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[Intro]Methods for forming components using a jacketed mold patternPatent No. :  US2018036792 (A1)Date of Patent:  2015-08-03Inventor(s):  James Albert TallmanAssignee:  General Electric Company [US]A method of forming a component includ

Methods for forming components using a jacketed mold pattern
Patent No. :  US2018036792 (A1)
Date of Patent:  2015-08-03
Inventor(s):  James Albert Tallman
Assignee:  General Electric Company [US]
A method of forming a component includes coupling a jacket around at least a portion of a precursor component to form a jacketed precursor component. The jacket is shaped to correspond to a net shape of an outer surface of the component. A mold is formed around the jacketed precursor component. A component material in a fluid state is introduced into a jacketed cavity defined in the mold to form the component. The jacketed cavity is defined in a space at least partially created by removal of the precursor component from the jacketed precursor component. In some embodiments, the precursor component is formed at least partially using a suitable additive manufacturing process, and the precursor material is selected to facilitate additive manufacture of precursor component. The size of a perimeter of precursor component is reduced relative to the net size of component by a thickness of the jacket, such that a combined size of the jacket and the precursor component corresponds to the net size of the desired component. In the exemplary embodiment, the thickness of the jacket is in the range between about 0.005 inches (0.13 millimeters) and about 0.015 in. (0.38 mm). The jacket material is selected to be at least partially absorbable by a molten or fluid material used to form the component. For example, the component material is a nickel-based superalloy, a cobalt-based superalloy, an iron-based alloy, or a titanium-based alloy, and the jacket material is substantially nickel, cobalt, iron or titanium, respectively. In some embodiments, the jacket is formed on at least a portion of the surface of precursor component by a plating process, either an electroless plating process or an electroplating process, such that the jacket material is deposited on the precursor component until a selected thickness of the jacket is achieved. In one embodiment, the jacket is formed at least partially using a suitable additive manufacturing process. In the exemplary embodiment, the mold material is a refractory ceramic material selected to withstand a high temperature environment, and the mold is formed by a suitable investment process: the jacketed precursor component is repeatedly dipped into a slurry of mold material, which is allowed to harden to create a shell of mold material, and the shell is fired to form the mold. After the mold is formed, the precursor component is removed from the jacket by oxidizing or “burning out” the precursor material from the jacketed precursor component.

 

Three-dimensional printing of investment casting patterns
Patent No. :  US2018001561 (A1)
Date of Patent:  2015-08-22
Inventor(s):  Michael G Hascher; William Buckley
Assignee:  Michael G Hascher; William Buckley [US]
The present invention provides a system and method for generating investment casting patterns by 3D printing. The pattern is generated by a 3D printer which prints the exterior of the pattern in pattern wax and the interior in support wax. The 3D printers may utilize two materials, i.e., pattern wax and support wax. Pattern wax and support wax have different material properties, including thermodynamic and mechanical properties. And pattern wax may be three times the cost of support wax. A desired object to be printed is generated in pattern wax by the 3D printer. As 3D printing is conducted layer-by-layer, down-facing surfaces of the desired object are printed up to by using support wax. The support wax on the down-facing surfaces of the printed object is removed upon completion, leaving the finished pattern wax object. In the invention, the method for creating an investment casting pattern comprises the following steps. At least one solid 3-dimensional (3D) model of a desired investment casting pattern is acquired by an associated computer aided drafting (CAD) device. The solid 3D model can be acquired by CAD software on the associated CAD device. The solid 3D model is processed with the CAD software to generate a 3D hollow model of the desired investment casting pattern. The 3D hollow pattern includes an exterior surface of a particular thickness surrounding a substantially hollow interior, wherein the particular thickness of the exterior of the 3D hollow model varies between 0.001 inches to 1.250 inches. The 3D hollow model is transferred to an associated 3D printing device, and, the 3D printing device, upon receipt of the 3D hollow model, generates the desired investment casting pattern by printing the exterior of the investment casting pattern in pattern wax and printing the substantially hollow interior of the investment casting pattern with support wax. The present invention creates a 3D printed investment casting pattern system and method that reduces the use of highest priced pattern wax material by as much as 90%, increases the strength of the 3D printed investment casting pattern, and produces a high precision exterior finish of the investment casting pattern. The investment casting pattern created by the system and method is also lighter in weight and the energy necessary to remove the pattern from the mold during the investment casting process is reduced.

 

Method for manufacturing a monoblock-type aluminum caliper housing
Patent No. :  US9890824 (B1) 
Date of Patent:  2016-02-02
Inventor(s):  Cheol Kyu Jung
Assignee: J&C Co., Ltd. [KR]
The present invention relates to a method for manufacturing a monoblock-type aluminum caliper housing for a vehicle disk brake, by which a lightweight caliper housing can be manufactured and manufacturing productivity can be dramatically increased. The method for manufacturing a monoblock-type caliper housing includes: preparing a middle core mold provided with a first core-forming portion and a second core-forming portion that are at a predetermined distance from each other, with a first channel and a second channel connecting the first and second core-forming portions to each other, and with a third channel connecting respective sides of the first core-forming portion to each other; sealing the middle core mold and pouring molding sand; performing primary molding by heating the middle core mold; opening the middle core mold and de-molding a middle core having a first core portion, a second core portion, a first channel-forming portion, a second channel-forming portion, and a third channel-forming portion from the middle core mold; forming a salt coating layer with a predetermined thickness on the surfaces of the first, second, and third channel-forming portions of the middle core, putting the middle core coated with the salt coating layer in the middle core mold again, sealing the middle core mold, and performing secondary molding by heating the middle core mold; opening the middle core mold and de-molding the middle core unified with the salt coating layer; preparing a casting mold; positioning the middle core in the casting mold; pouring molten aluminum into a cavity between the internal mold surface of the casting mold and the external surface of the middle core in a state in which the casting mold is sealed; cooling down the casting mold; de-molding the monoblock-type caliper housing in which the middle core is contained, from the casting mold; removing the middle core from the monoblock-type caliper housing by applying ultrasonic waves; spraying high-pressure washing water into a first oil channel, a second oil channel, and a third oil channel formed in the monoblock-type caliper housing, to remove salt residues remaining in them; and forming an oil supply hole in a center portion of either one side of the monoblock-type caliper housing such that the oil supply hole is connected to the first oil channel or the second oil channel. According to the present invention, since a salt coating layer is formed on the surface of a channel-forming portion of a middle core, the middle core can be perfectly removed through a cleaning process, which dramatically improves manufacturing productivity of caliper housings.

Molding materials for non-ferrous casting
Patent No. :  US2018001372 (A1)
Date of Patent:  2015-12-14
Inventor(s):  Xianping Wang; Gregory P Sturtz; Kathleen E Lowe;
                    Joerg Kroker
Assignee:  ASK Chemicals L.P. [US]
A molding material mixture for producing casting molds for metal processing, particularly for non-ferrous metals, such as aluminum or magnesium, is intended to reduce problems such as metal-mold reaction and/or shrinkage porosity defect. Such a mixture comprises a free-flowing refractory molding material and a binder. The binder is usually provided as a two-component system that is mixed and cured at the time of use. The binder system is an epoxy-acrylic binder that is cured with sulfur dioxide gas, or it can be a pair of polyurethane precursors, having a phenolic polyol component and a polyisocyanate component. The free-flowing refractory molding material in the molding material mixture is coated with a mixture of inorganic salts exhibiting a eutectic melting point in the range of about 400 °C to about 500 °C, particularly in the range of about 420 °C to about 460 °C. Preferably this coating occurs by contacting the inorganic salt mixture with the molding material mixture at a temperature between 500 °C and 700 °C, in a manner that maintains the free-flowing nature of the coated product. Then the coated resulting refractory molding mixture is cooled to ambient temperature. The mixture of inorganic salts is a mixture of three inorganic salts, and it is preferred that each of the inorganic salts in the mixture has a Group IA cation, especially potassium. Each of the inorganic salts in the mixture has, as an anion, either a halide anion or a fluorine complex of boron or titanium. Maybe, each of the inorganic salts in the mixture has fluorine as an anion. One mixture of inorganic salts that is used is a mixture consisting of, by weight: 74% potassium fluoroborate; 15% potassium chloride; and 12% potassium fluoride. This mixture has a eutectic melting point of 420 °C. Another mixture of inorganic salts is a mixture consisting of, by weight: 59% potassium fluoride; 29% lithium fluoride; and 12% sodium fluoride, wherein the mixture has a eutectic melting point of 460 °C. In a preferred way of practicing this method, the mixture of inorganic salts is contacted with the refractory molding material in an amount of about 0.3% to 0.4% by weight.

 

Railcar wheel, apparatus and method of manufacture
Patent No. :  US2018029410 (A1)
Date of Patent:  2016-10-05
Inventor(s):  Vaughn W Makary
Assignee:  Rail 1520 IP Ltd. [US]
The present invention relates to a novel railroad car freight wheel design, and also to a new apparatus and method/process for manufacturing the wheel using vacuum-sealed molding process casting technology. The cast metal railroad car wheel includes a hub section having an axle bore, a tread section with an axially-extending edge flange, and an uninterrupted annular web that extends between and supports the tread section on the hub section. The web includes opposing disk-shaped surfaces, wherein at least one of the opposing disk-shaped surfaces defines a substantially concave surface that is free of a reversely curved portion. In the invention, a V-process casting process is also provided to cast railroad car wheels. The method includes providing a V-process casting mold with opposing halves, where each opposing half includes unbonded sand adjacent a sand-retaining plastic film having a vacuum application port, and wherein the opposing halves, when positioned together with the unbonded sand held to shape by application of a vacuumed film, define a cavity shaped to form a railroad car wheel. The method also includes providing a fill passage in one of the opposing halves. The V-process further includes feeding molten metal into the cavity, cooling the molten metal, and releasing a vacuum to cause the sand to fall away from the railroad car wheel. A further aspect of the present invention is a process for casting multiple cast metal railroad car wheels simultaneously. The process includes providing a cast mold with opposing halves, each at least partially filled with sand and that, when positioned together with the sand, define a plurality of cavities each shaped to form a railroad car wheel. The method also includes providing a fill passage leading into each of the cavities for communicating in-fed molten metal. Also, the process includes infeeding molten metal through the fill passages and through a filter into the cavities and cooling the molten metal to simultaneously form a plurality of cast metal railroad car wheels. The present innovation using V-process technology includes novel aspects in at least the following areas: 1) a new wheel cross section with a single curve or “single-sweep” rib, 2) first railroad car wheel cast using V-process casting, 3) first process where multiple cavities can be cast in a single casting operation. The present innovation provides molding times that are faster, more efficient, and with far greater yield such as 65% or greater yield (most likely 85% yield if properly controlled) on cast railroad wheels.

 

Clay binder materials and methods of preparation thereof
Patent No. :  WO2017222961 (A1)
Date of Patent:  2016-06-19
Inventor(s):  Jie Lu; Victor S Lafay; Michael Greene
Assignee:  S & B Industrial Minerals North America, Inc. [US]
The present disclosure relates generally to clay materials useful as binding agents, e.g., during casting, pelletizing, molding, and/or other processes for shaping an article. The methods of preparing such clay materials are also provided. The clay materials may be chemically treated from the first clay, wherein the first clay comprises montmorillonite, sodium bentonite, calcium bentonite, or a combination thereof, and wherein the first clay is natural clay. In one example, the natural bentonite clay is combined with at least one reducing agent to produce the chemically-treated bentonite clay, wherein an amount of iron present as ferric iron (Fe3+) in the natural bentonite clay is at least partially reduced to ferrous iron (Fe2+) in the chemically-treated bentonite clay. The at least one reducing agent may be added in an amount ranging from about 0.01% to about 10.0% by weight with respect to the weight of the natural bentonite clay. Additionally or alternatively, the at least one reducing agent may be chosen from sulfite compounds (including sodium sulfite), organic acids (including ascorbic acid, formic acid, oxalic acid, tannic acid, citric acid, and phytic acid), thiourea, sodium borohydride (NaBH4), lithium aluminum hydride (LiAlH4), carbon monoxide (CO), phosphite compounds, hypophosphite compounds, tin compounds, or a combination thereof. The present disclosure further includes a composition comprising a chemically-reduced bentonite clay, wherein the composition comprises at least 1500 ppm of total acid soluble iron and a ratio of Fe2+ to Fe3+ greater than 3. In some examples, the ratio of Fe2+ to Fe3+ may be greater than 5, greater than 7, or greater than 10. The chemically-reduced bentonite clay may be a kind of activated bentonite clay, such as an activated sodium bentonite, an activated calcium bentonite, or a combination thereof. In some aspects, the composition may comprise an additive that comprises Fe2+, Fe3+, or a combination of them. Any of the compositions herein may be used in a sand casting process and/or a pelletization process. The chemically-treated clay in the present invention may exhibit greater water absorption, binding properties, and/or sintering properties as compared to the untreated natural clay. According to the present disclosure, the sand mixture composition may comprise from about 85% to about 97% of the sand by weight, and from about 3% to about 15% of the chemically-treated bentonite clay by weight. In some aspects, the composition may contain moisture, e.g., the composition comprising from about 2% to about 4% of water by weight with respect to the weight of the sand.

System and process to provide self-supporting additive manufactured ceramic core
Patent No. :  US2018021848 (A1)
Date of Patent:  2015-07-20
Inventor(s):  Thomas N Slavens; James T Auxier
Assignee:  United Technologies Corporation [US]
The present disclosure relates generally to the utilization of a pre-sintering cycle to a green additive core that will allow the core to be self-supportive during the firing process. In the invention, a core for use in casting an internal cooling circuit within a gas turbine engine component is provided, the core including a core body with an outer skin in which a core body additively manufacturing binder is locally eliminated. The core body is made of a ceramic material, and the refractory ceramic material is in a “green” state with the binder. A directional energy source is utilized to form the outer skin, and the outer skin forms only a portion of the outer surface of the core body. The outer skin of the core body is about 1-2 mils (thousands of an inch), and it is sintered by the directional energy source. The outer skin formed only along a line of sight from the directional energy source directed at the outer surface of the core body. The outer skin forms only a visible region of the outer surface of the core body. Then the core body is fired in a furnace to de-bind and sinter the visually shielded regions of the core body. In the invention, a method of manufacturing a core is also provided, which comprises two main steps: using a directional energy source such as a laser to form the outer skin, wherein the laser is about 100 W; firing the core body to de-bind and sinter non-outer skin regions of the core body. By the invention, the pre-sintered portions of the outer skin provide retaining strength to the core during the full furnace burn out process which thereby eliminates the need for setters and reduced development time for processing of a new additive core design. The process facilitates an increase in core yield by strengthening cores prior to firing by pre-sintering the surface and thereby decreases cost for processing of additive cores. The present invention is benefit for making an actively cooled airfoil segment of a gas turbine engine, or other actively cooled components such as blades, vanes, exhaust duct liners, nozzle flaps, nozzle seals, etc.

 

Press forming method for a semi-solid metal material and press forming apparatus for a semi-solid metal material
Patent No. :  US2017361374 (A1) 
Date of Patent:  2016-09-06
Inventor(s):  Yuji Abe; Seiji Nakamura; Setsuo Toda
Assignee: AIDA Engineering Ltd. [JP]
The present invention relates to a press forming method for a semi-solid metal material and a press forming apparatus for a semi-solid metal material, which are configured to form mainly light metal, such as an aluminum alloy, and other kinds of metal under a semi-solid state. The present invention is capable of manufacturing products having homogeneity, excellence in mechanical strength, and high quality while enhancing productivity when the products are manufactured using the semi-solid metal material having an axially symmetric shape. The press forming method for a semi-solid material includes: a semi-solid material carrying step of carrying a semi-solid material, which is manufactured from molten metal of a metal material into an axially symmetric shape, into a recessed portion of a lower die, the recessed portion conforming to a shape of a press-formed product; a first press forming step of regulating, under a Z-direction regulation state in which a change in the Z direction's dimension corresponding to a pressing direction is regulated by an upper die, a change in one of the dimensions in X and Y directions by compressing the material with a transverse punch so that the one of the dimension of the semi-solid metal material in the X direction and the dimension of the semi-solid metal material in the Y direction becomes equal to a dimension of the press-formed product, and then stopping the punch at a position of the compression; and a second press forming step of moving, under a state in which the change in the one of the dimension of the semi-solid metal material in the X direction and the dimension of the semi-solid metal material in the Y direction is regulated in the first press forming step, the upper die in the pressing direction to compress the semi-solid metal material so that the dimension of the semi-solid metal material in the Z direction becomes equal to the dimension of the press-formed product. In the first press forming step, the Z-direction regulation state comprises a state in which the upper die compresses the semi-solid metal material so that the dimension of the semi-solid metal material in the Z direction corresponding to the pressing direction becomes a predetermined dimension, and then the upper die is stopped at the position of the compression to regulate the change in the dimension of the semi-solid metal material in the Z direction. In the present method of manufacturing a product, after charging the semi-solid metal into the cavity of the die, the semi-solid metal is filled into the die while compressed under press pressure, and pressure having certain intensity is applied to the semi-solid metal. In this manner, quality and accuracy of forming are increased.

 

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