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Steel vanes are inserted directly into the 3-D printed core and then the whole core package is placed in the drag part of the mold for pouring.


tightly, the vanes and loose pieces would shift. Since this method was more accurate and simpler, the cores could now be made from air set sand with a minor binder adjustment to lengthen the working time. In this method, the loose pieces


were still able to move, and operator errors still introduced variability into the process. Elliott saw an improve- ment to the surface area calcula- tion, but it was still out of tolerance and the vanes had to be bent into place. Te same downfall applied to this aluminum corebox design as the previous, in that it could only accommodate one rotation. If the other rotation was needed, a second corebox was needed. At the time, the cost of the corebox was in excess of $90,000 and couldn’t accommodate all of the variation that was to come. Elliott recognized this method was untenable for production purposes. With all of the advances in addi-


tive manufacturing, Elliott Group began exploring new ways to make the cores using 3-D printing. Eventu- ally, and in collaboration with Quaker City Castings (QCC) (Salem, Ohio), the company arrived at a solution.


3-D Printed Sand Cores In 2014, Elliott approached


QCC to discuss a solution to the issues with casting the cores and vanes of turbine diaphragms. QCC had experience using additive manufacturing or 3-D printing to combine complex core assemblies


August 2017 MODERN CASTING | 29


into a single core. After several discussions between engineering staff at Elliott and QCC, both companies agreed QCC would develop a process to manufacture


3-D printed sand cores in tandem with a method to ensure the vanes would be correctly spaced and dimensionally accurate. The first step in the process was


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