Characterisation of Direct 3D Sand Printing Process for the Production of Sand Cast Mould Tools

Hackney, Philip (2017) Characterisation of Direct 3D Sand Printing Process for the Production of Sand Cast Mould Tools. Rapid Prototyping Journal, 23 (1). pp. 7-15. ISSN 1355-2546

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-08-2014-0101

Abstract

The Metal casting industry is in recovery phase after the economic crisis in 2008, customer demand continues to increase, with 98.6 million metric tons cast in 2011. Traditional ferrous and non-ferrous casting techniques require one shot or permanent moulds which require tooling to be produced. Tooling particularly for developmental projects can be costly and take valuable time to produce.
Additive manufacturing has been used to manufacture complex sand patterns for metal sand casting using laser sintering and sand bonding techniques. This research focuses on characterising the sand bonded process developed by ExOne GmbH Germany. The approach taken in this research is to evaluate characteristics of parts built in the build volume for dimensional accuracy, tensile and compressive crush strength, density, impact strength and high temperature resistance. These properties are required to compare the sand bonding 3D Sand Printing (3DSP) process to Direct Laser Sand Sintering (DLSS) and traditional Furan based casting sand mixtures. The samples were taken from a production machine over a period of 20 days to ensure consistency and reliable results. The 3DSP process has the capability to manufacture sand patterns to an accuracy of ±0.5 mm or error less than 0.3%, it has also demonstrated the best build position to achieve accurate parts. The research has demonstrated the 3DSP patterns are comparable to traditional methods for important casting material characteristics such as tensile, compression and impact strength. It has been shown that the 3DSP process is capable of manufacturing significantly larger parts, with build production rates up to 30 times higher compared to similar parts manufactured via the DLSS process. There have been very few 3DSP machines sold in Europe, also there has been little published research into this new technique and therefore there is a reliance on machine manufactures’ data for assessment. This research into 3DSP has increased the knowledge of this process significantly. This research would be of interest to designers and manufacturing engineers wishing to take advantage of the implications of having new design freedom, tool-less manufacturing with short lead times in a wide range of materials, using fundamentally tried and tested centuries old casting techniques. The research for this paper revealed very little published academic research in this area, therefore this work will increase the body of knowledge for this niche Additive Manufacturing process.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sand Printing, Sand Moulding, Sand Casting, Characterisation, Materials, Dimensional Accuracy, 3D Sand Printing
Subjects: H300 Mechanical Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mechanical and Construction Engineering
Depositing User: Philip Hackney
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2016 08:49
Last Modified: 31 May 2017 15:21
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/28164

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