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Aluminum conference draws hundreds from around the world.

Aluminum Conference Draws Hundreds from Around the World

The first AFS A distributed file system for large, widely dispersed Unix and Windows networks from Transarc Corporation, now part of IBM. It is noted for its ease of administration and expandability and stems from Carnegie-Mellon's Andrew File System.

AFS - Andrew File System
 conference on permanent mold casting of aluminum drew nearly 250 registrants to the Novi (MI) Hilton Hotel, April 3-4. Convened by John Jorstad, Reynolds Metals Reynolds Metals Company (RMC) was the second largest aluminum company in the United States, and the third largest in the world. The company became well-known for the consumer product Reynolds Wrap as well as being a leader in developing and promoting new uses for aluminum;  Co, the conference truly was international, with speakers and attendees from Australia, Japan, North America North America, third largest continent (1990 est. pop. 365,000,000), c.9,400,000 sq mi (24,346,000 sq km), the northern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere.  and Europe.

Topics ranged from process basics and variations to new process concepts, new facilities, special process applications, process quality controls and the latest in tooling design techniques.

Commenting on the large number of attendees, Jorstad noted, "I think that we all are well aware of what's happening in the automobile industry automobile industry, the business of producing and selling self-powered vehicles, including passenger cars, trucks, farm equipment, and other commercial vehicles. , and the expectations of that industry over the next five or six years. We are expecting a rather large increase in the use of cast aluminum wheels, cylinder heads, engine blocks and other engine-related castings, internal transmission components and suspension parts. A large percentage of that is going to be accomplished in permanent mold. Prospects are right, too, in instruments, office machinery castings, aerospace and a variety of military-related hardware, as well as in consumer durables Consumer durables

Consumer products that are expected to last three years or more, such as an automobile or a home appliance.

consumer durables

See durable goods.

The conference began with presentations on the gravity pouring of aluminum. Allan Wirch and Simon Kwok, both from Accustar Canada's Etobicoke Casting Etobicoke Casting is a Chrysler automobile factory in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The factory opened in 1942 and was purchased by Chrysler in 1964. The company expanded the facility the next year and again in 1998.

Current products:
  • Aluminum die castings
  • Pistons
 Plant, discussed process parameters and production problems of aluminum gravity static pouring. The pros and cons pros and cons
Noun, pl

the advantages and disadvantages of a situation [Latin pro for + con(tra) against]
 of fluxes and filtration materials and techniques also were presented. Process parameters were introduced with a discussion of grain refinement Grain refinement is a set of techniques used in metallurgy to ensure that the crystallites (grains) that make up a metallic object are sufficiently small, so as to increase its strength. , mold design and mold washes.

Also covered was the general operation of static gravity pour machines. Various quality considerations--cracks, shrinkage, gas porosity Abstract
Determining the true porosity of a gas filled formation has always been a problem. While gas is a hydrocarbon, similar to oil, the physical properties of the fluids are very different, making it very hard to correctly quantify the total amount of gas in a formation.
, dross and inclusions, cold shuts and misruns--were explained in some detail. Plant manager, Allan Wirch, concluded the joint presentation by introducing the audience to some interesting facets of the Etobicoke operation.

Gravity Tilt Pour

Glenn W. Stahl, Stahl Specialty Co, explained some of the advantages of another gravity pouring process--tilt pour. To achieve the desired progressive solidification specific to different parts, programmed tilt pouring is available. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 Stahl, by using a multiple cavity configuration--a "stacked" mold--"the hydraulic pressure of the metal `head' in the pour cup is controlled, filling the cavity without producing flash or core burn-in."

Stahl went on to explain why gravity tilt pouring lends itself to various automated processes, including "two up" pouring with one operator.

The final presentation devoted solely to gravity pour permanent molding was presented by Peter Petto III, Arrow Aluminum. Petto discussed a number of practical solutions to resolving gravity pour problems in terms of an overall framework he has developed after 11 years in the business.

Petto explained that the classic "ideal" gating system, while yielding a simpler mold, offers less sensitive process parameters: "Unwillingness to tweak To make minor adjustments in an electronic system or in a software program in order to improve performance. See calibrate.

1. tweak - To change slightly, usually in reference to a value. Also used synonymously with twiddle.
 your process and control it tightly means longer cycle times, poorer yield and higher trimming costs. This new `alternative ideal' requires that you commit development time and thought."

Petto recommends beginning with a minimal gating system, and proposed a number of solutions to remedy possible major and minor defects. This "bandage" approach, Petto believes, is essential to a well designed production process. Petto listed localized shrink and oxide inclusions as the two defects that receive the most attention and recommended various approaches to dealing with both. He also described approaches for dealing with two less serious common defects: core gas and nonfill (coldshot or misrun).

Squeeze Casting

Various aspects of the squeeze casting process were discussed by two speakers: Jack Dorcic, IIT Research Institute IIT Research Institute (IITRI) is a contract research organization (CRO) located in Chicago, Illinois. IITRI is an independent corporation that operates in collaboration with its parent entity, the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). , and Dr. Milton Toaz, J.P. Industries. Dorcic discussed the process both in terms of the production of metallic and ceramic-metal composite components.

Toaz noted that despite the interest in composites within the transportation industry, there have been few applications. But, the use of selectively reinforced composite castings, according to Toaz, provides for the level of consistent casting quality which has been demanded, but not provided, by totally reinforced castings.

Toaz explained that by controlling for only two variables, fiber content and fiber orientation, "it is possible to tailor material properties to match the material requirements of a specific application." He then explained some of the favorable test results of a ceramic-composite piston for a high-output diesel engine.

Low Pressure Molding

The advantages and applications of low-pressure diecasting were explained by Alan Plume, Roger Reamer reamer

Rotary cutting tool of cylindrical or conical shape, used for enlarging and finishing to accurate dimensions holes that have been drilled, bored, or cored. A reamer cannot be used to start a hole.
 and Dr. Heinrich Fuchs. According to Plume, A.W. Plume Co, "the low-pressure process will advance further than we know it today by increased development in die design, die techniques and thermal control." He emphasized that, "new technology has created new markets, such as casting low melting point melting point, temperature at which a substance changes its state from solid to liquid. Under standard atmospheric pressure different pure crystalline solids will each melt at a different specific temperature; thus melting point is a characteristic of a substance and  alloys to be used as cores in carbon fiber [castings] which in the past was considered impossible because of the high density of the metal."

Reamer, Progressive Castings Group, Inc, presented a number of examples of permanent mold castings which had formerly been cast using gravity permanent mold. Increased casting yields coupled with reduced labor costs (pouring, finishing) were realized in the examples cited.

Fuchs described research done at Kolbenschmidt AG on various aluminum-silicon alloys in the production of automobile engine blocks and cylinder heads. Said Fuchs, "If modification is not required . . . melt treatment with phosphorus will improve the performance of aluminum-silicon alloys at elevated temperatures. Phosphorus additions of approximately 40-60 ppm lead to a `grainy' structure of the silicon in the eutectic."

Fuchs concluded by noting that with even more complex cylinder head designs likely in the future, core handling devices will be used more widely. Twin dies also may be used, he said, as well as increased computer process control.

Castings produced using the UBE Ube (`bā), city (1990 pop. 175,053), Yamaguchi prefecture, SW Honshu, Japan, on the Inland Sea. It has a modern harbor and an important chemical industry.  high-pressure process were shown by Shu Suzuki, UBE Industries Ube Industries, Ltd. (宇部興産株式会社  , Ltd. The UBE process is designed to control the mold fill rate, with a claimed reduction in porosity problems. Castings shown and discussed were an automotive wheel and brake caliper caliper

Instrument that consists of two adjustable legs or jaws for measuring the dimensions of material parts. Spring calipers have an adjusting screw and nut; firm-joint calipers use friction at the joint to hold the legs unmoving.
 in 356 T6, a shift fork in A390 (high silicon), a master brake cylinder The master cylinder is a hydraulic control device that converts physical pressure (commonly from a driver's foot) into hydraulic pressure to operate other device(s) in the hydraulic system. The most common automotive uses of master cylinders are in brake and clutch systems.  in 2014 (very low silicon), and a manifold in ADC-12, a conventional diecasting alloy.

Suzuki explained that the UBE process is a bottom filled vertical shot system. The metal is tilt poured into the sleeve. Castings are melted and tested under vacuum for retained air or gas.

Metal is forced into the mold cavity using a precisely controlled plunger, which results in metal velocity at the gate of 100 to 300 mm/sec, according to Suzuki. He noted that, " . . . with proper gating, residual oxides can be trapped in the biscuit...."

Suzuki gave an evaluation of the cost effectiveness of the vertical system in terms of residual gas content--porosity. He then presented a second comparison on the basis of fracture toughness In materials science, fracture toughness is a property which describes the ability of a material containing a crack to resist fracture, and is one of the most important properties of any material for virtually all design applications. . Macro- and micro-specimens used to evaluate the internal structure of a number of different castings produced using the system were shown.

One example showed sections of a shift fork produced in A390 which had previously been cast using the Pore Free process. Comparison of macro- and micro-sections produced using both processes were shown and discussed.

Mold Design

Two speakers, David Schmidt, AFS, and George Metevelis, Foseco, Inc, addressed the subject of computer-designed molds. Metevelis introduced a new software program which is "capable of generating solid models directly into the form of finite difference A finite difference is a mathematical expression of the form f(x + b) − f(x + a). If a finite difference is divided by ba, one gets a difference quotient.  elements, carries out thermal analyses and goes on to predict where solidification-related defects are likely to occur." The program creates a colored, graphic representation of the casting during all stages of processing. Upon solidification, either 2-D slices of the casting or 3-D views may be chosen.

The solidification simulation described by Metevelis operates, "by assuming that an element becomes solid when its thermal value falls to a predetermined pre·de·ter·mine  
v. pre·de·ter·mined, pre·de·ter·min·ing, pre·de·ter·mines
1. To determine, decide, or establish in advance:
 level according to the type of metal being studied. The occurrence of shrinkage is illustrated by removing elements from the solid model where it has calculated the shrinkage would occur in the actual casting," he said.

Metevelis concluded by presenting a solidification simulation of a hypothetical casting. He noted that, "Although the program used to do these solidification simulations has been empirically demonstrated to accurately predict solidification defects in ferrous materials in sand molds, a comprehensive study . . . is being planned and design of experiments is taking place."

Process Control

Three well known speakers on the subject of process control made presentations: Robert Mrdjenovich, Ford Motor Co/Casting Div; Larry Smiley, Reliable Castings Corp; and Wayne Tolliver, CMI (Computer-Managed Instruction) Using computers to organize and manage an instructional program for students. It helps create test materials, tracks the results and monitors student progress.  Permanent Mold, Inc.

Mrdjenovich noted that the Essex Aluminum Casting Plant, Windsor, Ontario Windsor is the southernmost city in Canada and lies at the western end of the heavily populated Quebec City-Windsor Corridor. Windsor is located directly south of Detroit and is separated from that city by the Detroit River. The city has views of the Detroit skyline. , was the second foundry in the world to receive Ford's Q1 award. Essex has been able to achieve what Mrdjenovich termed "giant leaps" in quality through the use of both full factorial factorial

For any whole number, the product of all the counting numbers up to and including itself. It is indicated with an exclamation point: 4! (read “four factorial”) is 1 × 2 × 3 × 4 = 24.
 and Taguchi Design of Experiments techniques.

Statistical Process Control (SPC 1. (business) SPC - Statistical Process Control. Something to do with quality management.

2. (body) SPC - Software Productivity Centre.
3. (company) SPC - Software Publishing Corporation.
) is used in the melt department to control density and silicon particle size Particle size, also called grain size, refers to the diameter of individual grains of sediment, or the lithified particles in clastic rocks. The term may also be applied to other granular materials. . In finishing, ". . . SPC charts are maintained for each rough machining unit, covering everything from cast locators to turned dome dimensions," he said.

Smiley began by addressing the illusions which we have held about our processes and organizations--illusions that have prevented us from understanding and controlling process variability. According to Smiley there are two key concepts involved in defining a transformational manufacturing process: "a process is actually defined by activity, not by physical plant or equipment; second . . . repetition [means] actions that occur in a repeatable, controlled fashion," he said.

Smiley then went on to explain random or "common cause" as distinguished from "special cause" variation. he emphasized that, ". . . the responsibility for change lies squarely on the shoulders of company management and the engineering support people. This is the great lesson of statistical thinking as applied to industrial processes.

Montupet and Teksid

Conferees were given an AV tour of two new permanent mold facilities. Jacques Pascal presented an interesting look inside Montupet's new foundry outside of Montreal Of Montreal is an American indie pop band formed in Athens, Georgia, fronted by Kevin Barnes. It was among the second wave of groups to emerge from The Elephant 6 Recording Company. . Prof. Sergio Gallo, the featured dinner speaker, described Teksid S.P.A.'s approach to permanent molding which it has brought to its new facility in Dickson, TN.

Teksid uses permanent mold gravity casting because, according to Gallo, it permits greater control of the mold temperatures and permits greater flexibility in placing risers. Gallo mentioned that a robot is used to automatically check more than 100 data points on sampled castings from each mold, each shift. The robot is connected to a computer, which generates a printout of the exact value for each point, together with any deviation from the standard, facilitating rapid response to required process adjustments.

Gallo closed with a promising forecast for increased use of permanent mold aluminum castings in automobile applications, and explained some of the processes he believes will be used more extensively in high-volume production of large V6 and V8 cylinder blocks.

PHOTO : Peter J. Petto III, Arrow Aluminum, presented some solutions for resolving gravity pour casting problems.

PHOTO : Robert Mrdjenovich, Ford Motor Co/Casting Division presented case studies involving various casting process controls at Ford's Essex Aluminum Plant.
COPYRIGHT 1989 American Foundry Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:American Foundrymen's Society conference
Author:Burditt, Michael F.
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Jun 1, 1989
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