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3D printing with an innovative, reduced furan binder system

The HA Center of Competence (CoC) is the place where innovations are born and theoretical projects are put into practice. The CoC also supports up-and-coming scientists – with foundry expertise and state-of-the-art equipment.

Under the aegis of the Faculty of Foundry Technology GTK at the University of Kassel and in partnership with the start-up Revolute GmbH, the HyGear research project is developing an innovative, ultra-compact and highly efficient hybrid gearbox that combines an electric motor with a diesel or gasoline motor specifically for urban use.

The challenge

The project team’s objective was to develop a bespoke cast aluminium housing especially for their innovative gearbox and to combine the benefits of lightweight construction technologies and maximum functional integration. In addition, the electric motor also requires an innovative water-cooling system. The prototype of the housing was initially to be produced using sand casting.

The solution

Once the project participants had simulated the casting process for their prototype, the team at the HA Center of Competence started manufacturing the core. The core and the mould were printed on the CoC’s S-Max Plus 3D printer from ExOne after having been bonded with a furan binder system specially developed for additive manufacturing processes. The advantages of the binder system optimally meet the requirements of the casting:

  • Furan RPT 3 Binder is free of resorcinol and BPA and therefore rated as less hazardous
  • High ductility and more accurate surfaces
  • Maximum precision and optimum contour definition
  • Significantly reduced cycle times can be achieved

The first test already delivered an excellent casting quality, partly exceeding the simulation results. Production using the additive manufacturing process with 3D-printed sand moulds is a fast and cost-effective manufacturing method, especially for prototype components.

Driving innovation and promoting the next generation of scientists

By manufacturing their gearbox prototype at the HA CoC, the students and project managers were able to follow every single step of the manufacturing process – from the initial simulation all the way through to core production and the finished casting.


Your contact person:
Holger Barth