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30 March 2006 Wireless accelerometer network for process monitoring during mold forming in lost foam casting
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Lost Foam Casting (LFC) enables the production of complex castings while offering the advantages of consolidation of components, reduced machining, and recirculation of the casting mold material. In the process, a replica of the desired product is produced of blown polystyrene, coated in refractory slurry, and cast in a dense, unbonded sand mold. In order for the unbonded sand mold to fill into pattern holes and to provide sufficient confining force to prevent the advancing molten front from penetrating beyond the mold boundaries, the sand mold is produced by an overhead raining and flask vibration schedule that encourages fluidization and subsequent densification. The amplitude, frequency, and duration of the flask vibration as well as the rate of sand filling are critical parameters in achieving quality castings. Currently, many foundries use an often-lengthy trial-and-error process for determining an acceptable raining and vibration schedule for each specific mold and rely heavily on simple measurements and operator experience to control the mold making process on the foundry line. This study focuses on developing a wireless sensor network of accelerometers to monitor vibrational characteristics of the casting flask during the mold making stage of LFC. Transformations in the vibrational characteristics of the flask can provide a "signature" for indicating the condition of the unbonded sand mold. Additionally, the wireless nature of the sensor nodes enables the technology to travel across the foundry floor during the casting cycle eliminating the necessity of routine placement and setup.
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Matthew J. Whelan and Kerop D. Janoyan "Wireless accelerometer network for process monitoring during mold forming in lost foam casting", Proc. SPIE 6167, Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Smart Sensor Monitoring Systems and Applications, 61670Z (30 March 2006);

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