In this work, the influence of microwave drying parameters such as irradiation time and microwave power level on the properties of synthetic moulding sands is presented. Determination of compressive strength Rc s, shear strength Rt s and permeability Ps of synthetic moulding sands with the addition of two different bentonites, after drying process with variable microwave parameters were made. The research works were carried out using the microwave oven with regulated power range of the electromagnetic field. From the results obtained, the significant influence of both drying time and microwave power level on the selected properties of moulding sands was observed. In comparison to the conventional drying method, microwave drying allows to obtain higher compressive strength of the synthetic moulding sand. The influence of application microwave irradiation on permeability was not observed. Higher strength characteristics and shorter drying time are major advantages of application of the electromagnetic irradiation for drying of the synthetic moulding sand with regard to conventional drying method.
Recently, some major changes have occurred in the structure of the European foundry industry, such as a rapid development in the production of castings from compacted graphite iron and light alloys at the expense of limiting the production of steel castings. This created a significant gap in the production of heavy steel castings (exceeding the weight of 30 Mg) for the metallurgical, cement and energy industries. The problem is proper moulding technology for such heavy castings, whose solidification and cooling time may take even several days, exposing the moulding material to a long-term thermal and mechanical load. Owing to their technological properties, sands with organic binders (synthetic resins) are the compositions used most often in industrial practice. Their main advantages include high strength, good collapsibility and knocking out properties, as well as easy mechanical reclamation. The main disadvantage of these sands is their harmful effect on the environment, manifesting itself at various stages of the casting process, especially during mould pouring. This is why new solutions are sought for sands based on organic binders to ensure their high technological properties but at the same time less harmfulness for the environment. This paper discusses the possibility of reducing the harmful effect of sands with furfuryl binders owing to the use of resins with reduced content of free furfuryl alcohol and hardeners with reduced sulphur content. The use of alkyd binder as an alternative to furfuryl binder has also been proposed and possible application of phenol-formaldehyde resins was considered.
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.