Process Improvement of Cu(Ii)-Trymethylamine-Based Active Clay Measurement Test and Total Clay Measurement Test

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Chemical and Paper Engineering

First Advisor

James R. Springstead, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Sam Ramrattan, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Mert Atilhan, Ph.D.


Foundry, green sand, metal casting, sand casting, sonication

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Abstract Only

Restricted to Campus until



Foundry work requires a mold made of a mixture of sand, “active clay” to absorb gas, and binders to combine the two and hold the molds shape. When the metal is melted to be poured into the mold, the solubility dramatically increases, causing gas to be temporarily dissolved in the metal. This gas causes small surface pits to form once the metal cools, causing part failure. This causes the need to absorb the gas. Since the clay is used in the process, there needs to be a way to determine how much remains active, which is done with a dye test. Issues with the old test drove interest in an improved test. This new test was created with a dye that could be used at a wider range of concentrations and was designed both for efficiency and ease of training. However, further improvements were requested, leading to significant process analysis and a focus on three potential vectors for improvement. It was proposed that the method of agitation, the specific dye application process, and the quantity of materials all be investigated as potential paths, forming the backbone of this research project.

There was also some consideration for the fact that, while this test tells us much more precisely how much active clay remains, there isn’t a proper way to measure the total amount of active and inactive clay together, which could pose a problem if the inactive clay concentration gets high enough. There hasn’t to this point been an investigation into the effect of inactive clay, so the potential for cohesion interference meant that interest in a test to measure total clay, and by extension inactive clay, was pursued.

This document is currently not available here.