29.11.2017 change 29.11.2017

Pro-ecological solution for metal casting industry - the invention of scientists from Łódź

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

Scientists from Lodz University of Technology have patented an eco-friendly cellulose blend for use in casting systems in foundries. The solution will reduce the emission of harmful compounds to the atmosphere and contribute to reduce the number of casting defects.

According to the co-author of the patent, Dr. Jacek Sawicki, metal casting is a strategic industry for any economy. "The introduction of pro-ecological products or technologies while maintaining a similar quality of casts may be a competitive advantage" - the researcher said.

Dr. Sawicki and Eng. Zbigniew Zawieja from the Institute of Materials Engineering of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering developed a cellulose blend for the production of pipe moulds and round connectors used in casting systems in foundries.

Ceramic moulds or moulds made of mixtures of cellulose and melamine-urea-formaldehyde resin and aluminosilicate microspheres are currently used in such systems. According to the researchers, ceramic products contaminate moulding and are very difficult to process. On the other hand, moulds and connectors made of cellulose with resin and microspheres contain components in their structure that produce an environmentally harmful gas mixture formed during contact with liquid metal.

For these reasons, in their view, the search for a new, alternative environmentally friendly engineering material seems to be an important aspect of science. It inspired researchers from Łódź to develop a harmless blend based on cellulose obtained from selected waste paper with the addition of pro-ecological intermediates in the form of natural minerals - expanded perlite and expanded vermiculite - with microspheres.

The entire mixture is chemically bonded with adding a binder, namely water glass. This solution has not been used anywhere in the world until now.

"Our cellulose blend eliminates toxic compounds from the formulation and minimizes the amount of emitted gas. This is very important both in terms of ecology and economics" - emphasized Dr. Jacek Sawicki.

The composition of the modified pulp based blend contains only environmentally friendly ingredients. "Natural intermediates are used that do not emit toxic compounds after combustion and are recovered from other technologies (waste paper and microspheres)" - emphasized the co-inventor.

In his assessment, the use of a new cellulose blend for the production of pipe moulds and round couplings used in casting systems in foundries will not only reduce the emission of harmful compounds to the atmosphere, but will also translate into a lower number of casting defects such as gas porosity or discontinuity.

The solutions of scientists from Łódź have won numerous awards, including Gold Medal at GENEVA INVENTIONS 2017 and platinum medal at the International Warsaw Invention Show IWIS 2017.

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