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Rapid Casting Using Laser Sintering Sand

Moulds and Cores

Warwick Formula Student- A Case Study


Dr Greg Gibbons

RPM&T Group
University of Warwick
Contents
• Introduction to Laser Sand Sintering
• Introduction to Warwick Formula Student

• Case Study Parts


– Intake
– Gear change mechanism

• Benefits / Limitations
Laser Sand Sintering
Laser Sand Sintering
• DirectCast process
– CAD file of part used to
design mould (cope, drag
and cores)

– Gates and runners may also


be included
– Dual laser sintering of
Croning sand to produce
green-state moulds
– Removal of support
structures.

– Flame hardening of surfaces


and 180oC post-bake to
harden and achieve full
strength
– Metal casting
Laser Sand Sintering
• Warwick uses EOSint S700
sand sintering system

• Build volume of
720x380x380mm

• Primarily use silica Croning


sand (phenolic resin coated)
Laser Sand Sintering
• Total design flexibility
– No two components need to be
manufactured the same.
– Achieve optimum performance
– Dramatically reduce both cost and lead-
time

• One-off through to Batch 1 and beyond..


Laser Sand Sintering
• Materials
– Traditional materials e.g. LM25 TF
– Production materials e.g LM24
– Yellow metals
– Cast iron
– SG iron
– CGi
– Stainless steel (inc austenitic grades)
– Development materials
Laser Sand Sintering
• Case Study Examples
– V6 aluminium block 20 days
– V8 iron block 24 days
– Manifold inlet & exhaust 5 days
– Brackets 5 days
– Transmission housing 15 days
– Auto transmission valve body 5 days
Warwick Formula Student
Warwick Formula Student
• Organised by:
– Institute of Mechanical Engineers
– Society of Automotive Engineers
– Institute of Engineering & Technology

• 4th year engineering project

• Challenge is to design, build, develop, market


and compete with a small, single-seater racing
car
WFS – Development Areas
Sand Cast Components
Intake Design Development
Intake Design Development

• Design Aims
• Optimal mid-range torque

– Shape of plenum
– Volume of plenum
– Length of runners
– Shape of runners
Intake Design Development

• Design Aims
• Good throttle response

– Volume of plenum
Intake Design Development

• Design Aims
• High volumetric efficiency

– Plenum volume
– Plenum shape
– Cross-section of runners
– Alignment of restrictor,
plenum and runners
Intake Design Development

• Design Aims
• Even flow distribution

– Shape of plenum
– Alignment of plenum &
runners
Intake Design Development

• Design Aims
• Set-up flow field

– Shape of plenum &


runners
– Inner wall roughness
Intake Design Development

• Plenum& runners
designed using 1-D
pressure simulation
software
– ‘Ricardo WAVE’
Intake Design Realisation
• Originally fabricated
from sheet and welded
• Many disadvantages
– Extensive lead-time
– Costly
– Non-optimal structure
• Lack stiffness and
breathe
• Require extensive
reinforcement
– Non-smooth flow due to
seams and alignment
– Design limited by
fabricator skill level
Intake Design Realisation
• Sand Casting has
revolutionised the
intake development
– Rapid design
realisation
– Complex design
realisation
– True to CAD
manufacture
Intake Design Realisation
• Supercharged intake
• 7 component mould
– Inlet and outlet
(2 mould halves each)
– Main plenum
(2 mould halves + core)
• Completed in 3 builds
– Cope
– Drag
– End moulds & core
Cost & Time

Parts Cost (£) Time (hrs) Total (hrs)


CAD Build Prep Cure
Cope 478.21 1 4 2 8
Drag 382.34 1 4 2
Core 292.12 1 3 2
End moulds 422.16 2 3
Total 1,575 5 11 9 8 33
% 15 33 27 25
Intake Design Realisation
• Normally aspirated intake
– Split line along centre line

• 4 component mould
– Built in 2 halves
– 2 mould halves per plenum side
• Integrated core
• Integrated runner and gate
• Completed in 2 builds
– Side 1 cope & drag
– Side 2 cope & drag
• Non-optimal performance
– Edge seams restricted air flow
– Entry re-aligned to straighten flow
– Plenum and mould redesigned
Intake Design Realisation
• Normally aspirated intake
– Split line between top and bottom

• 4 component mould
– 2 mould halves for bottom
– 2 mould halves for top

• Completed in 2 builds
– Bottom cope & drag
– Top cope & drag
• Provided optimal performance
– Mid-range torque
– Throttle response
– Even flow distribution
Intake Design Realisation
• Runner
– Length altered to offer
higher mid-range torque
– Curvature adjusted to align
with top-fed plenum
• 3 part moulds
– Two mould halves & core

• Completed in 2 builds
– Cope x 4 + drag x 4
– Core x 4
Cost & Time

Parts Cost (£) Time (hrs) Total (hrs)


CAD Build Prep Cure
Bottom cope 229.43 1 5 2 8
Bottom drag 219.74 1 2
Top cope 520.14 1.5 4 2
Top drag 341.56 1.5 1
Total 1,311 5 9 7 8 29
% 17 31 24 28

Parts Cost (£) Time (hrs) Total (hrs)


CAD Build Prep Cure
Cope x 4 940.2 1 10 2 8
Drag x 4 940.16 1 2
Core x 4 566.32 2 4 2
Total 2,447 4 14 6 8 32
% 13 43 19 25
Gear Change Mechanism Design
Development
Gear Change Mechanism
Design Development
• Various design aims
– Light-weight
– Aesthetically pleasing
– Ergonomic design
– Variable length for different
control action (short / long)

• Lever and bracket each


made from 2 part moulds

• No separate cores required

• Completed both parts in one


build
Cost & Time

Parts Cost (£) Time (hrs) Total (hrs)


CAD Build Prep Cure
Cope (lever) 103.64 1.5 4 1 8
Drag (lever) 102.63 1.5 1
Cope (bracket) 114.56 1 1
Drag (bracket) 142.04 1 1
Total 463 5 4 4 8 21
% 24 19 19 38
Benefits / Limitations
Benefits
– Extremely rapid and flexible
– Complexity is at no extra cost
– Good gas permeability
– Complex moulds require less parts and more rapid mould
assembly
– Easy to bond parts
• Moulds outside of machine size capability
• Addition of runners etc
Limitations
– Surface is rough due to lack of alignment of sand particles
– Some geometries are impossible due to need to remove
support structures
Contact:

Dr Greg Gibbons
P: +44 24 7652 2524
F: +44 24 7652 4878
E: g.j.gibbons@warwick.ac.uk
www: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/