The behaviour of liquid polymer degradation byproducts in the lost foam casting of aluminium alloys, and the conditions under which it wicks into the permeable pattern coating, were examined using gel permeation chromatography. Both typical expanded polystyrene and brominated polystyrene pattern materials, with coatings of two different permeabilities, were examined. Heating reduced the molecular weight of the polymer leading to absorption of the liquid polymer degradation byproduct into the permeable pattern coating once a critical molecular weight was reached, the value of which was dependent upon coating permeability. Horizontally oriented lost foam plate castings, instrumented with thermocouples, were cast in an Al-Cu alloy, using a real time X-ray imaging technique to follow the advancing liquid metal front. This showed that the conditions for wicking were not likely to have occurred in the vicinity of the liquid metal/foam pattern interface, but absorption of the liquid polymer degradation byproducts into the permeable pattern coating would only occur after the metal front has passed.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||The International Journal of Cast Metals Research|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Oct 2011|
- Lost foam casting
- Molecular weight
- Pattern coating
- Al alloys