Across the foundry industry, additive manufacturing enables foundries to produce prototypes and very limited series without high tooling and storage costs. Additive manufacturing also gives designers unprecedented freedom in the design of molds and cores.
A molding material (e.g. silica or ceramic sand) containing a binding agent is deposited in micrometre-fine layers onto a build platform. A printer head then selectively doses the layer with a powder or liquid activator. The printing solution discharged via the print head triggers the curing process that causes the molding material particles to fuse together. This process is continued layer by layer until the desired shape is produced.
After printing, the molds and cores are freed from the surrounding unbound molding material.
Depending on the system, unprinted molding material can be returned to the process in whole or in part after further processing. Depending on the binder system and strength requirements, the cores and molds are placed in an oven for a few hours after the layering process to dry them out and get them ready for casting. To improve their casting properties, the cores and molds can be coated with one of HA’s specially developed coatings.