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Establishing precedent for large ferrous lost foam casting.

During the last 25 years of lost foam casting development, automotive demands for weight reduction have driven aluminum applications to dominate the process and product activity. However, several applications exist where ferrous lost foam applications would be beneficial, and the product niches and benefits of ferrous lost foam castings are becoming more defined and recognized.

An example is a recent casting project performed by Vulcan Engineering Co., Helena, Ala., that entailed the production of a ferrous diesel engine block using the lost foam casting process. The project began with a four-cylinder prototype diesel engine block cast in lost foam by one of Vulcan's customers. The design was unique in that the major foam split lines were vertical with an individual foam developing each bore jacket, bulkhead, main bearing and pan rail (Fig. 1). The four cylinder bores were formed by single twin-designed foam. A closed deck face foam covers the bore/jacket subassembly and the foam cylinder block assembly is completed with two end foam sections.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

Vulcan wanted to pursue an idea to expand the size and scope of this effort, so it took several of the foam pattern segments to Vulcan Engineering, where, with the help of Citation Foam, Columbiana, Ala., it glue assembled eight-cylinder segments and two end segments to create an eight-cylinder block foam replica. Citation engineers then gated, coated and cast the foam replica in their production system (Fig. 2).

[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]

The second casting effort delivered a functional in-line eight-cylinder four-stroke iron diesel cylinder block (Fig. 3).

[FIGURE 3 OMITTED]

Although strictly a research and development exercise, Vulcan wanted to prove that large, complex ferrous castings demanding automotive tolerancing and quality could have future production feasibility. The only foreseeable restriction on size would be the available flask. This test effort was performed on a 44 x 44 x 60-in. (111.8 x 111.8 x 152.4-cm.) system.

Select No. 002 at www.moderncasting.com/info

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
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Title Annotation:Case History
Publication:Modern Casting
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2006
Words:327
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