(19)
(11)EP 3 126 076 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
04.11.2020 Bulletin 2020/45

(21)Application number: 15722047.6

(22)Date of filing:  30.03.2015
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B22D 7/06(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2015/000677
(87)International publication number:
WO 2015/149930 (08.10.2015 Gazette  2015/40)

(54)

IMPROVED MOLD FOR PRODUCING INGOTS AND BARS MADE OF PRECIOUS METAL

VERBESSERTE FORM ZUM HERSTELLEN VON BLÖCKEN UND BARREN AUS EDELMETALL

MOULE AMÉLIORÉ PERMETTANT LA PRODUCTION DE LINGOTS ET BARRES CONSTITUÉS DE MÉTAL PRÉCIEUX


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 31.03.2014 IT VI20140084

(43)Date of publication of application:
08.02.2017 Bulletin 2017/06

(73)Proprietor: IKOI S.P.A.
36022 Cassola (VI) (IT)

(72)Inventor:
  • FAORO, Giovanni
    I-36061 Bassano Del Grappa (IT)

(74)Representative: Cosenza, Simona et al
Barzanò & Zanardo Milano S.p.A. Via Borgonuovo, 10
20121 Milano
20121 Milano (IT)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2012/130451
US-A1- 2013 319 090
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] The present invention relates to an improved mold, particularly for producing ingots and bars made of precious metal.

    [0002] As known, besides coining, there are essentially two production processes for making ingots, or bars, made of gold and other precious metals: a traditional method, which entails pouring the melt, i.e. molten metal, through a crucible into a mold of appropriate dimensions (the ingot mold), leaving then the melt to cool in air, making it solidify under the influence of flames generated by gas burners, or a more modern method, wherein granules, or other metal elements, are introduced in the mold and melted in a furnace, subsequently cooling the mold, and therefore also the molten metal contained therein, in a conveniently sized thermal container.

    [0003] According to the more modern method, calibrated quantities of the material to be melted are initially introduced in molds with a shape that is substantially complementary to that of the ingots, or of the bars, to be provided.

    [0004] The material to be melted can be constituted, for example, by grains, powder, crystals or swarf of various sizes.

    [0005] The molds are thus inserted inside tunnel-type furnaces, preferably of the induction type, in which they are first heated up to the melting point of the metal and then cooled until the metal solidifies.

    [0006] Recently, the more modern method has been recognized as compliant with the technical standards imposed by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), i.e. the trade association in the field of the professional market for ingots, for the production of so-called "good delivery" ingots.

    [0007] It should be noted, however, that the LBMA also imposes that verifications of the purity level are to be performed on the produced ingots, regardless of which production process they originate from.

    [0008] While there are instruments for purity verification that are well codified, and recognized also by the LBMA, for production systems that entail the use of crucibles, as regards the production of ingots melted directly in the molds, currently no instruments for purity verification are known.

    [0009] The aim of the present invention is to provide an improved mold, particularly for producing ingots and bars made of precious metal, that solves the problems of assessing the purity level of ingots or bars, melted directly in the mold with a continuous or static process.

    [0010] Within the scope of this aim, a particular object of the invention is to provide an improved mold that generates a sample to be assayed and which has the same physical-chemical characteristics as the ingot or bar.

    [0011] Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved mold which, because of its particular constructive characteristics, can be technically validated by the LBMA.

    [0012] Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved mold which, by virtue of its particular constructive characteristics, is capable of giving the greatest assurances of reliability and safety in use.

    [0013] This aim and these and other objects that will become better apparent hereinafter are achieved by mold for producing ingots and bars made of precious metal, as claimed in the appended claims.

    [0014] Further characteristics and advantages will become better apparent from the description of preferred but not exclusive embodiments of an improved mold according to the invention, illustrated by way of non-limiting example in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

    figure 1 is a perspective view of an improved mold according to the invention;

    figure 2 is a longitudinal sectional view of the mold of figure 1;

    figure 3 is a transverse sectional view of the mold of figure 1;

    figure 4 is a sectional view of a detail of the mold of figure 1;

    figure 5 is a perspective view of a further embodiment of an improved mold according to the invention;

    figure 6 is a longitudinal sectional view of the mold of the figure 5;

    figure 7 is a transverse sectional view of the mold of figure 5;

    figure 8 is a longitudinal sectional view of a further embodiment of an improved mold according to the invention;

    figure 9 is a perspective view of a mold which does not form part of the invention;

    figure 10 is a longitudinal sectional view of the mold of the figure 9;

    figure 11 is a transverse sectional view of the mold of figure 8.



    [0015] With reference to figures 1 to 4, the improved mold, particularly for producing ingots and bars made of precious metal, and generally designated by the reference numeral 1, comprises a body 2 forming at least one cavity 3 for molding an ingot or a bar.

    [0016] The cavity 3 is peripherally delimited by side walls, which are closed in a lower region by a bottom wall and in an upper region by at least one removable lid 4.

    [0017] The cavity 3 has a lower portion 3a with a shape that is substantially complementary to the shape of the ingot or bar, and an upper portion 3b with a shape adapted to facilitate the introduction of material to be cast, constituted, for example, by grains, powder, crystals or swarf, of various size.

    [0018] In the illustrated example, the upper portion 3b has lateral surfaces that are at least partially inclined and converge toward the bottom of the cavity 3.

    [0019] However, the moid may also have an upper portion 3b with lateral surfaces that are substantially perpendicular to the bottom of the cavity 3.

    [0020] Advantageously, the lid 4 is conceived so that it can pass from a first position, in which it rests on the material to be melted without resting on the body 2, to a second position, in which it rests on the body 2, closing the cavity 3 in an almost complete manner.

    [0021] In the second position, the lid 4 can make contact with different parts of the body 2, depending on how the mold 1 is built.

    [0022] If the lid 4 is without portions that protrude laterally, as shown in the figures, in the second position the lid may for example rest its sides, or a shank, on the internal walls of the cavity 3 or on an abutment formed inside it.

    [0023] As an alternative, if the lid 4 is for example provided with a peripheral edge, in the second position this edge may rest on the upper end of the body 2.

    [0024] The translation from the first position to the second position occurs during casting, i.e., when the volume occupied by the mass of the material to be cast reduces gradually.

    [0025] Conveniently, the body 2 and the lid 4 may be constituted by one or more components made for example of graphite, graphite mixes, silicon carbide or of any other material that is compatible with the metal being cast and withstands high temperatures.

    [0026] According to the present invention, the mold 1 comprises at least one recess 10 that generates a sample to be assayed.

    [0027] Advantageously, said sample is produced simultaneously with the ingot or bar, and has its same physical-chemical characteristics.

    [0028] Merely for the sake of simplicity in description, the presence of a single recess 10 is assumed.

    [0029] The recess 10 may be constituted by a variously shaped hollow provided with an access opening that connects it to the cavity 3.

    [0030] According to a first embodiment, the access opening is formed at a level, with respect to the bottom of the cavity 3, that is higher than the level reached by the material that is present in said cavity 3 at the end of the casting process.

    [0031] In practice, this embodiment allows to obtain a sample to be assayed that is separate from the ingot or bar, formed in the main cavity 3.

    [0032] With particular reference to the embodiment shown in figures 1 to 4, the recess 10 is for example formed at one of the walls laterally delimiting the cavity 3.

    [0033] The position of the recess, according to the invention, may vary depending on specific requirements.

    [0034] For example, in the embodiment shown in figures 5 to 7, wherein the improved mold according to the invention is designated by the reference numeral 101, the recess 110 is constituted by a hollow formed at one of the side walls of the cavity 3 and connected to it by means of a duct 111, conveniently directed toward the bottom of said cavity 3.

    [0035] The inclination of the duct 111 prevents the material that fills the cavity 3 from reaching the recess 110, unless done intentionally.

    [0036] Advantageously, the recess 110 is laterally delimited by a wall 112 detachably associated with the body 2 and constituted, for example, by a stopper or a plug of suitable shape.

    [0037] In a further embodiment, illustrated in figure 8, wherein the improved mold according to the invention is designated by the reference numeral 201, the recess 210 is formed in the lid 4 and is connected to the cavity 3 by means of a duct 211 that is conveniently shaped and directed toward the bottom of said cavity 3.

    [0038] Conveniently, in this case, the recess 210 may be delimited in an upper region, or laterally, by a wall 212 that is detachably associated with the lid 4 and is constituted by a stopper or a plug.

    [0039] Not according to the invention, the access opening of the recess is formed at a level, with respect to the bottom of the main cavity 3, that is lower than the level reached by the material present in the same cavity 3 at the end of the casting process.

    [0040] In this case, the sample to be assayed will be monolithic with the ingot or bar formed in the cavity 3.

    [0041] As shown in figures 9 to 11, the mold, designated by the reference numeral 301, has a recess 310 formed on the bottom of the cavity 3.

    [0042] In a further embodiment, not shown in the figures, the recess according to the invention is formed on the walls that laterally delimit the cavity 3.

    [0043] In the embodiments shown in figures 5 to 8, the elements that correspond to the elements described with reference to the embodiment shown in figures 1 to 4 have been designated by the same reference numerals.

    [0044] The use of the improved mold for producing ingots and bars made of metal according to the invention, is as follows.

    [0045] A precise quantity of material to be cast, constituted, for example, by grains, powder, crystals or swarf of various sizes, is introduced in the cavity 3 to form an ingot or a bar.

    [0046] In performing this operation, in the case of the first described embodiment, part of the material introduced also fills the recess 10.

    [0047] The cavity 3 is then closed by means of the lid 4, which rests on the material to be cast, so as to compress it, without however abutting.

    [0048] At this point, the material contained in the cavity 3 begins to melt and to gradually reduce its volume, consequently the lid 4 lowers and substantially completely closes the main cavity 3.

    [0049] Simultaneously with the shrinkage of the material being melted, there is also a lowering of its level, which drops below the level of the access inlet of the recess 10.

    [0050] In this manner, while the ingot or bar is formed in the lower portion 3a of the cavity 3, a sample is generated in the recess 10 and can be easily assayed.

    [0051] In the case of the second described embodiment, the melted material flows into the recess 110 through the duct 111.

    [0052] It is therefore possible, for example, to tilt the body 2 until part of the molten material flows through the duct 111, so as to fill the recess 110 and generate the sample to be assayed.

    [0053] This sample can be easily extracted by temporarily removing the wall 112.

    [0054] As an alternative, a temporary rise of the level of the molten material may be obtained, for example with an appropriate pressure on the lid 4 when is not yet totally rested, so as to transfer part of the molten material into the recess 110 through the duct 111.

    [0055] The temporary tilting of the body 2 or the pressure on the lid 4 may be effective also in the case of the recess 210 formed in said lid 4.

    [0056] In this case, the sample to be assayed can be easily extracted by temporarily removing the wall 212.

    [0057] In the case of the recess 310, the sample to be assayed is constituted by a protrusion joined monolithically to the ingot or bar, from which it must be mechanically separated.

    [0058] In practice it has been found that the invention achieves the intended aim and objects, providing an improved mold, particularly for producing ingots and bars made of precious metal, that solves the problem of determining the purity level of ingots, or bars, cast directly in the mold with a continuous process.

    [0059] In fact, in the improved mold according to the invention, a sample to be assayed is generated simultaneously with the ingot or bar, and since it has the same physical-chemical characteristics as the finished product, the sample can be used to determine the purity level thereof.


    Claims

    1. A mold (1,101,201) for producing ingots and bars made of precious metal, comprising a body (2) forming at least one cavity (3) for forming an ingot or a bar, said cavity being closed in an upper region by at least one removable lid (4); said mold being characterized in that at least one of either said body or said lid comprises at least one recess (10,110,210) for forming a sample to be assayed; said recess communicating with said cavity by means of at least one access opening; with respect to the bottom of said cavity, said access opening being formed at a level that is higher than the level reached, at the end of the casting process, by the material to be cast introduced in said cavity; said sample to be assayed being separate from said ingot or bar; said sample to be assayed being produced simultaneously with said ingot or bar.
     
    2. The mold according to claim 1, characterized in that said recess is formed in a side wall of said cavity.
     
    3. The mold according to claim 1, characterized in that said recess is laterally delimited by a wall that is detachably associated with said body.
     
    4. The mold according to claim 1, characterized in that said recess is functionally connected to said access opening by means of at least one duct (111,211) that is directed toward the bottom of said main cavity.
     
    5. The mold according to claim 1, characterized in that said recess is formed in said lid.
     
    6. The mold according to claim 1, characterized in that said recess is delimited by a wall (112,212) that is detachably associated with said lid.
     
    7. The mold according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said cavity comprises a lower portion (3a) having a shape that is substantially complementary to the shape of said ingot or bar, and an upper portion (3b) having a shape configured to facilitate the introduction of said material to be cast.
     
    8. The mold according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that said lid is movable between at least one first position and at least one second position with a gradual reduction of the volume of said material to be cast during the casting process; in said first position said lid rests on said material to be cast without resting on said body; in said second position said lid rests on said body, closing said cavity.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Form (1,101,201)
    zum Herstellen von Blöcken und Barren aus Edelmetall,
    umfassend einen Körper (2), der mindestens einen Hohlraum bildet (3),
    um einen Block oder einen Barren zu bilden, wobei der Hohlraum in einem oberen Bereich durch mindestens einen abnehmbaren Deckel (4) geschlossen ist; wobei die Form
    dadurch gekennzeichnet ist, dass mindestens einer von entweder dem Körper oder dem Deckel mindestens eine Ausnehmung (10,110,210) umfasst,
    um eine zu untersuchende Probe zu bilden; wobei die Ausnehmung mit dem Hohlraum mittels mindestens einer Zugangsöffnung in Verbindung steht; wobei die Zugangsöffnung in Bezug auf den Boden des Hohlraums auf einer Höhe gebildet ist, die höher als der am Ende des Gießverfahrens erreichte Stand des in den Hohlraum eingeführten Gussmaterials ist; wobei die zu untersuchende Probe von dem Block oder Barren getrennt wird, wobei die zu untersuchende Probe gleichzeitig mit dem Block oder Barren hergestellt wird.
     
    2. Form nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Ausnehmung in einer Seitenwand des Hohlraums gebildet ist.
     
    3. Form nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Ausnehmung seitlich durch eine Wand begrenzt ist, die abnehmbar mit dem Körper verbunden ist.
     
    4. Form nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Ausnehmung mit der Zugangsöffnung durch mindestens einen Kanal funktionell verbunden ist (111, 211), der zum Boden des Haupthohlraums gerichtet ist.
     
    5. Form nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Ausnehmung in dem Deckel gebildet ist.
     
    6. Form nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Aussparung von einer Wand (112,212) begrenzt ist, die abnehmbar mit dem Deckel verbunden ist.
     
    7. Form nach einem oder mehreren der vorstehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Hohlraum einen unteren Abschnitt (3a) umfasst, der eine Form aufweist, die im Wesentlichen
    komplementär zu der Form des Blocks oder Barrens ist, und einen oberen Abschnitt (3b), der eine Form aufweist, die ausgebildet ist, um das Einführen des Gussmaterials zu erleichtern.
     
    8. Form nach einem oder mehreren der vorstehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Deckel zwischen mindestens einer ersten Position und mindestens einer zweiten Position beweglich ist, mit einer stufenweisen Verringerung des Volumens des Gussmaterials während des Gussverfahrens; wobei der Deckel in der ersten Position auf dem zu Gussmaterial bleibt ohne auf dem Körper zu bleiben; wobei der Deckel in der zweiten Position auf dem Körper bleibt und den Hohlraum verschließt.
     


    Revendications

    1. Moule (1, 101, 201) pour la production de lingots et de barres constitués de métal précieux, comprenant un corps (2) définissant au moins une cavité (3) pour la formation d'un lingot ou d'une barre, ladite cavité étant fermée dans une région supérieure par au moins un couvercle amovible (4) ; ledit moule étant caractérisé en ce qu'au moins l'un dudit corps et dudit couvercle comprend au moins un évidement (10, 110, 210) pour la formation d'un échantillon à analyser ; ledit évidement communiquant avec ladite cavité par le biais d'au moins une ouverture d'accès ; ladite ouverture d'accès étant formée à un niveau, par rapport au fond de ladite cavité, qui est situé plus haut que le niveau atteint, à la fin du procédé de coulée, par le matériau à couler introduit dans ladite cavité ; ledit échantillon à analyser étant séparé dudit lingot ou de ladite barre ; ledit échantillon à analyser étant produit en même temps que ledit lingot ou ladite barre.
     
    2. Moule selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que ledit évidement est formé dans une paroi latérale de ladite cavité.
     
    3. Moule selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que ledit évidement est délimité latéralement par une paroi qui est associée, de manière détachable, audit corps.
     
    4. Moule selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que ledit évidement est relié, de manière fonctionnelle, à ladite ouverture d'accès par le biais d'au moins un conduit (111, 211) qui est orienté en direction du fond de ladite cavité principale.
     
    5. Moule selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que ledit évidement est formé dans ledit couvercle.
     
    6. Moule selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que ledit évidement est délimité par une paroi (112, 212) qui est associée, de manière détachable, audit couvercle.
     
    7. Moule selon une ou plusieurs des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce que ladite cavité comprend une partie inférieure (3a) présentant une forme qui est essentiellement complémentaire de la forme dudit lingot ou de ladite barre, et une partie supérieure (3b) présentant une forme configurée pour faciliter l'introduction dudit matériau à couler.
     
    8. Moule selon une ou plusieurs des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce que ledit couvercle est mobile entre au moins une première position et au moins une seconde position avec une réduction graduelle du volume dudit matériau à couler au cours du procédé de coulée ; dans ladite première position, ledit couvercle repose sur ledit matériau à couler sans reposer sur ledit corps ; dans ladite seconde position, ledit couvercle repose sur ledit corps de sorte qu'il ferme ladite cavité.
     




    Drawing