Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2010

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Beckermann, Christoph

First Committee Member

Beckermann, Christoph

Second Committee Member

Zhupanska, Olesya

Third Committee Member

Ratner, Albert


Foundries today use temporary molds made from silica sand with a resin bonding agent to hold a form until the metal is poured. With the aid of computer simulations, the molds are designed to produce good castings with minimal pattern iterations by calculating cooling and porosity. Stress analysis simulations are being developed using the current software, but the known mechanical properties for the sand mold are minimal and incomplete. This study measures the elastic modulus of bonded sand as a function of temperature to obtain baseline data for the model. Following ASTM standards, a three point bend test is used to measure the elastic modulus of chemically bonded sand as a function of temperature to better understand the complex nature of the mold as it undergoes heating and cooling. Multiple measurements of the elastic modulus of PUNB bonded silica sand are performed from room temperature to 500°C in a nitrogen atmosphere to capture the changes in the elastic modulus under heating. It is found that for an intermediate heating rate of 8°C/min, the elastic modulus decreases steeply from a room temperature value of about 3,600 MPa to 600 MPa at 125°C. Between 125°C and 250°C, the elastic modulus is relatively constant. Above 250°C, it increases to 1,200 MPa at 280°C and then decreases again to 800 MPa at 350°C. Above 350°C, the elastic modulus increases linearly with temperature until it reaches 2,200 MPa at 500°C. At approximately 500°C, the strength of the bonded sand vanishes. At a given temperature above 125°C, the elastic modulus can vary by more than a factor of two depending on the heating rate. Furthermore, the elastic modulus agrees with previous steady state temperature measurement literature when specimens are held at a constant temperature until the elastic modulus reach steady. It is also found that the addition of black iron oxide has no effect on the elastic modulus, whereas solvent removal before a test increases the stiffness of the bonded sand at temperatures below 150°C.


Elastic Modulus, Mechanical Properties, No-Bake, PUNB, Resin Bonded Sand


viii, 68 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 67-68).


Copyright 2010 Jacob Andrew Thole