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Methods and apparatus for heat treatment and sand removal for castings

Imported: 24 Feb '17 | Published: 06 Jan '04

Scott P. Crafton, Paul M. Crafton, Volker R. Knobloch, James L. Lewis, Jr., Ian French

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

A system and method for heat treating castings and removing sand cores therefrom. The castings are initially located in indexed positions with their x, y, and z coordinates known. The castings are passed through a heat treatment station typically having a series of nozzles mounted in preset positions corresponding to the known indexed positions of the castings passing through the heat treatment station. The nozzles apply heat to the castings for heat treating the castings and dislodging the sand cores for removal from the castings.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of a first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view illustrating introduction of molten metal into a mold.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view illustrating the positioning of a casting within a saddle.

FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of a further embodiment of the present invention for in-mold heat treating with sand core removal process.

FIGS. 5A-5B are side elevational views illustrating movement of the air nozzles to various application positions about a mold or die for in-mold heat treatment.

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view schematically illustrating an alternative embodiment of a heating chamber for in-mold heat treatment of castings.

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view schematically illustrating another alternative embodiment of a heating chamber for in-mold heat treatment of castings.

FIGS. 8A-8C are side elevational views schematically illustrating further alternative embodiments of heating chambers for in-mold heat treatment of castings.

FIG. 9 illustrates an additional embodiment of a heat treatment unit including the various embodiments of heating chambers shown in FIGS. 6-8C, positioned in series.

FIG. 10A is a schematic illustration of a further embodiment of the present invention for processing metal castings.

FIG. 10B is a side elevational view of the heat treatment line of the embodiment of the present invention of FIG.

10A.

Claims

1. A method of processing a metal casting, comprising:

2. The method of claim 1 and wherein placing the mold in a heat treatment station further comprises placing the casting in an indexed position with a plurality of core openings of the casting aligned in a known, predefined alignment, and further heat treating the casting.

3. The method of claim 2 and further comprising the steps of:

4. The method of claim 2 and wherein placing the casting in an indexed position comprises positioning the casting at a first position with x, y and z axes of the casting oriented in a known first orientation, and wherein the core openings are in alignment with the plurality of nozzles.

5. The method of claim 2 and further comprising:

6. The method of claim 1 and further comprising:

7. The method of claim 1 and wherein applying energy to the mold comprises directing radiant energy against the mold which absorbs the radiant energy, and heating the mold and casting from outside the mold inwardly.

8. The method of claim 1 and wherein applying energy to the mold comprises directing inductive energy from an induction energy source against the mold to heat the mold and casting from inside the mold outwardly.

9. The method of claim 1 and wherein applying energy to mold comprises moving the mold through a pressurized chamber, drawing a flow of oxygen gas through the mold to promote combustion of a combustible binder material of the mold, and heating the casting with the combustion of the binder and oxygen gas.

10. A system for manufacturing castings comprising:

11. The system of claim 10 and wherein said heat treatment station includes a plurality of nozzle stations each comprising a series of robotically operated nozzles adapted to move about the castings between at least first and second nozzle positions in alignment with a series of core openings formed in the castings for directing heat toward the castings from different directions to substantially break down and dislodge the cores from the castings.

12. The system of claim 10 and wherein said saddles each include a series of walls defining a casting receptacle and a plurality of locating devices positioned within said casting receptacle, so as to engage and guide the castings into their known, indexed positions having known position coordinates within said saddles.

13. The system of claim 12 and wherein said locating devices comprise guide pins and wherein the castings are formed in said molds with corresponding locating openings in which said guide pins are received for locating the castings in their known, indexed positions within said saddles.

14. The system of claim 10 and wherein said molds include an internal heating source for preheating said molds and at least partially heat treating the castings.

15. The system of claim 14 wherein said internal heating source comprises a heated fluid media received and/or circulated through said molds for heating said molds internally to a soak temperature for at least partially heat treating the castings therewithin.

16. The system of claim 12 and further comprising a radiant chamber positioned upstream from said heat treatment station and having at least one heat source, wherein heat is applied to the castings as they are received and move through said radiant chamber sufficient to arrest cooling of the castings to at least a process control temperature prior to the castings being moved into said heat treatment station.

17. The system of claim 10 and further comprising a radiant chamber positioned upstream from said heat treatment station and having at least one heat source, wherein heat is applied to the castings in said radiant chamber to arrest cooling of the castings to at least a process control temperature prior to the castings being moved into said heat treatment station.

18. The system of claim 10 and wherein said heat treatment station includes a fluid bed within which the molds are received and for purposes of temperature control, heat-up and removal and reclamation of sand from the core and mold.