Moulding properties of Isasa River Sand bonded with Ipetumodu clay (Ife-North Local Government Area, Osun State, Nigeria) were investigated. American Foundry men Society (AFS) standard cylindrical specimens 50mm diameter and 50mm in height were prepared from various sand and clay ratios (between 18% and 32%) with 15% water content. The stress-strain curves were generated from a universal strength testing machine. A flow factor was calculated from the inclination of the falling slope beyond the maximum compressive strength. The result shows that the flowability of the samples increases from 18% to 26% clay content, its maximum value was attained at 26% and then it decreases from 30% to 32% clay content. The green compressive strength, dry compressive strength and air permeability values obtained from the mould samples were in accordance with standard values used in foundry practice. The x-ray diffraction test shows that the sand contains silicon oxide (SiO2), Aluminium oxide (Al2O3), and Aluminium silicate (Al6Si2O13). The mould samples were heated to a temperature of 1200 o C to determine the sintering temperature; fussion did not take place at this temperature. The results showed that the sand and clay mixture can be used to cast ferrous and non-ferrous alloys.
Flowability of fine, highly cohesive calcium carbonate powder was improved using high energy mixing (dry coating) method consisting in coating of CaCO3 particles with a small amount of Aerosil nanoparticles in a planetary ball mill. As measures of flowability the angle of repose and compressibility index were used. As process variables the mixing speed, mixing time, and the amount of Aerosil and amount of isopropanol were chosen. To obtain optimal values of the process variables, a Response Surface Methodology (RSM) based on Central Composite Rotatable Design (CCRD) was applied. To match the RSM requirements it was necessary to perform a total of 31 experimental tests needed to complete mathematical model equations. The equations that are second-order response functions representing the angle of repose and compressibility index were expressed as functions of all the process variables. Predicted values of the responses were found to be in a good agreement with experimental values. The models were presented as 3-D response surface plots from which the optimal values of the process variables could be correctly assigned. The proposed, mechanochemical method of powder treatment coupled with response surface methodology is a new, effective approach to flowability of cohesive powder improvement and powder processing optimisation.