain modifications of the existing theoretical models. They should be made more realistic with regard to assumptions concerning grain sizes composition of quartz sands and the packing structure deciding on the active surface area of the contacts between grains of various sizes and - in consequence - on the final strength of cores.
The use of environmentally friendly inorganic binders and new technologies for cores production is widely discussed topic in recent years. This paper contains information about new hot curing process for core making with alumina-silicate based inorganic binders – geopolymers. Main differences between hot cured geopolymers and hot cured alkali silicate based inorganic binders are discussed. The main objective of this research paper was to investigate basic technological properties of geopolymer binder system such as strength, compaction, storage ability and knock-out properties. For this purpose, three mixtures with different powder additives were prepared and tested in laboratory conditions using specific methods. Strength properties evaluation showed sufficient levels as well as knock-out properties measurement, even with additives B and C originally designed for the use with alkali silicate based two component binder systems. Additives B and C were considered compatible with geopolymer binders after casting production trial results. Storage ability of geopolymers seems to be more sensitive than of alkali silicate based binders in the same tested conditions. Mixtures with geopolymer binder showed 20% more decrease of strength compared to alkali silicate binders after 24 hours in conditions of 25 °C and 65 %RH.