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CastExpo '05: gateway to innovations.

Metalcasting Industry Congregates at CastExpo '05

More than 10,000 metalcasters and suppliers convened April 16-19 in St. Louis for CastExpo '05 cosponsored by AFS and the North American Die Casting Assn. (NADCA). The show featured 475 exhibits and 150 technical and management sessions addressing the latest advancements in the metalcasting industry.

During the exhibition, the AFS Marketing Div. and Engineered Casting Solutions displayed the nine victors from the fifth annual Casting Competition. This year's Casting of the Year award went to ME Global (Elecmetal) for a NASA crawler transporter tread belt shoe.

Theodore J. Schorn, Enkei America Inc., delivered the Charles Edgar Hoyt Memorial Lecture. His presentation, titled "Elements of Quality Leadership," addressed the proposition of quality leadership as a fundamental job of top management and the most effective strategy for competitiveness in global markets. Schorn noted that three elements create effective quality leadership: effective shop floor management; the intelligent use of tools; and the maintenance of a service culture.

The AFS Annual Banquet was held April 16. Dwight J. Barnhard, Superior Aluminum Castings Inc., and Raymond Donahue, Mercury Marine (Brunswick Corp.), received the industry's highest honors in the William H. McFadden Gold Medal and the John A. Penton Gold Medal.

CastExpo '05 concluded the afternoon of April 19 with the President's Luncheon and Annual Business Meeting. David R. Jablonski, Badger Mining Corp.; John R. (Chip) Keough, Applied Process Inc.; and Kumar Sadayappan, CANMET-Materials Technology Laboratory, received AFS Awards of Scientific Merit. Also honored were Harry J. Galloway III, Unimin Corp.; Timothy M. Kreuzer, Ford Motor Cleveland Casting Plant; and Ruth Ann Wood, Ashland Specialty Chemical, with AFS Service Citations. Edgar J. Hopkins, Edgar J. Hopkins Consulting, received the CMI Directors' Award.

Keffer Takes the Rammer

At CastExpo '05 in St. Louis, James L. Keffer, EBAA Iron Sales Inc., was sworn in as the new AFS president. Joining him in his new position are Albert T. Lucchetti, Cumberland Foundry Co., as vice president and Michael W. Swartzlander, Ashland Specialty Chemical/Ashland Casting Solutions, as 2nd vice president.

A graduate of Texas Tech Univ. with a BA degree in Telecommunications in 1975, Keffer began working for EBAA Iron Inc. in 1976 and became vice president of sales at the company in 1977. In 1988, Keffer became president of EBAA Iron Sales Inc., and has held that position since.

In 1996, Keffer was elected to the Texas State House of Representatives. Since then, he has served on numerous committees and currently is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

In addition to being a member of AFS, Keffer belongs to the American Water Works Assn., The Texas Cast Metal Assn. and the Texas Assn. of Businesses and Chambers of Commerce.

Keffer previously served as AFS vice president from 2004-2005 and AFS 2nd vice president from 2003-2004.

AFS Board of Directors

James L. Keffer President President, EBAA Iron Sales Inc.

Albert T. Lucchetti Vice President President Cumberland Foundry Co.

Michael W. Swartzlander 2ND Vice President Vice President, Ashland Specialty Chemical, General Manager-Casting Solutions

New AFS Directors

Roger J. Boose President, Boose Aluminum Foundry Co. Inc.

Glenn H. Gardner Works Manager Assistant American Cast Iron Pipe Co.

Dennis Dotson President, The Dotson Co. Inc.

Steven A. Soares California Operations Manager, Porter Warner Industries

Joe E. Farrar President, Farrar Corp.

Alan K. Steffe Manufacturing Engineering Director-Castings, General Motors Powertrain

New CMI Directors

Eugene C. Muratore Senior Foundry Metallurgist, Rio Tinto Iron & Titanium America

Sandy Salisbury-Linton CFO/Owner, Tonkawa Foundry Inc.

2005 Award Winners

AFS Gold Medals

The William H. McFadden Gold Medal was bestowed upon Dwight J. Barnhard, Superior Aluminum Castings, "for outstanding achievements, contributions and service to the industry, and for providing inspirational leadership, coaching and personnel development within the American Foundry Society."

Barnhard served as AFS executive vice president before returning to Superior in 2004.

The John A. Penton Gold Medal was bestowed upon Raymond Donahue, Mercury Marine, Division of Brunswick Corp., "for over 40 years of technical and managerial contributions to the metalcasting industry as researcher, scientist and educator."

Donahue has worked from Mercury/Brunswick Corp. for more than 30 years. He previously was an assistant professor of metallurgy at the Univ. of Conn. and an instructor at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

AFS Awards of Scientific Merit

David R. Jablonski, technical sales manager, Badger Mining Corp., "for extensive and significant contributions to the advancement and transfer of technology in the area of refractory and lost foam coatings."

John R. (Chip) Keough, CEO, Applied Process Inc., "for pioneering efforts in the commercialization of austempered cast irons and the development of the databases to market these materials."

Kumar Sadayappan, Research Scientist, CANMET-Materials Technology Laboratory, "for outstanding contributions to the development of a lead-free copper alloy, copper alloy permanent mold casting and light metals casting technologies, and technology transfer to non-ferrous foundries."

CMI Directors' Award

Edgar J. Hopkins, president, Edgar J. Hopkins Consulting Inc., "for his exceptional contributions to the Institute as an instructor and member of its faculty."

AFS Service Citations

Harry J. Galloway, technical services manager, Unimin Corp., "for dedicating his expertise and knowledge for the benefit of the American Foundry Society and the metalcasting industry."

Timothy M. Kreuzer, Six Sigma process manager, Ford Motor Co., Cleveland Casting Plant, "for continuous dedication and commitment to expanding the technical knowledge, education and networking of the American Foundry Society chapter organization and the metalcasting industry."

Ruth Ann Wood, technical service representative, Ashland Specialty Chemical, "for contributions which have refined the lost foam process into a cost-effective method of manufacturing castings."

Ray H. Witt and Howard F. Taylor Awards

The Ray H. Witt Management Award is presented "to recognize a management- or marketing-oriented paper that exhibits the greatest probability of favorably impacting the metalcasting industry." This year's award was presented to Ruben Bake, Ashland Specialty Chemical, for his paper, "Developing a Fact-Based Marketing Plan" (04-093).

The Howard F. Taylor Award is presented "in recognition of the paper having the greatest long-range technical significance in the field of cast metals technology." This year's award was presented to Qi Zhao, General Motors Corp.; John T. Burke, Hitchiner Manufacturing Co. Inc., (both formerly of Metal Casting Technology Inc.); and Thomas Gustafson, General Motors Corp., for their paper, "Foam Removal Mechanism in Aluminum Lost Foam Casting," (02-083). Shown at left is Zhao.

Division Awards Winners

Engineering Div.

Plant Engineering Award Hayes Lemmerz International Inc.--Casting Process

Best Paper Award Assessing Mold Tooling Life (04-016) Theodore Schorn, Enkei America Inc.

Aluminum Div.

Hall/Heroult Scientific Merit Award David Weiss, Eck Industries Inc.

Glenn Stahl Service Award John C. Miller, Metaullic Systems Co. LP

William Frishmuth Award James Hubman, Ohio Aluminum Industries Inc.

Best Paper Award Strengthening Precipitates in Cast 339 Aluminum Alloy (04-021) Raja Mishra, Anil Sachdev and William Baxter, General Motors Corp.

Copper Alloy Div.

David Kunkel Distinguished Service Award Robert Cushing, I. Schumann & Co.

Best Paper Award The Antimicrobial Effects of Cast Copper Alloy Surfaces on the Bacterium E. coli 0157:H7 (05-009) Harold Michaels, Copper Development Assn. Inc.; and Jonathan Noyce, Sandra Wilks and C. William Keevil, Univ. of Southampton

Molding Methods & Materials Div.

Best Paper Award Versatile Core Sand Test Method (04-108) Stephen Baker and Joshua Werling, Indianapolis Casting Corp.

Cast Iron Div.

Outstanding Individual Service Stephen Sauer, Carpenter Brothers Inc.

Outstanding New Committee Member Troy Bishop, Grede Foundries Inc.

Group Service Award Professional Metallurgical Services

Best Paper Award Effects of Room Temperature Aging on Ductile Iron (04-038) Von Richards, David Van Aken and Oliver Mereau, Univ. of Missouri-Rolla; and Wayne Nicola, Consultant

Best Operating Paper Mold Surface Analysis Evaluation of Inclusion Defects Occurring in Cast Iron Produced in Green Sand Molds (04-017) Hitoshi Kambayashi, Hideo Une and Yutaka Kurokawa, Tsuchiyoshi Industry Corp.; Hidemitsu Ito and Shunji Mikamoto, Yoshiwa Industry Corp; and Hidekazu Miyake, Kansai Univ.

Magnesium Div.

Sir Humphrey Davy Scientific Merit Award Michael Marlatt, Consultant

Outstanding Individual Service Award Stephen Robison, AFS

Outstanding Organization Award Eck Industries Inc.

Best Paper Award Casting Characteristics of Permanent Mold Cast Mg-Alloy AZ91E (02-122)

Jim Thompson, Festus Fasoyinu, Kumar Sadayappan and Mahi Sahoo, CANMET/Materials Technology Laboratories

Pattern & Foundry Tooling

Distinguished Service Award Mileta Tomovic, Purdue Univ.

Melting Methods & Materials Div.

Excellence in Committee Activity Award Mark Bauer, General Motors Corp.

Best New Member Travis Fresh, John Deere Foundry

Best Paper Award Unplanned Blackout and Its Consequences. Power and City Water Outages at Ford's Cleveland Plant (04-159) Doug Rowe, Ford Motor Co.; and William Duca, Duca Manufacturing Inc.

Steel Div.

Best Paper Award Implementation of ISO 9001:2000 in Steel Foundries (04-124) Hathibelagal Roshan, Intellectual Capital Exchange LLC

Environmental Health & Safety Div.

Best Presentation Award DOE Theoretical Minimum Energy Study (04-165) Jitendra Radia, McWane Inc.

Childress-Loebler Lifetime Achievement Award Robert Scholz, RMT Inc.

Lost Foam Casting Div.

Technical Excellence Award David Caulk, General Motors Corp.

Outstanding Individual Service Russ Van Rens, BRP US Inc.; and Parker Stroom (retired), Vulcan Engineering Co. Inc.

Best Paper Award Characterization of Rheological Properties of Lost Foam Casting Coating Slurries (04-066) Dayakar Penumadu and Xin Chen, Univ. of Tennessee; and Calvin Johnson, C. Johnson & Assoc.

Marketing/Management Div.

Jack F. Steel Excellence in Marketing Award Michael Gwyn, Advanced Technology Institute

Outstanding Service Award Tim McMillin, Magma Foundry Technologies Inc.

Best Paper Award Tools for Developing a Fact-Based Marketing Plan (04-093) Ruben Bake, Ashland Specialty Chemical

North American Die Casting Assn. Awards

Best Congress Paper Effect of Artificial Aging on Microstructure and Tensile Properties of Semi-Solid Processed A356 Castings Brian Dewhirst and Diran Apelian, Metal Processing Institute, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and John Jorstad, JLJ Technologies Inc.

Instructor of the Year Michael H. Ward, Ward CNC Machining Inc.

Technical Committee Member of the Year Don Cherry, St. Clair Die Casting LLC

Hoyt Memorial Lecture

Theodore J. Schorn, Enkei America Inc., Columbus, Ind., received the honor of presenting the Charles Edgar Hoyt Memorial Lecture at CastExpo '05. He addressed facility management issues in his presentation, "Elements of Quality Leadership."

Schorn joined Enkei in 1989, first as manager of quality and engineering and then as plant manager of Enkei Wheel Corp. from 1996-98. Schorn has worked at Enkei as general manager of corporate quality since 1998.

In his lecture, Schorn defended the proposition that quality leadership is the fundamental job of top management and the most effective strategy for competitiveness in global markets. Schorn contended that three elements compose effective quality leadership: effective shop floor management; the intelligent use of tools; and the maintenance of a service culture.

"Making components according to the drawing and delivering it on time is certainly a part of quality, but it by no means captures all that must be considered in the operation of a metalcasting facility," Schorn said. "This broadened perspective is absolutely necessary if one is to use quality as a means of becoming more competitive with a rival across town or across an ocean."

Schorn described each of the three elements of quality leadership and provided observations relating them to the metalcasting industry.

"The job of quality is not the responsibility of the quality manager, plant chemist or some hired consultant/expert," Schorn said. "This is top management's job."

Aluminum Silver Anniversary Paper

In his Silver Anniversary Lecture, "Technology, Characteristics and Applications of the Electromagnetic Pump" (05-237), Paul Gouwens, CMI Novacast Inc., discussed how the technology of electromagnetic pumps has changed over the last 25 years and where it is heading. Gouwens chronicled the history of electromagnetic pumps and its inventors before discussing pump principles, including linear motor, direct current and single phase AC.

Gouwens pointed to several major design changes of pumps over the last 25 years, including loop orientation, improved pump section, refractory improvements, pump cooling improvements, magnetic circuit improvements, electrical gail improvements, control system improvements and pump peripheral equipment improvements.

Gouwens concluded by discussing some of the major improvements that could lie ahead, including developing an automatic feedback system, improving longevity, reducing capital cost and lowering operating expenses.

Cast Iron Honorary Lecture

Kathy Hayrynen, Applied Process Inc., addressed the importance of education in all facets of the metalcasting industry during the Cast Iron Honorary Lecture. In her presentation, "Education or Death--It's Your Choice" (05-248), Hayrynen noted three key areas where education is a must. The first was student education in which Hayrynen detailed the options to become involved on the student metalcasting level. This included displaying engineering booths at career fairs, implementing after school education programs, tutoring students in math and science classes, and donating money to schools.

The second area was employee education where Hayrynen pointed out that better-educated employees are more flexible working between different tasks, have better communication skills and can adapt more easily to new technologies than non-educated employees.

Hayrynen's third field was customer education, which addressed means to obtain new customers. This called for engineers and metalcasters to display their capabilities to their customers because the customers likely will not come to them. Hayrynen said some methods to this are bringing potential customers to trade shows and also holding educational seminars on-site so the customer can learn more about the industry.

Molding Methods & Materials Silver Anniversary Paper

Raymond Monroe, Steel Founders' Society of America, spoke on "Porosity in Castings" (05-245) in the Molding Methods and Materials Silver Anniversary session. Porosity can occur through entrapped air, blowholes, re-oxidation, pin-holes and shrinkage.

In the presentation, Monroe pointed to the value of simple engineering formulas, along with the use of models, in discovering the nature of gasses.

The Ideal Gas Law is a primary engineering formula that can be used to understand the behavior of gasses. Using this law, Monroe calculated that a 10 mm air bubble grows to 18 mm at 1,500C (2,732F) from room temperature, shrinks to 17 mm at a depth of 200 mm and shrinks to 16 mm when oxygen reacts.

To form a bubble, a gas must overcome the surface tension of the liquid. The pressure needed to achieve this is related to the depth of the metal.

Monroe also discussed ways of calculating permeability and gas pressure using engineering formulas. For example, permeability can be calculated by multiplying the volume of gas by the thickness of the sand and divide the factor by the factor of gas pressure multiplied by area multiplied by time.

Aluminum Sessions

The AFS Aluminum Div. hosted several sessions on topics affecting the aluminum sector of metalcasting, including gating design, artificial cooling, molten metal treatment and heat treating.

During the molten metal treatment workshop, Claude Dube, Aleris International Inc., shared the strategies used at his plant for maintenance of the metal treatment equipment. Dube said operations should focus on preventative maintenance in order to minimize downtime. One key to preventive maintenance is predicting failure.

Dan Huefert, Eck Industries, in a presentation written by Steve Evans, Eck Industries, shared how Eck managed its metal treatment with small batches of molten metal in low volume. The plant uses a gas-fired crucible at 500 and 1,000 lbs. due to the extensive list of alloys poured.

During an Aluminum panel, David Weiss, Eck Industries, and Paul Crepeau, General Motors Corp., centered their discussion on "Innovative Methods for Heat Treating Aluminum Castings" (05-208). Weiss discussed a process in finding the right heat treatment for a cylinder head casting to balance magnesium content and aging time. T7 castings were ideal, but the cyclical heating tended to overage the product. However, T6 casting showed lower yield strength than desired, prompting investigators to find a treatment between T6 and T7.

A satisfactory heat treatment cycle was determined, and Weiss concluded that heat treating could be a variable, with existing heat cycles serving as clues in cycle modification. He also warned audience members to be aware of the connection between heat cycles and chemistry of the metal.

Crepeau spoke of resolving aluminum cylinder block cracking by revising thermal cycles. The cracks occurred before machining and appeared during production ramp-up. The cracks were not present at the metalcasting facility, but occurred after exposure to sub-zero temperatures. After several tests, it was concluded that cooling the castings to room temperature before heat treatment eliminated the thermal expansion that caused the cracks.

Cast Iron Sessions

The AFS Cast Iron Div. addressed a number of the latest issues in iron metalcasting, from process simulation to optimizing mechanical properties.

In their presentation, "Effects of Titanium and Filtration on Gray Iron Machinability" (05-199), H. Li, R. Griffin and Charles Bates, Univ. of Alabama-Birmingham, addressed how machinability with gray irons is not easily defined and past machinability tests have led to inconsistent results. Also, many factors influence high tool-wear rates. The authors discussed the results of an investigation of filtration and titanium concentration on the machinability of gray iron transmission hubs. It was found that irons containing less titanium produced lower tool-wear rates, and higher-titanium components had a slight increase in hardness.

Machinability also has been an issue with austempered ductile iron (ADI). Franco Zanardi, Zanardi Fonderie S.p.A., discussed in his presentation, "Machinable ADI in Italy" (05-209), the fatigue properties of ADI. He noted that in order to boost the ADI market, such castings needed to have quick machining times with no hold-ups. Zanardi suggested that all metallurgical properties of ADI must be processed at the best level of available technologies involving all necessary investments to ensure reproducible quality.

ADI also was addressed in the presentation, "Wear Properties of Austempered Ductile Cast Irons" (05-187), co-authored by Kathy Hayrynen and John Keough, Applied Process Inc. ADI's advantageous wear properties were discussed concluding that the material's best properties are exhibited when normal forces on the component are high enough to initiate a Martensitic strain transformation that would give the structure a hard surface layer. When forces are lower, ADI's wear resistance is proportional to its bulk hardness.

Diecasting Sessions

The Diecasting sessions presented by the North American Die Casting Assn. provided information in the areas of melting and thermal processing, computer modeling, process control, die materials and process engineering.

In the area of process control, Larry Winkler, Awintech Inc., presented "Reducing Gas Porosity in High-Pressure Diecastings." Winkler addressed the basic problem of reducing gas porosity and suggested several methods to assist diecasters utilizing the cold chamber diecasting process.

Because several methods of removing the air from the metal feed system cause gas porosity to exist, Winkler stressed the importance of determining which technique best applies to a particular facility. To do this, diecasters must:

* determine the volume of the job;

* determine the size of the vacuum block;

* place the vacuum outlets in areas that fill last;

* group outlets in pairs;

* extend the outlet runners away from the cavity;

* provide resistance in runners to reduce the metal velocity.

According to Winkler, the challenge is to determine the best method of reducing gas porosity that is specific to an operation. He said one of the most effective ways to accomplish that is through careful pre-planning.

Engineering Sessions

The AFS Engineering Div.'s presentations at CastExpo '05 addressed such issues as virtual casting technology, management communications and process measuring. Authors J.R. Lee, C.K. Klein, G. Buntin, and D.P.K. Singh, ION Automotive, discussed their paper, "Value of Virtual Casting Technology in Real Casting Problem Solving for Automotive Components" (05-068), which illustrated a successful case study using the virtual casting process design methodology.

The authors described a case study of a motorcycle wheel casting in which simulation engineering combined with metallurgy and casting experience resulted in reduced development leadtime and costs. Through the case study, it was found that by incorporating the entire virtual casting technology experience, rather than relying solely on computer simulation, an accurate visualization and identification of the root cause of casting defects can be accomplished.

In his presentation, "Case Study: Process Definitions; Process Measuring: How Does a Small Foundry Get Their ROI Off ISO/TS 16949:2002?" (05-176), Nick Fox, Galesburg Castings Inc., discussed the trials and successes the Galesburg Castings facility faced during the updates of its quality management system and describes the methods of determining and measuring its processes.

According to Fox, first, the process must be understood and then defined. The purpose behind process definitions is to determine what the category of the process is and establish ownership, responsibility and authority. Fox said authority and responsibility needs should be defined so the organization knows who has direct responsibility over the process and who is available for assistance.

Fox concluded that the return on investment of ISO/TS 16949:2002 for companies is the ability to identify the processes and start laying the brickwork needed to focus on specific company processes using tools, such as process model diagrams, octopus diagrams and turtle diagrams.

Melting Methods & Materials Sessions

The several panels and individual presentations of the AFS Melting Methods & Materials Div. technical sessions discussed numerous topics regarding melting practices.

In his presentation, "Concepts for Reducing Cupola Charge Material Costs" (05-212), Seymour Katz, S. Katz Assoc. Inc., addressed the steep increase of cupola materials costs during the last several years. He attributed the result of the increase to supply and demand as well as the mass purchasing from overseas scrap buyers. To remedy the situation, Katz examined four potential sources for lower costs: sources of lower-cost scrap; reducing alloy costs; development of low-cost substitutes for coke; and optimizing overall cupola performance.

Katz stated that very thick, thin or rusty scrap should be avoided as a charge material to minimize the formation of iron oxide. For lower alloy costs, Katz pointed to the fact that adding aluminum scrap, though expensive and not common with cupola operations, can gain up to 100% silicon recovery.

Further, Katz noted that additional help can be gained through computer simulation of cupola melting practices, which is most important with the cupola optimization.

Magnesium Sessions

During the AFS Magnesium Div. sessions, metalcasters attended several presentations addressing shrinkage behavior and issues in various casting processes. David Weiss, Eck Industries Inc., Steve Robison, AFS, Gerald Gegel, Metallurgical and Process Consultancy, Greg Woycik, Hayes Lemmerz International Inc., Michael Marlatt, consultant, and Bruce Cox, DaimlerChrysler, co-authors of "Magnesium Casting Process Development: Designing an Engine Cradle for Magnesium Semi-Permanent Mold Casting" (05-217), detailed the developments in converting an aluminum automotive engine cradle to a magnesium casting. It was determined that low-pressure permanent mold casting would benefit the magnesium casting market and meet requirements for engine weight reduction. However, technical barriers need to be overcome.

Another casting process discussed was the V-process, detailed by Sayavur Bakhtiyarov and Ruel Overfelt, Auburn Univ., M. Black, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, and Weiss in their paper, "Design and V-process Production of Cast Magnesium Component" (05-051). Investigations examined how well AZ91E magnesium alloy could be used in the V-process to cast valve plates for trucks. It was found that the components could be cast successfully through the process and did not reveal any differences in the microstructures when compared to precision sand molding.

Copper Alloy Sessions

The AFS Copper Alloy Div. held sessions with presentations on a variety of topics ranging from prices to standards to the mechanical properties of copper alloys, including a presentation titled, "Development of Lead-Free Copper-Nickel Alloys for Food Processing Applications" (05-137), by Kumar Sadayappan, Renata Zavadil, and Mahi Sahoo, CANMET/MTL.

Investigators wanted to find a safe replacement for lead in the copper-nickel alloy for food processing applications and studied the effects of bismuth and selenium on the mechanical properties, machinability and galling resistance of the alloy. They found that comparable machinability and galling resistance was possible to achieve in lead-free alloys, but the mechanical properties did not meet specifications.

In the research report, "Development of a Permanent Mold to Produce Tensile Test Bars to Evaluate the Quality of Copper-Base Alloy Melts" (05-161), Sadayappan, Denis Cousineau and Sahoo, CANMET/MTL, discussed the need for a tool to assess the quality of metal for copper permanent mold casting facilities.

In the study, the authors aimed to develop a permanent mold to cast a test bar without center line shrinkage, develop data and provide benchmark data.

Marketing Sessions

Presentations given during the AFS Marketing Div. session painted a picture of what metalcasters can expect in the future and also provided tools for taking advantage of a bright forecast for the North American metalcasting industry.

George Garrett, Innova Management Consulting, presented "Organization, Systems and Culture" (05-165), in which he proposed new business models to help achieve success.

Mike Swartzlander, Ashland Casting Solutions, presented "The Golden Age of Casting" (05-046), where he pointed out that the U.S. metalcasting industry is at an inflection point in the growth rate. Swartzlander stressed the need for metalcasters to recognize that they must compete in the global economy and provided some guidance on how to catch the wave. To do this, he contends that metalcasters must invest in new technology and people.

Lost Foam Sessions

The sessions of the AFS Lost Foam Div. provided metalcasters with practical information on the production of lost foam patterns and castings and highlighted the capability of the lost foam casting process.

During the panel discussion, "Showcasing the Capability of the Lost Foam Casting Process" (05-233), Bruce McMellon, Vulcan Engineering Co. Inc., stressed the need for metalcasters to put a price on their product and move away from the notion that castings are commodities. To do so, metalcasters must position their product differently in the minds of customers. McMellon said the benefits of lost foam casting can help accomplish this.

Michael Johnston, Citation Corp., then identified strategies for the successful use of lost foam casting. Glenn Deischer, Mack Truck-Allentown, shared his experiences using lost foam casting for Mack trucks. Charles Irish, Irish Foundry & Manufacturing, presented examples of value-added lost foam castings. Elden Williams, ETD Inc., talked about why the lost foam casting process was right for his new product, the wrench extender.

Charles Bates, Univ. of Alabama-Birmingham, closed the panel by delivering an outlook for the lost foam casting process.

Steel Sessions

The panels and presentations of the AFS Steel Div. sessions detailed several topics, including steel pouring operations and casting defect analysis. In their presentation "Foundry Size Ladle Metallurgy Vessel: Ferromanganese Dissolution" (05-080), authors Von Richards, Kent Peaslee and Darryl Webber, Univ. of Missouri-Rolla, discussed how alloy additions to melts can be critical to expenses in the production process as well as investigations to determine the dissolution rate of low-carbon ferromanganese depending on alloy particle size, gas flow rates and alloy concentrations.

Alastair Davidson, Casting Metallurgy & Process Technology, David Poweleit, Steel Founders' Society of America, and Paul Mikkola, Metal Casting Technology Inc., addressed potential steel casting applications in their panel presentation, "Opportunities for Steel Castings-Design and Metallurgical Issues" (05-231). The authors noted methods to improve steel casting design and examined new markets available in the construction and light automotive industries.

Molding Methods & Materials Sessions

The AFS Molding, Methods & Materials sessions aimed to help metalcasters produce better castings through the use of sand and binders. During the sessions, Larry Stahl and D.J. Couture, General Motors Powertrain, presented "GM Resin Selection Process for the Precision Sand Project" (05-171). The presenters described some of the selection tools and other criteria utilized by GM to make the proper resin selection for its new V8 aluminum engine block project. GM chose the phenolic urethane coldbox system to produce the 700-lb. mold package. An engineering team was established for a complete assessment of the various urethane systems available.

The team broke complex decisions down into small, measurable criteria to tackle the complicated selection process. The team also used a Pugh analysis to provide a customized selection process that obtained a "best fit" for GM's specific needs.

Environmental, Health & Safety Sessions

The presentations from the AFS Environmental, Health & Safety Div. (EH&S) touched base on issues within the EH&S sector. The sessions included a presentation from Victor LaFay, The Hill and Griffith Co., and George Crandell, Clifford Glowaki and S.M. Knight, Technikon LLC, on their paper, "Significant Reduction in the Emission Characteristics of the Green Sand Process" (05-125).

The presentation detailed test results that outlined the emission reductions in the green sand process made through a new green sand formula (without seacoal), phenolic urethane cores with additives and pattern spray with graphite.

Thomas Penko, Foseco Metallurgical Inc., explored emission data for core and moldmaking systems in his presentation, "Resin/C[O.sub.2] Core and Moldmaking Process: Emission Characterization" (05-249). In the presentation, Penko described the testing protocols used and emission data obtained at Technikon's research facility for the resin/C[O.sub.2] core and moldmaking process.

Test results showed that the resin/C[O.sub.2] process improved environmental air emissions performance, making it a viable replacement in applications where gas-cured binder systems are being used.

Pattern & Foundry Tooling Sessions

The AFS Pattern & Foundry Tooling Div. held presentations and panels focused on topics ranging from rapid prototyping (RP) to tooling design. The presentation, "Rapid Prototyping Patterns Create New Opportunities for Investment Casting" (05-156), by Thomas Mueller, Express Pattern, revealed the results of accuracy studies of RP patterns for production castings.

The studies and tests focused on how stereolithography patterns could be used as viable patterns for the production of investment castings.

Perrin Rondeau, Winona Pattern & Mold, focused his discussion on how the advancements of technology have changed how patternmakers perform their craft in his presentation, "Paperless Tooling Design" (05-175).

Rondeau used the topics of solids, visualization and the Internet to illustrate how the present-day patternmaker has traded in hand tools for computer software. Design steps using the "paperless" tools also were outlined.
 Number of Average per
Division Sessions Attendance Session

1-Engineering 4.5 194 43.1
2-Aluminum 10 666 66.6
3-Copper 3 133 44.3
4-Molding 6.5 303 46.6
5-Iron 10 642 64.2
6-Magnesium 2 113 56.5
7-Pattern 2.5 86 34.4
8-Melting 3 146 48.7
9-Steel 2 67 33.5
10-EHS 2.5 77 30.8
11-Lost Foam 3 157 52.3
13-HR 1 26 26
14-Marketing 1 55 55

TOTALS 51 2,665 52.2
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Title Annotation:American Foundry Society's exhibition
Publication:Modern Casting
Article Type:Cover Story
Date:May 1, 2005
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