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Thread: Lost Foam Cast Iron

  1. #1
    Senior Member cactusdreams's Avatar
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    Lost Foam Cast Iron

    I keep thinking about the sander fence I want to make and the shape might be too tricky for a 2 part sand mold but my mind keeps going to lost foam. Searched here but couldn't find much. Has anyone done lost foam iron casting? Kentucky Packrat mentioned it briefly but no details. I found plenty of use in industry and there's much emphasis on the coatings being just right especially in terms of permeability. Around the 3:00 mark here.

    Found a company that makes lost foam iron coatings and will see if they sell small amounts. Will call IFSCO too but didn't see anything in their catalog.
    http://www.sefp.net/prod.html
    And a great breakdown of how lost foam coatings work and hints to possible home brews.
    http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs-wm/29758.pdf
    Looks like the ingredients could be rounded up but the critical percentages are a mystery. So just wondered if anyone has been down this road. Much of the info available indicates lost foam is better than sand for casting iron in many respects and could be great for a small one off job like my sander fence.
    People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

  2. #2
    The first page of the "Simple draft and full mold" Sticky shows the spacer blocks I did in cast iron for the Jeep. I coated it with my usual thinned taping compound if I recall and may have vented it with a needle after the coating dried. All the same pouring rules apply and it goes faster.
    If you think you can't do it, you're right!

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    <thread jack>
    04:31 - "Double nodularity confirmation " Is it just me or does this video sound like the Turbo encabulator?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fjcJp_Nwvk

    </threadjack>

    Cool video, and a process I would love to do.

    Regards,
    Mark

  4. #4
    Senior Member cactusdreams's Avatar
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    Thanks! That's just what I needed. Might have been overthinking the coating from what I saw. It looks like you kept everything flowing downhill. Not unlike the sander fence shape either. Liked your section on making the foam rammer too. Might try that on my vertical slo-mo foam lathe. Found another industrial vid on lost foam iron with some nice foam carving techniques at 15:35 to 17:15. The heavily accented computer generated voice is pretty annoying though. Lot's of other tricks and info that can be used by us here too.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fEU3fuQd9s

    rotarysmp, I just like the sound of "turbo encabulator". Wait till you hear the voice on the other video.
    People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

  5. #5
    Moderator DavidF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rotarysmp View Post
    <thread jack>
    04:31 - "Double nodularity confirmation " Is it just me or does this video sound like the Turbo encabulator?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fjcJp_Nwvk

    </threadjack>

    Cool video, and a process I would love to do.

    Regards,
    Mark
    I remember this training from when I was a technician at a Chrysler dealer. It was when the A604 trans first came out and made me realize why they were having so many problems with them
    A calm sea does not make a skilled sailor...
    http://thehomefoundry.org

  6. #6
    I started in Lost Foam a long time ago, and one of my first projects was a Delta Trailing Truck. I had made it up in styrofoam, did the gating, and investing in sodium silicate sand, got some inoculate from a company that poured ductile iron, got the rotating electric arc furnace running, and with lots of help attempted to pour DI.

    We only had a watt-hour meter to judge temperature, and I poured too cold, as seen in the photo. Tried again, and had success, but switched to bronze or aluminum for other castings, pouring my own DI was too time consuming especially when you might lose a foam pattern. (See November 1984 Live Steam Magazine)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Moderator DavidF's Avatar
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    Nice work Ronald. Do you know what inoculate you used? Most of us dont have access to an arc furnace or induction furnace, but we make due...
    A calm sea does not make a skilled sailor...
    http://thehomefoundry.org

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    Cool chinglish accent on that video. I look forward to making my 3D printer to lost PLA.
    Mark

  9. #9
    I was fortunate to have taught physics at a tech high school which at that time still had shops, they are all gone now. The foundry had a rotary electric arc furnace that had not been used in years. I went to a company called Wells Mfg, who poured many tons of DI per week, and the metallurgist gave me some maganieze nodules, and advice on how to make DI and pour. The real problem was there was only a chart of mass of Fe versus input energy, and using that chart I poured too cold. We had no way to measure actual temperature. The second time I just kept the energy input running longer.

    That experience cured me of wanting to make my own DI, instead for some other projects, I took my molds over to an iron foundry and they poured them for me. I let them worry about the metallurgy and pouring. I have stuck with bronze or aluminum since.

  10. #10
    Senior Member cactusdreams's Avatar
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    Great stuff Ronald. That is way past what I'm trying to do. Any pics of that furnace? Need to correct myself re. percentages in the coating from the intechopen link. There is a chart I missed so might see if I can DIY something. If not stick with mud.

    rotarysmp, I hadn't watched the whole Turbo Encabulator vid when I commented before. Haaa! That is hilarious! Now I'm searching ebay for a nice used metapolar refractive pilfrometer. Hope I find one with a drawn reciprocating dingle arm.
    People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

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