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Investment casters focus on process, applications.

The investment casting (IC) industry is growing at a double-digit rate, according to industry sources. In 1990, growth increased an estimated 19% over the previous year and, despite the current economic slowdown, the Investment casting Institute (ICI) reported that this will be followed by increases in the area of 14% for both 1991 and 1992.

This rapid growth has been supported by several factors, the most important of which are significant quality gains and advances in near net shape casting technologies. These factors, combined with new melting techniques, have emphasized to design engineers the economies attainable through the use of investment castings in high-performance applications.

Reflecting the heightened interest in investment casting, the Investment Casting Division (ICD) of the American Foundrymen's Society has directed considerable effort and resources into supporting research and education aimed at expanding the uses of IC. The ability to replicate intricate shapes at greater savings than that possible with fabricated or forged parts has added considerably to the luster of investment castings. Eliminating assembly time, machining and excess weight has attracted design engineers, particularly those working in areas where weight and size are paramount considerations.

The division has completed or has scheduled the following projects: o A formal educational package was

prepared, and copies were reviewed

by ICD members for accuracy and

format. Final changes were made

during the December meeting, and the

proposal is being printed. Also during

the December meeting, members selected

colleges that they would like to

interest in using the package as part of

their materials and design engineering

curriculum in fall 1991. 9 The ASM show was held last October

in Cobol Hall, Detroit. The division made

a technical presentation on the application

of investment castings in the

automotive industry. Both production

and nonproduction applications were

demonstrated. Several other foundry

processes were represented by other

AFS divisions. 9 Division 6 will again have an exhibit at

the Design Engineering Show, April

8-11, 1991 at McCormick Place, Chicago.

Show participation will be supported

by some 30 investment casting

manufacturers and 10-1 2 suppliers.

The exhibit promotes the application

of investment castings in a wide

variety of alloys to all industries. its

purpose is to educate casting users

to the ultimate efficiencies and economies

of the IC process.

The AFS/ICD is sponsoring a two-day

investment casting clinic on June 25 - 26, 1991 in conjunction with the Society of

Manufacturing Engineers (SME)

to educate participants with the IC

process and its capabilities. The formal

educational package will serve

as the foundation for the clinic's

agenda. Notices of the event will be

published by AFS and SME. The intended

audience for the clinic is design

and process engineers.

At the 95th Casting Congress from

May 5-9, 1991 in Birmingham, Alabama,

Division 6 will present six

technical papers. Three of the papers

will be research updates on investment

casting technology developments

occurring under the division's three-year

research program.

The division's three-year research plan,

formally launched in January 1990,

identified 12 projects for development

and established a priority for each according

to a survey of industry needs.

Presently, four of the projects have

been funded, and interim and final results

of these projects will be presented

at the forthcoming Casting Congress

technical sessions. Because sponsorship

of these research projects from

industry is below expectations, both

AFS and ICI are attempting to develop

additional sponsorship.

In the AFS Committee organization, Division 6 remains active and innovative. Now that several programs have been established, the division is changing its emphasis by developing greater industry participation in the division and by strengthening AFS membership through added ICI patrons.
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Title Annotation:AFS Technical Division Status Report: Division 6/Investment Casting
Author:Barron, Bruce M.
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Apr 1, 1991
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