Q: Please explain the Free Radical Cure (FRC) process of core making?
A: The FRC is a process that has some unique attributes. A significant one is that epoxy acrylic binders (at ASK Chemicals we call it “ISOSET™”) achieve an unlimited life for the sand mixture. As with many other cold box processes, the reaction between the part A and part B binder begins when the two are mixed. Inhibitors are added to slow down this reaction until it can be cured with the amine catalyst.
The ISOSET products do not exhibit this reaction. The binders will maintain their usefulness until the SO2 catalyst in introduced to the mix. This can reduce significantly the costs associated with sand wasted because of down time and end-of-shift shut downs.
Asking which binder is the "best” for core making really is to examine the implications for the type of castings to be produced, the type of sand that is to be used, what type of metal is to be poured, what equipment is used, etc.
All binders should be optimized for the specific process and castings to be produced. Then, in an optimized state the binder chemistry that produces the lowest cost casting should be used. The critical point is to optimize the process, which is done by correctly designing the tooling, maintaining the equipment that is all matched to the best product within a chemistry based on the individual foundry’s needs.
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