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TitleTool manufacturing by metal casting in sand moulds produced by additive manufacturing processes
AuthorNyembwe, Kasongo Didier
SubjectCentral University of Technology, Free State - Dissertations
SubjectRapid tooling
SubjectMetal castings
SubjectSand, Foundry
SubjectSand casting
SubjectDissertations, academic - South Africa - Bloemfontein
Format2 479 931 bytes
AbstractThesis (D. Tech. ( Mechanical Engineering )) - Central University of technology, Free State, 2012
AbstractIn this study an alternative indirect Rapid Tooling process is proposed. It essentially consists of producing sand moulds by Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes followed by casting of tools in the moulds. Various features of this tool making method have been investigated. A process chain for the proposed tool manufacturing method was conceptually developed. This process chain referred to as Rapid Casting for Tooling (RCT) is made up of five steps including Computer Aided Design (CAD) modeling, casting simulation, AM of moulds, metal casting and finishing operations. A validation stage is also provided to determine the suitability of the tool geometry and material for RCT. The theoretical assessment of the RCT process chain indicated that it has potential benefits such as short manufacturing time, low manufacturing cost and good quality of tools in terms of surface finish and dimensional accuracy. Focusing on the step of AM of the sand moulds, the selection of available AM processes between the Laser Sintering (LS) using an EOSINT S 700 machine and Three Dimensional Printing using a Z-Corporation Spectrum 550 printer was addressed by means of the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). The criteria considered at this stage were manufacturing time, manufacturing cost, surface finish and dimensional accuracy. LS was found to be the most suitable for RCT compared to Three Dimensional Printing. The overall preferences for these two alternatives were respectively calculated at 73% and 27%. LS was then used as the default AM process of sand moulds in the present research work. A practical implementation of RCT to the manufacturing of foundry tooling used a case study provided by a local foundry. It consisted of the production of a sand casting pattern in cast iron for a high pressure moulding machine. The investigation confirmed the feasibility of RCT for producing foundry tools. In addition it demonstrated the crucial role of casting simulation in the prevention of casting defects and the prediction of tool properties. The challenges of RCT were found to be exogenous mainly related to workmanship. An assessment of RCT manufacturing time and cost was conducted using the case study above mentioned as well as an additional one dealing with the manufacturing of an aluminium die for the production of lost wax patterns. Durations and prices of RCT steps were carefully recorded and aggregated. The results indicated that the AM of moulds was the rate determining and cost driving step of RCT if procurement of technology was considered to be a sunk cost. Overall RCT was found to be faster but more expensive than machining and investment casting. Modern surface analyses and scanning techniques were used to assess the quality of RCT tools in terms of surface finish and dimensional accuracy. The best surface finish obtained for the cast dies had Ra and Rz respectively equal to 3.23 μm and 11.38 μm. In terms of dimensional accuracy, 82% of cast die points coincided with die Computer Aided Design (CAD) data which is within the typical tolerances of sand cast products. The investigation also showed that mould coating contributed slightly to the improvement of the cast tool surface finish. Finally this study also found that the additive manufacturing of the sand mould was the chief factor responsible for the loss of dimensional accuracy. Because of the above, it was concluded that light machining will always be required to improve the surface finish and the dimensional accuracy of cast tools. Durability was the last characteristic of RCT tools to be assessed. This property was empirically inferred from the mechanical properties and metallographic analysis of castings. Merit of durability figures of 0.048 to 0.152 were obtained for the cast tools. It was found that tools obtained from Direct Croning (DC) moulds have merit of durability figures three times higher than the tools produced from Z-Cast moulds thus a better resistance to abrasion wear of the former tools compared to the latter.
PublisherBloemfontein : Central University of Technology, Free State