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Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering

Front. Mech. Eng.    2020, Vol. 15 Issue (2) : 328-337
Digital high-efficiency print forming method and device for multi-material casting molds
Zhongde SHAN1(), Zhi GUO1,2, Dong DU2, Feng LIU1, Wenjiang LI1
1. State Key Laboratory of Advanced Forming Technology and Equipment, China Academy of Machinery Science and Technology, Beijing 100044, China
2. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
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Sand mold 3D printing technology based on the principle of droplet ejection has undergone rapid development in recent years and has elicited increasing attention from engineers and technicians. However, current sand mold 3D printing technology exhibits several problems, such as single-material printing molds, low manufacturing efficiency, and necessary post-process drying and heating for the manufacture of sand molds. This study proposes a novel high-efficiency print forming method and device for multi-material casting molds. The proposed method is specifically related to the integrated forming of two-way coating and printing and the short-flow manufacture of roller compaction and layered heating. These processes can realize the high-efficiency print forming of high-performance sand molds. Experimental results demonstrate that the efficiency of sand mold fabrication can be increased by 200% using the proposed two-way coating and printing method. The integrated forming method for layered heating and roller compaction presented in this study effectively shortens the manufacturing process for 3D-printed sand molds, increases sand mold strength by 63.8%, and reduces resin usage by approximately 30%. The manufacture of multi-material casting molds is demonstrated on typical wheeled cast-iron parts. This research provides theoretical guidance for the engineering application of sand mold 3D printing.

Keywords multi-material casting mold      3D printing      efficient print forming method     
Corresponding Author(s): Zhongde SHAN   
Just Accepted Date: 12 February 2020   Online First Date: 11 March 2020    Issue Date: 25 May 2020
 Cite this article:   
Zhongde SHAN,Zhi GUO,Dong DU, et al. Digital high-efficiency print forming method and device for multi-material casting molds[J]. Front. Mech. Eng., 2020, 15(2): 328-337.
Fig.1  Schematics of multi-material sand molds: (a) Combination of a number of single-material sand molds and (b) combination of different types of multi-material sand molds.
Fig.2  Multi-material sand mold 3D print forming method: (a) Multi-material sand layer and (b) mold.
Fig.3  Two-way coating and printing integration forming method: (a) Forward printing process; (b) reverse printing process; and (c) photograph of two-way coating and printing integration device.
Fig.4  Layered heating and compaction devices: (a) Coating and compaction device; (b) heating device; and (c) compaction schematic.
Fig.5  Two-way coating and printing integrated forming process.
Fig.6  Infrared heating process during sand mold printing.
Fig.7  Effects of infrared heating temperature on the tensile strength of printed sand molds: (a) Relationship between tensile strength and heating temperature and (b) comparison between the tensile strength of sand molds produced using two different processes.
Fig.8  Sections of printed sand molds at different infrared heating temperatures.
Fig.9  Multi-material sand molds for the cast-iron parts of a typical pulley: (a) Top and (b) bottom sand molds.
Fig.10  Pouring of pulley castings: (a) Casting process and (b) casted blank.
Fig.11  Cross-sectional graphite formed at the intersection of the pulley blank’s rim and spoke: (a) #1 surface layer, (b) #1 core, (c) #2 surface layer, and (d) #2 core.
Sample Graphite length/µm Level
Field of view 1 Field of view 2 Field of view 3 Average value
#1 surface 243 268 277 263 3
#1 core 294 338 465 367 3
#2 surface 227 229 247 234 4
#2 core 287 337 437 354 3
Tab.1  Cross-sectional graphite length at the intersection of the pulley blank’s rim and spoke
Sample Tensile strength/MPa Average tensile strength/MPa
Test 1 Test 2 Test 3
#1 124 142 136 133
#2 148 161 179 163
Tab.2  Cross-sectional tensile strength at the intersection of the pulley blank’s rim and spoke
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