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In the present work, drain casting process has been used in preparation of
crucibles. There are several defects on the finishing products resulted from slip
casting process.
Slip preparation is critical to slip casting and requires
optimization among a number of factors, including viscosity, solids contents, slip
stability, casting rate, drying rate, and drying shrinkage. It is possible to
overcome most casting faults by adjusting the control values of the casting slip.
The more water in a slip, the lower its specific gravity will be. The more
solids, the higher it will be. Slip with too much water will soak the moulds more
quickly, give slow casts, and result in excessive shrinkage that cracks the ware.
In slip casting process, the slip should be poured slowly and smoothly into
the cavity of the mould along the edge to remove all air from the cavity and
prevent at the same time the formation of air pockets or bubbles in the clay.
During pouring, the stream of slip should be moved around the mould, if the slip
strikes only in one place it will cause the cast to pack at that place. This will
result in warping of the casting.
Excess slip need to be drained slowly and evenly from the mould after cast
has formed to the proper thickness. If the slip is drained quickly, the suction of
the outgoing slip may pull the soft clay away from contact with the plaster wall in
the cavity, resulting in a warped casting.
A small amount of slip is permitted to overflow on the shoulders of the
mould when first pouring slip in the cavity. This is done, so that the cast will be
held in the cavity, and will not drop out when the mould is first turned upside
down. This overflowing permits an even trimming of the top of the casting and
insures that the top will be exactly level. This overflowing on the shoulders of the
mould is done only with flood moulds, and does not apply to two piece or multipiece moulds.
Each time a casting is made, the plaster of the mould absorbs water from
the slip. It is necessary that this moisture dry out of the mould before using the
mould again. "Leather hard" is the condition of the clay when the casting is ready
to be separated from the mould. The clay in this condition is moist and
somewhat plastic, but able to support itself without collapsing. It is a little less
plastic than wedged plastic clay but plastic clay items or ornaments can be slip
pasted to the leather hard casting with assurance.
Porosity in castings is due to bubbles being trapped during solidification.
Porosity sources include entrapped air during filling, centerline shrinkage that
occurs during the final solidification, blowholes from unvented cores and
reactions at the mould wall. Air bubbles (pinholes) in green ware can come from
air in the slip from stirring too briskly or pouring too rapidly. Air bubbles on rims
of pieces can be reduced by rocking the mould while pouring.

Adding lower melting ingredients will lowers the maturation temperature

(porosity) of the clay body and decreases the potential for water absorption in
the fired ware, while at the same time increasing firing shrinkage.
Cracks occurred in ware is due to several factors; rapid or uneven drying
of clay ware, clay of poor plasticity, firing body too fast up to 300 oC or
overworking of clay during making.
The suggested remedies for the troubles are dry more slowly, increase
plasticity of clay, down initial firing rate (2-4 hours) and handling time during
making, respectively.
Another defect that has been encountered is uneven casting thickness.
This means the walls of the casting are thick and thin. The reason is difference in
mould absorption due to difference in the thickness of a mould thick areas
absorb water faster than thin areas, causing excess build-up of slip. It is
important to check the quality of the mould. It may be necessary to change the
thickness of the mould; thick areas in the mould may need to be made thinner.
If there is not sufficient water in the slip when it is first made, the pouring
of the slip into the mould will be uneven, and the clay will form unevenly against
the inside surfaces of the mould. The clay remaining after draining the surplus
slip will be of varying density and will warp when fired.