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Innovative Application of 3D-Printing Sand Casting Technology in Pump Impeller Development

  • Published at: 2018-04-17 14:34
  • Last modified at: 2018-04-17 14:38

A pump is a device used in transferring fluids against gradient. The most common type of pump is a water motor pump for home use. A pump is used very extensively by industry to transfer fluids such as water, oil, acidic and alkaline liquids, emulsifiers, suspension liquids, as well as liquid metals. The petroleum, chemical engineering, paper making, steel, and electrical power industries rely on numerous pumps for their operations. Pumps are thus called “the heart of industry”.

There are many types of industrial pumps, andas pump impellers with unusual specifications are not easy to obtain, its users often need to look for casting plant to develop and manufacture these parts through sand casting process using reverse engineering. However, since sand casting process uses wooden mold reproduced from sand mold to create impeller via casting, it is often costly and time-consuming to manufacture such a wooden mold. Moreover, there are still limitations to its draft angles. Therefore, a combined design must be adopted for the manufacturing of sand core used in the impeller production process, which leads to poor impeller dimension reproduction accuracy.

To resolve the bottleneck in developing an impeller, the Metal Industries Research & Development Centre introduced a 3D-printing sand casting machine into its operations. The machine uses additive manufacturing to form a sand mold and sand core via stacking. It can therefore be applied to impeller development since 3D printing doesn’t require a wooden mold, and there is no limitation regarding draft angles. An integrated sand core helps to overcome the accuracy problem in reproduced dimensions from traditional combined sand core. The performance of an impeller produced via this approach is almost the same as that of an impeller produced in accordance with the original design.

Using reverse engineering in conjunction with 3D-printing sand casting technology often leads to innovative application concerning service part development, such as impeller. Compared with the traditional sand casting process, the development time of this approach is significantly reduced by 20%, and its development costs can be lowered by more than 20%.

  • Contact Organization:Metal and Mechanical Industries Division, Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs
  • Contact Person:Mr. Chang
  • Contact Phone:(02)2754-1255 ext.2111
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Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs
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