05

Highest quality marine engine castings
Working within the constraints of standard foundry
practice, the German marketplace manufactures a wide
variety of casting shapes and sizes ranging from simple
to very complex objects.
The highest quality standards are achieved but parts such
as marine diesel engine components present the need
for extra attention as they can be exceptionally complex
with casting weights in excess of 100 tonnes and section
thicknesses above 250mm.
Such components push existing casting technology to its
limits. How can a small layer of coating generate the
required separation properties between metal and
moulding material?
MAN Diesel, the world’s leading provider of large-bore
diesel engines for marine and power plant applications,
has worked closely with Foseco to find a solution.
The foundry on site at the MAN Diesel plant in
Augsburg, Germany, produces castings of outstanding
quality associated with modern coating technology. The
two organisations have a joint collaboration to optimise
coatings systems for the marine industry.
Both organisations have an ongoing commitment to
continue this joint-development process and the
determination to succeed is still strong, despite inevitable
process setbacks along the way.
Figure 1 shows a marine diesel engine in detail.
Figure 1 Marine diesel engine
The problem and the solution
The trigger for a need for improvement in the process
was the number of severe problems that arose during the
application of various water coatings. This was due to
the inconsistent rheological properties of the products, in
conjunction with unsuitable casting release after pouring.
This resulted in uneven coating layers being applied
which lead to burn-on and metal penetration defects
after casting.
To eliminate these deficiencies, both during application
and on casting results, comprehensive investigations and
development work were started, leading to innovative
new thinking in the development and application of
coating products.
Figure 2 shows the application of zircon silicates. The key
feature of the new approach is the tight control of the
raw material grading. A further challenge was the
combined dip- and over pour-process.
Figure 3 shows a crank-case core in order to provide an
indication of the size of the problem. Of most importance
here is the even coating layer applied in all areas of the
core. Coating layer thickness is the key measure of
control.
Figure 2 Application of zircon silicates
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Figure 3 Crank-case core
Figure 4 Coating immediately after application
The outcome of the successful joint-development was a
coating named SEMCO* Zir 7300 B, the application of
which delivered the following benefits:
• consistent layer across the whole surface
• uniform coating on mould material, chills and
pre-coated areas
• long coating application times (long mat time)
• application by dipping and over pouring
• compliance to no bake and PU ColdBox process
• very limited sedimentation
• stability vs. external influences
• usage on medium to large cores
• suitable for highest thermal demands
Figure 5 Flawless result of core assembly
In this application, a layer thickness of 0,300 - 0,350 mm
provides a very good separation between the liquid metal
and the moulding material. This even layer is replicated
on both horizontal and vertical faces. Partially pressurised
air is applied to remove excess coating from horizontal
surfaces and pockets.
Before trials were conducted on several castings,
comprehensive test procedures were used. In addition to
vein block and hexagon block tests, the MAN “through
pouring test“ was also applied, which correlates very
closely with subsequent casting performance.
Figure 4 shows a detailed view providing evidence of the
consistent layer whilst the coating is in its glossy phase
immediately after application.
Figure 5 shows the result of the core assembly.
The flawless outcome speaks for itself.
07
Method
It is known from practice that not all areas of the
moulding material are compacted to the same extent.
This is unfortunately unavoidable and increases the risk of
metal penetration in the areas of lower compaction. An
example of the problem is shown in Figure 6 where large
cavities between the sand grains can be clearly seen.
Figure 6 Shows cavities between sand grains
In order to overcome this problem the coating is
designed to penetrate the core surface and deposit
sufficient quantities of zirconium silicate particles in these
cavities, effectively sealing them thereby eliminating or
reducing significantly subsequent metal penetration.
How this looks under a microscope is shown in Figure 7.
The SEM image illustrates the penetrated coating
particles beside the silica grains.
Figure 7 Penetrated coating particles beside the silica grains
To improve this effect even further, specially developed
penetration coatings like SEMCO Coating 9223 are used.
These are normally applied by brush or spray directly
onto areas prone to penetration.
Figures 8 and 9 show examples of the application of
penetration coatings, primarily on crank cases and pull
anchors.
Figure 8 Example of penetration coatings
Figure 9 Example of penetration coatings
Quality control
As discussed, the most critical and key criteria for the
coating control is the layer thickness. This has delivered
optimum results in both theoretical and practical tests
and should be applied as a minimum reference.
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To control layer thickness in an easy and efficient way,
the Foseco wet layer thickness comb has proven to be a
very good tool. The functionality is shown on Figure 10.
Figure 10 Foseco wet layer thickness comb
Further control criteria are listed in Table 1. These
measures are established as quality controls in the
laboratory as well as process controls during
manufacturing. A comparison with a competitive product
clearly shows the benefits of SEMCO Zir 7300B.
These advantages are directly related to the discussed
application properties, and it is only possible to
consistently satisfy performance requirements in this way.
Conclusion
This improved coating development process has lead to a
product that meets the foundries requirements. Besides
the improved application of the coating system, the clear
benefit is seen in the cleaning and fettling room.
Reduced metal penetration and hence reduced cleaning
efforts are the results of this development. The coating
system can also claim to be applicable in other areas
across the foundry:
• optimised application characteristics
• consistent layer build up
• partial penetration of coating in the moulding
material
• additional use of penetration coatings as appropriate
• dipping and over pouring as application variants
• application of different layer thicknesses
• utilisation on different moulding materials
• resists highest thermal demands
• suitable for steel and cast iron
• very low gas development
• high gas permeability
• prevention of moulding material – metal reactions
Overall this development represents an ideal text book
example of how a successful supplier-customer
cooperation can produce outstanding results to the
benefit of all working in the foundry industry.
Table 1 Coating comparison with competitor product
1. Comparison Competitor Product SEMCO Zir 7300 B
Coating Information
Name of coating Competitor Product SEMCO Zir 7300 B
Liquid carrier water water
Colour white white
Viscosity (DIN 4mm) (s) 13.0 dilution 12.9 dilution
Solids content (%) 71.6 68.6
Baumé (° Bé) 80 78
Density (g/cm
3
) 2.23 2.12
Sedimentation (24h / %) 17 1
Flow Length (mm) 190 180
Flow properties very long very long
Matt time (FH, s) 33 222
Ring Test (s) 84 176
Layer thickness after 5s dip coating (FH/ m) 260 140
Core penetration after 5s dip coating (FH/ m) 0.2 – 0.3 0.5 – 1.0
Bacteria negative negative