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Ashland Chemical, Inc.

As the world's largest marketer of binders and refractory coatings for the metalcasting industry, Ashland Chemical's Foundry Products Div. is making significant investments to serve customers in the future with high-quality, high-productivity products.

The Foundry Products Div. traces its history back to 1917, when Werner G. Smith started his foundry business in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1923, Archer Daniels and the Midland Linseed Oil Co. merged to form Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), which bought Smith's company in 1929. In 1957, ADM acquired Federal Foundry Supply. And in 1967, Ashland Oil, Inc. acquired ADM Chemicals to form Ashland Chemical. ADM Research moved to Columbus in 1971, and Ashland Chemical's Foundry Products Div. management transferred from Cleveland to Columbus in 1973. Additional acquisitions since then have included Core Lube in 1986 and Ceramco in 1988.

Ashland's most recent capital improvement was a $10 million modernization of the division's Cleveland West plant. The investment included the 1989 start-up of a new multilevel, computer-controlled resin plant that has been recognized as the most advanced in the industry. In addition, a new tank farm was installed to expand storage capacity, improve safety and allow computerized monitoring of resin levels.

Metals Application Lab

Ashland continued its investment in the industry's future with the December, 1992, dedication of an expanded and upgraded metals application laboratory in the company's research and development building in Dublin, Ohio. For over 20 years, Ashland Chemical operated the metalcasting industry's only privately owned metals application laboratory.

"Ashland's investment in the new metals application laboratory is a clear indication of our belief in the future of the foundry industry," said William L. Tordoff, vice president and general manager of the Foundry Products Div.

"By remaining at the leading edge of industry technology, we can help our customers meet the challenges for increased productivity and environmental compliance that they will face throughout the 1990s," he said.

The following features are just a few of those installed at the lab.

Floor space. Ashland Chemical has increased floor space in the metals application laboratory by 400%. The expansion accommodates the installation of a second-level mezzanine, the installation of additional equipment and the creation of smooth work flow as test castings move through the lab.

Production Capabilities. 1200 lb of iron, steel, brass or copper alloys--or 400 lb of aluminum--can be poured in a single day.

Melt Capabilities. An Inductotherm Powertrack |R~ 175-kW induction furnace provides the primary melting for the laboratory, while two tilt furnaces with 300-lb ferrous capacity or 100-lb aluminum capacity are available for handling the pouring.

Metals. All grades of gray iron, ductile iron, malleable iron, various grades of steel and all nonferrous alloys may be tested to aid customers in casting evaluation.

Castings. Ashland's metals application laboratory can produce the following test castings to aid in a number of quality determinations.

* Stepcone castings to test for surface finish, veining and gas defects.

* Erosion wedge castings to determine erosion properties.

* Penetration castings to gauge the quality of surface finish and the presence of veining and penetration.

* Soot plates to test for lustrous carbon and surface finish.

* Shakeout disks to test for iron and aluminum core reduction.

* Specialized castings, including warpage blocks, float plates, gear box molds, step block molds and aluminum flowability molds.

Metallography Equipment. To supplement the lab's primary equipment, Ashland uses the following testing and processing items: an Olympus PME-2 inverted metallurgical microscope, a Rockwell hardness gauge, a pneumatic mounting press, belt grinders, a four-stage hand grinder and multipolishing wheels.

Quality Commitment

The expanded metal application laboratory reinforces our commitment to the highest levels of quality, as exemplified by Ashland Chemical's QUALITY PLUS |TM~ process. We are dedicated to manufacturing binders and coatings that meet our quality standards in accordance with exacting statistical process control techniques, problem identification and resolution and employee team involvement. Ashland's quality commitment has been recognized with awards by major customers, including Navistar, John Deere, J.I. Case, Chrysler, Newnam and CMI. The Foundry Products Div.'s Cleveland West plant was the first of any binder manufacturer to receive the prestigious Ford Q1 Award, and the plant has been awarded General Motors' highly regarded GP-8 certification.

Technical Service

Ashland Chemical employs the foundry industry's largest and most experienced staff of technical service professionals with backgrounds in metallurgy, foundry engineering, industrial engineering, tooling and quality control. Working as a team with foundry customers, the technical service specialists can assist in start-up operations, follow maintenance, troubleshooting, on-site training services and seminars, process engineering, equipment selection, financial analysis, sand testing, casting defect analysis, operational audits and mold and core material testing.

As part of the company's technical service capabilities, Ashland Chemical makes available the only mobile demonstration trailer in North America to allow foundries to test two-and three-part binder systems without disrupting production.

As the metalcasting industry continues to face pressing demands for high quality, greater productivity, lower costs and environmental compliance throughout the 1990s, Ashland Chemical is committed to continuing its substantial investments in the resources the industry requires of its chemical suppliers. The new metals application laboratory is just the latest example of this commitment, with many more improvements to come. Watch for them!

Ashland Chemical, Inc., P.O. Box 2219, Columbus, Ohio 43216; 614/889-3514; fax 614/889-4359.
COPYRIGHT 1993 American Foundry Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Modern Casting
Date:May 1, 1993
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