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Chapter 01

1.1 Introduction
Surface quality enhancement is very important since it is one of the basic problems which affect to the quality of cast products. Through this project it is expect to replace conventional Bentonite sand mixture by novel sand clay mixture in order to enhance the surface quality of large brass casting. Clay and sand ware selected by considering the previous results of research conducted by Dr. G.P.I De Silva. Clay was found in Allaipaththuwa area and sand was collected from Nattandiya area. Through the previous research it has shown that this locally available clay can be apply as binder for ornament type small cast items. Through this project it is expected to apply this natural binder for industrial production and relatively large items. Required properties of molding sand which is used for relatively large engineering items are deviated from the sand properties used for relatively small ornament type castings. So property variation of green sand were analyzed and select adequate property range which can be apply for a casting. Surface quality evaluation and enhancement is the next stage to be done.

1.2 Scope
Casting item sizes are varied from few grams to several tons in weight. Through this project it was expected to enhancing of relatively large engineering items, which is about 10-15 Kg weight. Surface quality can be increased in many ways. But surface quality enhancement with improving the green sand properties is easy and widely used method among all these methods. They pay much attention for that than the other method for improving the surface quality. Relatively large engineering items are considered here.



The main objective of this project is enhance the surface quality of relatively large engineering items. But due this it is possible to substitute locally available clay for imported Bentonite. So this may be the start for developing of new caly processing method in sri lanka.


Since it was revealed that the clay can be applied for ornament type brass castings, as an initial step finding clay ore and verification of the chemical composition was needed. So chemical analysis was done and compaired the result obtain with the results of chemical analysis which observed with caly used in previous research. Then come to a concution that the clay deposit is not contaminated due to erosion or sedimentation like geometrical changes. With the chemical analysis data its possible to confirm presence of montmorallonite type clay. After crushing and grinding clay


Expected Outcome
Enhance surface quality of relatively large engineering cast items of brass.

Chapter 02
2.1 Literature Review
2.1.1 Casting Process
The process cycle for sand casting consists of six main stages, which are explained below.

1. Mold-making - The first step in the sand casting process is to create the mold for the casting. In an
expendable mold process, this step must be performed for each casting. A sand mold is formed by packing sand into each half of the mold. The sand is packed around the pattern, which is a replica of the external shape of the casting. When the pattern is removed, the cavity that will form the casting remains. Any internal features of the casting that cannot be formed by the pattern are formed by separate cores which are made of sand prior to the formation of the mold. Further details on moldmaking will be described in the next section. The mold-making time includes positioning the pattern, packing the sand, and removing the pattern. The mold-making time is affected by the size of the part,

the number of cores, and the type of sand mold. If the mold type requires heating or baking time, the mold-making time is substantially increased. Also, lubrication is often applied to the surfaces of the mold cavity in order to facilitate removal of the casting. The use of a lubricant also improves the flow the metal and can improve the surface finish of the casting. The lubricant that is used is chosen based upon the sand and molten metal temperature. 2. Clamping - Once the mold has been made, it must be prepared for the molten metal to be poured. The surface of the mold cavity is first lubricated to facilitate the removal of the casting. Then, the cores are positioned and the mold halves are closed and securely clamped together. It is essential that the mold halves remain securely closed to prevent the loss of any material. 3. Pouring - The molten metal is maintained at a set temperature in a furnace. After the mold has been clamped, the molten metal can be ladled from its holding container in the furnace and poured into the mold. The pouring can be performed manually or by an automated machine. Enough molten metal must be poured to fill the entire cavity and all channels in the mold. The filling time is very short in order to prevent early solidification of any one part of the metal. 4. Cooling - The molten metal that is poured into the mold will begin to cool and solidify once it enters the cavity. When the entire cavity is filled and the molten metal solidifies, the final shape of the casting is formed. The mold can not be opened until the cooling time has elapsed. The desired cooling time can be estimated based upon the wall thickness of the casting and the temperature of the metal. Most of the possible defects that can occur are a result of the solidification process. If some of the molten metal cools too quickly, the part may exhibit shrinkage, cracks, or incomplete sections. Preventative measures can be taken in designing both the part and the mold and will be explored in later sections. 5. Removal - After the predetermined solidification time has passed, the sand mold can simply be broken, and the casting removed. This step, sometimes called shakeout, is typically performed by a vibrating machine that shakes the sand and casting out of the flask. Once removed, the casting will likely have some sand and oxide layers adhered to the surface. Shot blasting is sometimes used to remove any remaining sand, especially from internal surfaces, and reduce the surface roughness. 6. Trimming - During cooling, the material from the channels in the mold solidifies attached to the part. This excess material must be trimmed from the casting either manually via cutting or sawing, or using a trimming press. The time required to trim the excess material can be estimated from the size of the casting's envelope. A larger casting will require a longer trimming time. The scrap material that results from this trimming is either discarded or reused in the sand casting process. However, the scrap material may need to be reconditioned to the proper chemical composition before it can be combined with non-recycled metal and reused.

2.1.1 Sand Casting

Sand casting is used to produce a wide variety of metal components with complex geometries. These parts can vary greatly in size and weight, ranging from a couple ounces to several tons. Some smaller sand cast parts include components as gears, pulleys, crankshafts, connecting rods, and propellers. Larger applications include housings for large equipment and heavy machine bases. Sand casting is also common in producing automobile components, such as engine blocks, engine manifolds, cylinder heads, and transmission cases. Advantages:Disadvantages:-

Poor material strength High porosity possible Poor surface finish and tolerance secondary machining often

Can produce very large parts Can form complex shapes Many material options Low tooling and equipment cost Scrap can be recycled Short lead time possible

Sand castings generally have a rough surface sometimes with surface impurities, and surface variations. A machining (finish) allowance is made for this type of defect. So increasing surface finish is important is gives high value for the casting process. It makes casting process much effective. Its possible to ensure that by observing advantages and disadvantages mention above.

2.1.2 Brass Casting

2.1.3 Sand Testing

2.1.4 C lay Testing

2.1.5 Properties of Casting Sand Fineness Number

gfn shows the range of the sand size. as we know sand are differ in shapes and sizes. if the gfn is between 40 and 100 it can be classified as coarse and 100-220 is fine. typically for ferrous casting the gfn is 70 but it can be range between 50 to 100. it is because if the gfn is below 50 it will result poor surface quality. if the gfn above 100, its too fine and gives low permeability and might be defects occur due to the large surface area . (02) Green and Dry Compression Strengths

The variation of water content with the values of green compression strength is shown in Figure 1. Green compression strength increases with increase in percentage water addition as is shown in Figure 1. Compressive strength increases steadily from 33kN/m at 4% water reaching a maximum value of 50kN/m at 8% water content for Ilesha deposit. The maximum value of green compression strength of 52kN/m was obtained at percentage water of 8% for Ilorin deposits. Further increase in the percentage water addition above 8% leads to a reduction in the compression strength for both locations. These values reduce to 37kN/m to 38kN/m with water at 12% and 13% respectively for Ilesha and Ilorin deposits. Decline in green compressive strength with increase in water content suggests the presence of excess moisture in the sand mould. The optimum water addition of 8% is adequate to obtain sound cast product with Ilesha based on green sand property while it is 9% correspondingly for the Ilorin sand. (2)
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Figure 1 Effect of % water and clay addition on the green compression strength

The dry compression strength increases with increase in water concentration for both sand deposits with Ilesha sample having greater values at all moisture level as shown in Figure 2. When mixed with 5% water, the dry compression strengths are 150 kN/m and 195kN/m
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respectively for Ilorin and Ilesha. These values increase to 365 kN/m and 317.5kN/m at 12% water addition respectively for Ilesha and Ilorin samples. The increase in the dry compression strength with increase in water content shows that the sand can absorb more moisture. This indicates that the sand in dry condition can withstand the pressure intensity of 300kN/m of the molten metal during the period of solidification in the mould once the moulding water is at the optimum condition. This makes the dry moulding sand to be more suitable for large castings. (2)
2 Shatter index

With increase in water addition, the shatter index increases for both deposits as is represented in Figure 3. With water content below 9%, the difference in the shatter index for both samples becomes closer in values. Increasing water addition beyond 9% increases the shatter index for both samples with Ilesha sample having higher values than Ilorin deposit. A maximum value of 41was obtained at water addition of 12% for Ilesha sample as compared to 40 for Ilorin sample at water level of 13%. The increase in the shatter index with increase in water content may be due to the fact that water activates the clay and makes it to be toughened to resist being shattered. It also portrays further the necessity to ensure that desirable control should be put in place to make sure that the moulding water is at the optimum as much as practicable when employing the sands for metal casting. (2)

Figure 2 Effect of % water and clay addition on the shatter index Permeability

Figure 5 represents the effect of water content on the permeability of the natural moulding sand deposits. With increase in percentage water, the green permeability decreases from a maximum of 58.75cm /min at water addition of 4% to 42.5cm /min at 12% water addition for the Ilesha sand deposit. This pattern is also exhibited for Ilorin deposit but with a higher value of permeability of 60cm /min at water level of 5%, and decreasing to 45cm /min at 13% water addition. This behaviour could be attributable to the fact that water acts as blockage to the air pores in the sand thereby impeding the free passage of air through the sand. As water content increases, the excess moisture available occupies the pores in the sand mould thus, leading to a corresponding decrease in the permeability of the sand. The properties exhibited by both samples are in agreement with the America Foundrymen Standard (AFS) shown in Table 2. (2) This refers to the sand's ability to exhaust gases. This is important because during the pouring process many gases are produced, such as hydrogen,nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and steam, which must leave the mold otherwise casting defects, such as blow holes and gas holes, occur in the casting. Note that for each cubic centimeter (cc) of water added to the mold 16,000 cc of [8] steam is produced.
The size and shape of the sand particles defines the best surface finish achievable, with finer particles producing a better finish. However, as the particles become finer (and surface finish improves) the permeability becomes worse.
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2.1.6 Surface Quality Of Castings


Spatial Resolution

Z -Resolution

Range Z



0.1m to 1mm