ITACA Cup is the thermal analysis cup to be used in conjunction with the ITACA thermal analysis software, ideal for acquiring the cooling curve, through which it is possible to study the metallurgical state of cast iron in production and obtain a quick estimate of the chemical composition thanks to the carbon equivalent, carbon and silicon values.
ITACA cups have been manufactured with particular attention to components, taking advantage of Proservice’s decades of experience in the thermal analysis of cast iron foundries.
The sand has been designed and chosen according to a precise specification to ensure the correctness and consistency of the cooling curve parameters required to assess the shrinkage tendency of cast iron.
The type-K thermocouple was carefully selected to provide the highest standards of accuracy required and holds European calibration certification.
Finally, the protection for the quartz thermocouple was also carefully chosen, in terms of diameter, thickness, and chemical nature, to reduce the incidences of failure and interruption to the acquisition of cooling curves as much as possible.
Attention to the construction details of the ITACA Cup ensures greater reliability of cooling curve acquisition and repeatability of acquired data over time.
ITACA Cup T1
The ITACA Cup T1 is the thermal analysis cup used to obtain information on the chemical composition of cast iron in terms of carbon equivalent, carbon, and silicon. To obtain this information as accurately as possible, it is necessary for the cast iron to solidify according to the metastable system and thus for all the carbon to precipitate in the form of iron carbide or cementite. Metastable solidification is necessary because it extends the range in which there is a precise linear relationship between Liquidus temperatures and Carbon Equivalent, even for eutectic or hyper eutectic cast irons. Furthermore, since the undercooling phenomena that generally affect the solidification of cast irons in the graphitic system are suppressed, the values of the Liquidus temperatures and eutectic temperatures depend exclusively on the chemical composition of the cast iron and not on other external factors dependent on how the cast iron is processed (influence of the metallic charge, melting cycle, inoculation treatment, etc.). To this end, within the ITACA Cup T1, there is a precise and specially designed quantity of tellurium (in the form of a mixture applied to the bottom of the cup) such as to guarantee metastable solidification in cast irons even with high carbon equivalent values.
CALIBRATION FOR CHEMICAL ANALYSIS
The relationships linking the thermal analysis parameters to the chemical composition of the cast iron can be derived from statistical analyses carried out through a data acquisition campaign involving a preliminary calibration phase of the thermal analysis system.
ITACA, however, simplifies this step, eliminating the need for the user to perform complex statistical analyses: simply perform a series of thermal analysis data acquisition and chemical analysis, and ITACA will independently extrapolate the most statistically reliable correlation and guarantee absolute accuracy in the estimation of Ceq, C, and Si. Proservice technicians can fully assist in the implementation of chemical calibrations in the ITACA system.
ITACA Cup G1
ITACA Cup G1 is used to obtain the cooling curve of cast iron that solidifies following the graphitic system (also referred to as ‘generic’ cast iron), from which fundamental information on the metallurgical state of the cast iron can be obtained: nucleation potential, shrinkage tendency and the shape and distribution of graphite particles (whether lamellae or spheroids) to name but a few. The ITACA Cup G1 can also be used to verify the effectiveness of the inoculation process by placing a precise amount of inoculant inside the cup, simulating as precisely as possible the rate of inoculant added to the flow (in this case we speak of ‘inoculated’ cast iron). ITACA can manage multiple thermal analysis channels for each casting line to simultaneously acquire several cooling curves, that of the general cast iron and that of the inoculated cast iron, to provide immediate information on the effectiveness of the inoculant and the inoculation process in general.
Proservice technicians can provide extensive metallurgical consultancy in the interpretation of thermal analysis data and solidification curves, with specific reference to the particularly cast iron produced and the melting process available, while searching for the best solution to definitively improve metallurgical quality and maintain it constantly over time.
All ITACA Cup products are fully compatible with standard thermal analysis cup holders; however, Proservice can supply its own ITACA ContactBlock and metal holders manufactured in-house.