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New technology, enhancements shine at CastExpo '99.

This sampling of the new technology and enhancements exhibited at CastExpo '99 provides foundrymen with a recap of the show floor in St. Louis.

CastExpo '99 provided a forum for exhibitors to display their latest and greatest equipment, technology and processes to a global metalcasting audience. The 363 exhibitors (73 of which were new) shared 148,000 sq ft of floor space (equaling the record of CastExpo '96). Tonnage exhibited also was near a record high as suppliers continue to display working equipment for foundrymen to examine.

Due to the size of CastExpo and the numerous simultaneous events that drew the attention of metalcasters away from the exhibits, modern casting has provided the following sampling of information on new (introduced since 1996) technology and technology enhancements found on the show floor. Although this sampling isn't all-inclusive of everything new exhibited in St. Louis March 13-16, it does provide a glimpse into many of the innovations that easily could have been missed.

This information on new technology and technology enhancements also can be found on the modern casting website at www.moderncasting.com, and further information on some of these products will be found in subsequent issues of modem casting in product innovations and metalcasting supplies.

Melting/Pouring

In addition to live demonstrations and its hosting of multiple 1-hr classes on induction furnace maintenance that drew nearly 400 foundrymen, Inductotherm's exhibit showcased two new key developments. First was the short-circuit prevention systems on the VIP power induction power supply, which featured a live intentional short-circuit caused by a wrench being dropped against the system's busbars. When a tool or piece of scrap were to fall across the busbar, these units now will simply shut down in response to electrical faults without damaging any components. Once the fault is eliminated, the system is returned to operation. As the demonstration indicated, the firm's new units will absorb short-circuits without interrupting production, greatly improving the operational reliability of the melt department.

Second was its Meltminder 2000 melt shop control and management system, reported to be the first to run on the PC-based Windows operating system, making it easier for the operator to monitor and control the entire melting process. Because the system can be easily connected to other Windows-based systems, it also allows the creation of custom reports, as well as the cross-accessing and interfacing to other programs using integral Windows utilities. Different screens cover melt system control, charge makeup calculation, reports and logs, as well as custom configuration capabilities.

Pillar Industries exhibited the Mark 15 power supply for the first time at the show. Unique features of the power supply include a proprietary microprocessor control system with temperature profile sintering, target temperature control, cold start capability, KWHr count, fault logging (500 events) and cooling system auto shutdown. In addition, the firm also used the event to showcase its pricing structure for 17 different melting systems.

Also unveiled at the show was ABB's small FS coreless induction furnace (1-4 tons capacity) and new power supply (for power ranges from 750-3000kW) for foundries operating mid-sized furnaces. The firm stated that energy losses are kept so low by the power supply that only air cooling of the converter is required. The smaller furnace size is based on the same design as the firm's larger IFM systems, and its open cage design offers ease of maintenance for increased uptime.

Duca Manufacturing & Consulting, Inc., announced its high capacity tilt-pour holding furnace at the show, which is said to be a significant step forward in automatic pouring. The system, which is used by Waupaca Foundry's new plant in Tell City, Indiana, is an alternative to conventional pressure-pour furnaces. The holding furnace tilts to fill an unheated pouring box, and a laser controls pouring into the molds. During furnace charging, the pour box remains full. According to the firm, the system requires less cleaning and maintenance.

The Selcom booth featured information on the LaserPour IV pouring system, which has several new features that allow faster access to the various parts of the system as well as improved operator feedback.

In addition to several communications features (including the storage of up to 500 different pouring profiles), the new laser sensor features a smaller sensor body and a visible laser light source, eliminating the use of extra viewing equipment during the setup of the laser. The unit also features a new stopper rod actuator design, which includes twist and plunge functions. The new actuator uses a specially designed pneumatic servo drive system with few moving parts in order to further reduce the need for preventive maintenance of the actuator.

Hickman, Williams & Co. offered two recent products from its booth. The automatic metal analysis controller is a computer-controlled injection system to control iron chemistry by the supplemental feed of carbon and/or silicon from the melter to the mold line. With a Windows-based program, the system error-proofs metal analyses, reduces slag in ladles and furnaces, minimizes labor and material costs and optimizes quality. Also new for the firm is a cored wire inoculation system for automatic pouring using proprietary inoculants produced by American Alloys.

The Thermtronix exhibit featured several furnace designs as well as information on its new twin high-bay combustion furnace, which was first introduced in 1997. According to the firm, it is unique in that it can sequentially melt and simultaneously hold multiple alloys in a single furnace. The furnace allows loose or stacked ingots, sows, gates and risers or a combination of all four in the primary melt chamber. A second recuperative chamber, where recaptured exhaust energy provides supplemental melting, is charged with gates, risers and returns.

New at the Lindberg/MPH exhibit was the Swinger crucible furnace, designed for foundries that pour different aluminum alloys, or melt and treat in one crucible while pouring from a second one. The furnace uses a lift-and-swing pneumatic mechanism to raise the furnace body from one crucible, then lowers it to the furnace base over the second crucible to begin its melting cycle. The first crucible, in which the aluminum has been treated, is then transported to the casting area, poured and returned to the melting station, where it is recharged with solid metal and waits for the second crucible melting cycle to be completed. The result is minimal melt loss and longer crucible life through the use of electrical heat, combined with metal temperature control, element chamber control and an SCR power control. The resulting close temperature control minimizes the chances of overheating and the insulated covers reduce air exposure, both of which reduce the percentage of melt lost through oxidation and increasing crucible life.

As permanent mold casters continue to explore low-pressure techniques for casting, CMI Novacast featured its PG Series Electromagnetic Pumps for the gravity and low-pressure feeding of molten aluminum, zinc and magnesium into permanent, green or chemically-bonded sand, lost foam, investment or plaster molds. In addition, the pump can draw metal into the shot sleeves of squeeze or die casting systems. The semi-submersed pumps draw the metal from below the bath surface (through an optional filter) and move it through heated launder tubes into molds, shot sleeves or tundishes with minimal atmospheric contact.

IPI showcased its pouring shrouds that produce improved recoveries and cleaner steels. The firm also is developing fused silica autopour ladles that are non-reactive to different alloys, are longer lasting, offer lower conductivity and prevent contamination of alloys.

Ajax Magnethermic exhibited a variety of furnaces and solid state power supplies, as well as the Magne-Com computer control systems that can be applied to all melt systems. The firm also showed a scale model of a twin-coil Jet Flow channel inductor, which promotes uniformity in temperature and alloy in the furnace upper case due to strong stirring action.

Refractories

Blasch Precision Ceramics showcased its family of rotary degassers for aluminum production, which consist of a vertical shaft with a uniquely shaped integral head that is designed to shear bubbles. The degassers are manufactured from an advanced silicon carbide/alumina composite and precision-cast to net shape using the company's proprietary process that produces a nominal pore size of 5 microns. This pore size also prevents molten metal from penetrating the material, increasing the effective life of the degasser.

Christy Refractories exhibited its Sealcast technology, a new process that seals the permeability of ceramic bodies. Customer testing indicates 2-5 times the life in pressure pouring stalk tubes and sucker tubes in nonferrous applications.

The InstaCentr furnace form centering system, introduced by Gradmatic Equipment uses four lightweight tools (three for smaller furnaces) to ensure equal distance between the form and furnace sidewalls before filling the annular area with dry refractory. The system allows form centering to be completed in minutes and with equal distance in the annular area, consistent thickness of refractory is achieved. Among the plants to successfully install the system are Brush Wellman, Elmer, Ohio, and Greenwood Foundry (Grede Foundries, Inc.), Greenwood, South Carolina.

North American Refractories featured ladle refractories that include no tear-out and easy-repair, low-moisture castables such as D-Cast TRC-SR, D-Cast 85T and D-Cast 70-SR. This cement-free technology reportedly increases performance and reduces downtime. TriStar stopper rods and nozzles will assist for auto-pour and bottom-pour requirements. Porous plugs help reduce sulfur for iron and homogenize temperature while reducing inclusions.

A foundry ladle shroud system consisting of the shroud, shroud attachment system, mounting plates and gaskets was showcased by Premier Refractories International. The Cerma-Dyne fused silica shroud is fabricated with a cement-free, high-purity fused silica material that has been optimized for thermal stability and molten metal contact. Its benefits include reduction of macro inclusions, scrap reduction, and cost savings in the cleaning room over conventional gating systems.

Reno Refractories featured its Jet Cast NC 90 SiC, a pure, no-cement castable containing a high percentage of silicon carbide. It was specifically developed for the melt zone. The high thermal conductivity conducts the heat from the hot face and still protects the steel shell. It contains an effective oxidation inhibitor and exhibits the unique properties inherent to the company's no-cement castable line. The product also is designed to be pneumatically applied using the patented Jet Cast method of installation.

Saint-Gobain Industrial Ceramics/Norton Foundry Systems featured high-performance bonded shapes and an alumina/zirconia mixture that provides resistance to erosion by a wide range of highly alloyed steels and other superalloys. Its wide-ranging shape capabilities allow the engineering of a compatible melting/pouring refractory system.

Sand Molding Equipment

Another product exhibited for the first time in the U.S. was Roberts Sinto's tight flask/snap green sand molding line, which incorporates the Seiatsu airflow squeeze molding process. The unit, recently sold to California's Gregg Industries, has brought the technology to jobbing foundries. The firm exhibited its FBO series flaskless molding machine, which was introduced at the last CastExpo in 1996. In addition, the firm exhibited and demonstrated the major components of a modularized mold handling system (up to 150 mold/hr) it is now offering in conjunction with its molding machines. Also included at the exhibit was a demonstration of servo cylinder applications for large scale, tight flask mold conveying, flask transfer, cooling lines. The technology uses less energy than pneumatic or hydraulic units, with a dramatic increase in speed, output and durability.

Hunter Automated Machinery's exhibit featured the new I enhancements to the firm's G & H series automated matchplate molding machines, which feature more than 15 new enhancements. New to the G-series machine was a special pre-fill program that riddles sand onto the pattern, an air-assisted drag mold release, infrared sensor with PLC, higher squeeze pressures (up to 142 psi), special creep control for initial slow drag on both the cope and the drag, dual hydraulic valves for fast/slow speed control on critical motions, and an improved design bottom board feeder and drag roller lift mechanisms. In addition, the H-series also offered improvements in its Squeezelogic system (which reduces mold compaction speed as resistance increases, producing a uniformly hard, superior-quality mold); faster cycle times than the G-series; and proportional hydraulic valves for maximum control and smooth operation at higher speeds.

The Kloster exhibit featured the Slick Loop modular automated nobake molding system that allows foundries to tailor each system to individual requirements. Features include: preprogrammed molding parameters; mold count for automatic pattern change; universal fixed width pattern carriers and bottom boards for an infinite combination of mold sizes; real-time mold strip time control; and modular design. Special additional SL components include automatic and operator-controlled transfer cars, elevating transfer cars, turntables, mold closers and flow coaters.

Palmer Manufacturing and Supply's PRD-Series Rollover/Draw machine provides a slow initial draw cycle with fast clamp and reclamp action. A photo-eye, proof-of-draw circuit allows for easy automatic operation. The unit's rotation is powered with a rotary hydraulic actuator and eliminates the maintenance associated with rotary chain drives.

Equipment Merchants International exhibited its gravity and low-pressure permanent mold systems, which include low-pressure molding machines, semi-permanent mold, vertically parted turntables and conventional horizontally parted, semi-permanent mold turntables. The low-pressure molding machines are fully automatic production centers that can set cores, extract castings, set gate screens and blow off the mold. The vertically parted turntables have been redesigned and include five casting benches mounted on a 26-ft.-diameter, electric motor driven design and a minimum platform height of 39 in. The horizontally parted turntables are available in an eight-station model with custom accommodations made on request.

Loramendi's staff was on hand to discuss its vertical flaskless molding machine, the Loramatic, which incorporates a number of improvements and uses standard, commercially available parts. The equipment features a double-sided squeeze, adjustable to obtain optimum and uniform mold compaction for near net shape castings. The sand-blowing centerline coincides with the molding chamber centerline so the sand does not fall against pattern plates, reducing wear. Two additional supports for front pattern plate guiding have been added. The VMM 5070 is capable of producing 400 uncored molds/hr, and core setting is done automatically with a coresetter. Three models are available, ranging in mold dimensions up to 800 x 1000 x 650/200 mm.

Permanent Mold Equipment

Stahl Specialty introduced the AutoCast II, its first major redesign to the self-pouring permanent mold aluminum casting machine since it was introduced 30 years ago. Unique to this edition is the twin-tilt cylinders vs. the previous single-tilt arrangement, and a design that allows more core pulls, a front or side-mounted casting catcher, and a more compact layout and hose system. In addition, the firm introduced the rotating platforms for the machines, which can be added as demand requires.

Kurtz North America introduced and exhibited its AL 107 SC low-pressure permanent mold system. For aluminum and magnesium casting, this machine is devised of an electric resistance furnace (and crucible for aluminum, steel pot for magnesium) that shuttles back and forth for easy riser tube and mold changes. With touch-screen controls, the operator is able to program four pressure-level settings to customize the rate of fill, and the system has manual or hydraulic casting ejection and provides mold cooling via air or water.

With six installations in the U.S. of its low-pressure permanent mold casting systems for copper-alloys, KWC has begun to deliver improvements to the technology. The latest is the modular design of the systems, which can be operated with one, two or three manipulators. On systems with one or two manipulators, two dies can be used per manipulator by utilizing two different sets of risers. A two-manipulator system has cycle times of 37-42 sec and a three-manipulator system has cycle times of 23-28 sec.

UBE Machinery introduced its equipment for Rheocasting, a process comparable to semi-solid casting in the production of aluminum castings with high quality, high strength and low cost. By using airflow for cooling of the molten metal to a slurry state, the new casting system uses high pressure to inject the metal slurry into the permanent mold. The result is a casting without oxides or air blow holes and a homogenous and fine grain structure with stable mechanical properties. For the new process, the melting, development of the slurry and casting is performed in a single cell.

Coremaking

Laempe + Reich showcased three new coremaking machine designs at the show that are designed for maximum efficiency and user and maintenance friendliness. The LFB Series CoreShooter is a rugged yet simple core production unit for horizontal and/or vertical tooling for the high-production foundry. Key features include continuous, high-clamping force for dimensionally accurate, fin-free cores or coldbox molds; semiautomatic tooling change (standard); a fully enclosed machine cab for safety and emission control; PC-controlled corebox blowoff and parting spray system; and PC interface for easy operator control. The LT Series is a four-station rotary coreshooter that incorporates the concepts of the original CoreCenter into an efficient, high-production machine for vertically parted tooling. Four different cores can be produced simultaneously, and the machine is capable of producing up to 240 blows/hr. Among its key features are complete cabin enclosure with integrated controls; hydraulic clamping of tooling; quick-change tooling with vacuum attachment; rapid cycle times with simultaneous process functions; and Windows-based PC controls and corebox data storage. Meanwhile, the LB Series offers a rugged, versatile line of coreshooters for medium and high production. It can use existing tooling with a simple conversion, and can accept vertical, horizontal and multi-parted tooling up to six parts. Among its highlights are fast, simple tooling change sequence; continuous corebox clamping; linear transducer-controlled positioning; and a PC interface for easy operator control.

CMI-Equipment & Engineering displayed its new Dual-Independent coremaking machine that allows operators to produce two sets of coldbox cores at once. The vertically split tooling for the machine may be cast iron, wood or aluminum-backed urethane with the unique ability of using any combination of tooling at once. The dual system includes a stretched cradle to accommodate its stationary center platen between the two coreboxes as well as a PLC control for easy programming.

The Georg Fischer Disa exhibit featured a Combi-Core with an automatic core handling system, that illustrated how automation can be used to unload, defin and dip cores and load them into a drying oven for increased efficiency, productivity and repeatability.

Gaylord Foundry Equipment displayed its VSTB-RD line of fully automatic core machines. The product is shrouded for fume collection and removal and offers automatic continuous cycle operation, an operator remote control pedestal, a complete OSHA compliance package, a pneumatic box clamping cylinders and clamping air bag, and a hydraulic control package for box position, roll cylinder, lift table and conveyor.

Roberts Sinto unveiled its new SCC CoreCenter at the show, a new machine currently operating only at Frazier & Frazier. Capable of producing intricate cores (with reduced finning) from a few ounces to 130 lb, the unit (which includes a mixer and gas generator), offers touch screen controls, continuous corebox clamping, a special air-flow fluidizing blow chamber, horizontal/vertical quick change coreboxes - all in a self-contained system.

Loramendi displayed its coreblowing machine, model SLC3, which is designed to work with horizontal or vertical-split coreboxes. The design of this machine has improved since Loramendi last showed it at CastExpo '96. Due to the continuous clamping and lack of corebox movement during the entire blowing and curing cycle, finless cores of constant density and weight are produced. The machine can be used with any coldbox process and does not require special foundations, pits or operator platforms. Cores are blown by an advanced blowing system with lower blow pressure, backed by a long list of successful references.

Hottinger exhibited its Core-Vision, an image-processing system that automates quality control for cores and core packages. A camera takes up to five images of each core with the aid of individually positioned lights, and the computer then compares the images with reference pictures and registers significant deviations like small cracks or broken cores. The company also introduced its new Hott Core 2001, a coreshooting line jumper system. The machine begins operation when another machine on the foundry line shuts down and produces the core that was being produced by that machine. This concept breaks the in-line standard of coreshooting lines allowing for continuous production.

ALB Klein Technology Group showcased its new microwave core-drying oven. Using the firm's MWT Multi-Mode Technology, the oven can drive off 100% of moisture, regardless of where it is in the core. Coreroom operations benefit from shorter drying time, no pre-heat of the oven, no cooling of the cores after drying (cores exit the oven at about 120F [49C]), lower energy consumption, instant on/off capability, much smaller space requirements, simple controls, fewer environmental problems and elimination of casting defects due to moisture-related problems. A large foundry in central Illinois is in the process of installing its second and third oven for improved drying and process control in its core production.

FECO Engineered Systems highlighted the Coleman core wash drying oven, which is available in a range of standard sizes. The oven features a jet action recirculating heating system and can handle various sizes of washed or pasted cores. Its cycles range from 8-15 min for wash drying and up to 30 min for post-cure or redry.

Mold/Core Consumables

Ashland Specialty Chemicals Co.'s Foundry Products Div. showcased its new Exact Cast Sleeves, fiber-free riser sleeves that offer improved dimensional accuracy. The product, which is 0.25 the density of sand, is available in both insulating and refractory formulas. Currently, 16 U.S. foundries are using the sleeves to better productivity.

Fairmount Minerals introduced its new Silver Blend Series that combines the performance of both high-purity Wedron silica sand with Technisand's thermally stable lake sand. The series features unique packing characteristics through the combination of round-grain silica with sub-angular lake sand and exhibits flowability and high strength while minimizing expansion-related defects. The firm also exhibited its Excel Series of high-performance resin-coated sands for aluminum, iron and steel. The series offers excellent shakeout characteristics for aluminum castings and low smoke, odor, phenol, formaldehyde and VOCs for iron and steel.

Hill and Griffith highlighted its Carbonite 2000, a blended carbon product specifically designed for reducing the emissions of organic materials in green sand. The product reduces other organic emissions that are a result of decomposition byproducts and facilitates an acceptable casting peel. Other newer products include Dusticoal, a low-sulfur seacoal for ductile iron foundries; Wyoben Western, a new deposit of sodium bentonite; Cobra 212, a high-performance coldbox release agent; Concote 1251, a permanent mold coating for the production of aluminum wheels; Ebony Classic, a graphite based mudding compound; and Pyroseal Classic, a non-graphitic mudding compound.

Unimin exhibited two new products at CastExpo, "Smokeless" Customix, a molding sand additive, and Dakota Bond, an additive to western bentonite. Smokeless Customix produces a similar atmosphere within the mold to that created by seacoal and the same cushioning results as lignite and cellulose. By reducing carbon and cellulose with this proprietary blend, foundries can reduce their benzene and formaldehyde emissions by 50% or more, and they can achieve increased green compression strength with consistent compactibility to potentially reduce preblend usage by as much as 25%. Dakota Bond integrates water into its lattice without excessive swelling. The product undergoes a controlled hydration to develop a stronger, more elastic adhesive with green compression strengths that are up to 50% greater than other western clays and produces 20% higher wet tensile strength for greater dimensional control and fewer thermal expansion defects. Working bond is increased as much as 30-60%, and the thinner bond provides as much as 15% greater permeability.

Foseco introduced its Feedex HD Riser Sleeves, which provide a smaller contact area allowing spot feeding of difficult casting contours. The sleeves are designed for optimum feeding efficiency in gray and ductile iron casting applications and are available with and without breaker cores.

U.S. Silica introduced its new "HI" sands, which bridge the gap between high strength and low thermal expansion requirements. In addition, the firm showcased its Arenas Silicas and new products offered through its Canadian Pecal subsidiary, including specialty resin coated sands, Pecalmix foundry premixes, refractory coatings, ladle nozzle stands and other products.

Chesapeake Specialty Products showcased its SphereOX line of iron oxide. The product features a predominantly spherical shape, a lack of fine particles, 99% purity, neutral pH 7.1, good chill properties and high bulk density. In addition, the oxide requires less resin to achieve mold strength, reduces resin consumption, minimizes acid demand, eliminates variables of size, shape and purity, and can replace zircon sand in some applications.

Standard Sand showcased its new Grade 4300 blend, a coarser sand for coremaking that features increased permeability, a GFN of 43.0 and an acid demand value of less than 5.

Jevco displayed its new line of slotted permanent mold vents. The Vilsum VS vent for aluminum permanent molding features a slot width of 0.1 mm, which serves to prevent the meniscus of the aluminum surface from breaking and penetrating the slot. A sleeve-type construction prevents workers from accidentally closing the slots during installation.

Spacers, a producer of Styrofoam chaplets for the foundry industry in 1-2-lb density foam, has introduced a new line of 3-lb density foam chaplets that are produced loose or self-adhesive, and certification of thickness is available. The company has been working with a North Carolina-based gray iron foundry to develop the product.

Filters

Ametek Chemical Products Div. displayed its Flexsil refractory cloth filters, which are designed to extract dross, slag, refractory particles and non-metallic inclusions from molten metals. They are capable of withstanding pouring temperatures of up to 3000F (1620C) and are ideal for inmold filtration of gray, malleable, white, compacted graphite and ductile cast irons as well as aluminum and copper-based metal alloys.

Hamilton Technical Ceramics is offering Flow-Rite STL steel foundry filters, which feature efficient removal of nonmetallic inclusions, high thermal shock resistance, and an engineered open area for consistent flow rate, The filters are suitable for sand, shell and investment casting of alloy, carbon and stainless steel. The firm also plans to offer a Flow-Rite filter for aluminum applications, which are machinable and float in molten aluminum.

Selee displayed its line of steel foundry PRZ zirconia ceramic foam filters and aluminum filters. The high-fired, sinter-bonded zirconia ceramic filters improves quality in carbon, alloy and stainless steels, and Selee staff can assist in the design of custom gating systems tailored to a specific application. The silicon carbide foam filters for aluminum applications offer a combination of strength and thermal shock resistance.

Foseco is offering Sivex FC phosphate-free, non-ceramic reticulated foam filters for molten aluminum alloys in both sand and permanent molds. The graphite-based formulation provides advantages in performance and remelt characteristics when compared with conventional alumina-based or silicon carbide-based ceramic foam filters. The filters clean the metal stream by removing dross and non-metallic inclusions, and because of the filter's high surface area, particles smaller than the size of its pores can be captured in the depths of the filter. The foam structure smooths the metal exiting the filter, eliminating turbulence and avoiding air entrainment and oxide formation during mold filling. In addition, the graphite composition is more easily wetted by molten aluminum than are typical filter ceramics, so the metal head height required to prime the filter in the early stages of pouring is reduced. The low density and low thermal capacity of the filters reduces heat loss from the metal to the filter, preventing premature freezing and allowing feeding through the filter when used in Foseco's direct pouring system. Because the filters do not contain abrasive ceramic components, the user has more freedom in application and placement. Also, with its low density, the filters float readily in the remelt, so they can be removed easily by skimming.

Binders

Ashland Chemical unveiled its Isomax coldbox binder system at the show, its first major development in the coldbox area since Isocure was introduced 30 years ago. Tested in production at Oklahoma's Tonkawa Foundry (also one of the original sites for the Isocure binder), the hybrid system's highlights include a significantly longer mixed sand bench life (more than 24 hr in certain conditions), shell-like core strength characteristics, while also offering a 90% reduction in retained amine odor and low VOCs. In addition, the system uses existing equipment, with only minor venting changes needed for the tooling. The firm also introduced the Pep Set X 1000/2000 series of phenolic urethane nobake binders, which has demonstrated significant improvements in odor and smoke reduction, with a significant decrease in formaldehyde levels. The extremely low formaldehyde levels, coupled with a solvent designed for lower odors, give the binder a distinct advantage during core and moldmaking, especially at sand temperatures above 100F (38c).

Bordon Chemical's Foundry Products Div. showcased its Sigma Cure 7121/7516 resin system. Sigma Cure 7121 Phenolic Urethane Part 1 Resin was designed to offer improved tensile strengths and improved release and performance with water-based coatings. The binder contains no reportable formaldehyde and when combined with the appropriate Part 2 component features high productivity, extended bench life, excellent resistance to humidity, superior hot strength and low free phenol. Sigma Cure Isocyanate Part 2 Resin was developed for use with the Part 1 Resin.

Delta-HA introduced its new Technikure Z, Techniset Z and Enviroset Furan No-Bake Resin binder systems. Technikure Z is based on methyl ester solvent technology for low VOCs, smoke and odor characteristics, and features superior release and cure efficiency. Techniset Z is available for nobake applications in which all new sand is being used, and benefits include low VOCs and odor at mixing, coremaking and molding operations. Enviroset resins feature no MSDS-reportable formaldehyde, low nitrogen and water contents, and a range of FA contents for suitability with almost any application.

Mancuso Chemicals introduced its furan binder system, Duracure 100. The product is a high-strength binder with low temperature response and allows foundrymen to see significant cost savings because lower resin levels are required.

Sand Conditioning/Testing

Eirich introduced its line of intensive action Type R vacuum mixers. The unit cools and prepares sand in one unit in the same cycle time as conventional mixers, at 25% less cfm than conventional systems with zero water effluent. Live demonstrations allowed foundrymen to see how 250-300F (121-149C) sand was cooled to 160F (71C) in 45 sec by the vacuum mixing technology.

Simpson Technologies had two new higher capacity product enhancements on display at its exhibit. At a 2754b batch size and an hourly capacity of 8 tons, the CSM 125 series core sand mixer offers greater capacity than what was introduced in 1996. The firm also displayed a 150-B Beardsley & Piper Speedmullor with an integrated batch hopper and #3818-NT Simpson compactibility controller. With a 7500-lb batch size and 150-ton/hr capacity, the muller was the largest unit ever built by B&P, and was developed since the acquisition last year.

Palmer Manufacturing and Supply displayed its new liquid monitoring systems and shuttle car systems. The company's FloChek and FloWatch liquid monitoring systems allow foundries to cost-effectively monitor or control the calibration of chemicals on nobake sand mixing equipment. The Fie-Series systems use PD flow meters in conjunction with a PLC control system. The design incorporated deviation alarms (FloWatch) and pump speed control (FloChek) to monitor the system. The firm's shuttle car system provides transportation from the mixer to core machines.

ICP displayed its mullite ceramic spectroanalysis tubes that are inexpensive and incorporate an easy-to-handle design that aids in polishing.

Hartley Controls is offering a new automated "Sandman" laboratory tester that measures nine basic green sand properties - moisture, green compressive strength, compactibility, permeability, deformation, toughness, available bond percent, working bond percent and muller efficiency - from a single sand sample in 4-5 min. Because the machine does all of the testing automatically, a skilled operator is not needed. Test data can be printed for reference, record keeping or for an SPC program.

Vulcan Engineering's high-intensity continuous mixers are constructed for repeatable mixing and ease of maintenance. The equipment features a linear feed sand gate for repeatable sand output; 300 [degrees] pivoting sand coverage fitted with an air-actuated brake, a D.C.-driven pump drive; a linear pump output that aids in ease of calibration; an easy-access mixing chamber door fitted with a user-friendly door mechanism; and adjustable tungsten carbide mixer blades for extended life.

Fargowear displayed its new studded muller bottoms and polyurethane-coated muller wheels at CastExpo. The studded muller bottoms are fabricated from abrasion-resistant alloy and heat treated to 400-440 BHN. The pre-studded bottoms eliminate the primary wear area, and because there are no bolt holes, the bottom is easy to install. The coated muller wheel offers wear resistance and no-stick qualities.

IMF displayed its T36/60/S Articulated 2200 lb/rain nobake sand mixer. The mixer on display will be delivered to Spokane Steel, which will use it to produce large furan nobake molds.

Sand Reclamation

Dependable Foundry Equipment/Redford-Carver Foundry Products showcased its Calcifire thermal sand reclamation system with direct-fired fluid bed technology. In the machine, natural or propane gas is introduced directly into a fluidized bed of spent chemically bonded sand, the gas is ignited and the resulting flame raises the temperature of the sand to approximately 1450F (788C). Resin and other combustibles are burned away to achieve levels of less than 0.10%, and sand is retained in the fluid bed for 45-60 min to accomplish the desired calcining. Units are modular from 0.5-5 tons/hr throughput rating.

Gudgeon Thermfire International exhibited its Thermfire 3000/6000 system with a revamped control package that offers more reliability and better control, a maintenance-free combustion system and better gas efficiency.

Roberts Sinto's two new sand reclamation units are mechanically reclaiming green sand for coldbox coreroom use. SandMold (prior to the RS acquisition) had a brand new unit in '96 and just sold one to Internet-New River Castings. Sinto also has a rotary unit (exhibited for the first time in North America at this show) that was developed through their Japanese headquarters and has been proven elsewhere in the world.

Procedyne introduced its line of fluidized bed furnaces for sand core debonding and solution heat-treating of cast aluminum parts, while simultaneously thermally reclaiming the core sand to reusable condition. This process offers high heat transfer rates, temperature control and uniformity, no adverse environmental impacts, pulsing gas pressure that enhances diffusion of hot gas into closed or blind cavities in the casting, and a fluidized bed density that supports parts and minimizes distortion.

Vulcan Engineering displayed its V-Claim pneumatic sand reclamation equipment, which has up to a 10-ton/hr capacity complete with a high-pressure fan. The pneumatic attrition-type scrubber is used to reclaim nobake and green sand molding sands of AFS GFN 40 or finer and can be used as a stand-alone reclaimer or in conjunction with other devices. The machine uses forced air to accelerate molding sand up through an inside ballast tube, where it is scrubbed against sands trapped under a steel receptacle. Wear and maintenance on attrition chamber parts is minimal, and fines are removed from the sand as it falls from the impact point through an exhaust shroud.

Integrated Sand Systems exhibited its Hotpot range of gas-fired thermal sand reclamation units. The heat recuperation system and the PLC control provide a reliable and cost-effective operation that will process most types of chemically bonded sand.

Metal Quality/Testing

Heraeus Electro-Nite introduced several new products at the show. The Datalogger is hooked up to the hand-held temperature instrument and allows temperature measurements to be collected and downloaded to a PC, collecting up to 1000 measurements of temperature, time, date and heat number. The system ensures temperature-monitoring accuracy by eliminating manual data transposition errors. Also new from the firm is the portable Checkmate 3 validation system for automatic liquidus curve simulation and the QuikLab 4, a simpler digital view device designed for the smaller foundry's iron thermal analysis needs.

Shimadzu exhibited its OES-5500 optical emission spectrometer employing pulse height distribution analysis for increased sensitivity to trace concentrations. The main benefit of this model spectrometer over previous designs is its ability to identify inclusions of sulfur, magnesium, aluminum-oxide, boron-oxide and boron-nitride.

Arun Technology introduced its Metalscan 2500 metal analyzer for ferrous alloys. By flushing the samples with argon, the analyzer is able to achieve critical analysis of carbon, sulfur and phosphorous, in addition to the other standard elements. The system also is able to analyze across a complete range of commercial metal and alloys without hardware modifications or additions.

For Bomem, CastExpo presented an opportunity to showcase two of its new aluminum melt cleanliness detectors. The Prefil Footprinter is a shop floor inclusion analyzer that in 3 min will measure the cleanliness of an aluminum melt by comparing it with a benchmark inclusion level for a given alloy. The result from the test is a curve plot of the weight of the metal filtered as a function of time. The PoDFA-f sampling station performs melt cleanliness evaluations that provide qualitative information on the nature of inclusions and quantitative information on inclusion concentration.

Spectro Analytical Instruments introduced three new products to its line of metals analysis technology. The Spectruma GDA 750 benchtop glow discharge spectrometer has a 750-mm optical system for superior resolution, and it couples the sensitivity of PMT with the flexibility of CCD detectors. The unit also uses Windows 95/98/NT-compatible software for surface and coating depth analysis and a touch-screen display for use without a keyboard. The Spectruma GDA 150 is a benchtop version of the 750 and also has CCD detectors for analytical performance and stability. The last item is the Spectroport portable on-site metal tester that uses "miniaturized" components, CCD optical technology and smaller electronics. it covers all wavelengths and major metals.

The Epoch III ultrasonic flaw detector from Panametrics is a portable unit that provides echo-to-echo thickness measurements, time-varied gain for distance/amplitude variations due to material attention and beam spreading, and encoded B-scan that maps cross-sectional images of thickness measurements with full encoder compatibility. A new LCD display provides intense screen brightness to compete with bright sunlight to complete darkness.

TJA/Baird exhibited its Foundrymate Metals Analyzer for small foundries. Its design, with a short optimized wavelength, provides the same performance of larger systems, while eliminating vacuum pumps and gas cleaning chemicals. Its high-frequency spark source is controlled by fiber optics, which provide spark-quality feedback loop to the data collection system. Unsatisfactory spark burns caused by inadequate sample preparation or pits in the sample are automatically eliminated from data collection, significantly improving precision. The analyzers software automatically processes the spark data to provide the integration for calculations such as soluble/insoluble aluminum.

Leco introduced its IA32 image analysis system that allows an operator with three mouse clicks to analyze an image and print a report. Whether examining nodularity, dendrite arm spacing, coating thickness or grain size, the system can provide single-set analysis, sample-set analysis, macro development or report designing. Images also can be saved and organized within the system for future comparison.

The A30 Alloy Analyzer from Leeman Labs uses a rotating turret that holds multiple cathode lamps to perform analysis on iron, steel and copper-based alloy samples. The computer-controlled system simultaneously adjusts the wavelength, slit width and the sputtering parameters for an element to be analyzed. This sequence is then repeated for each element, with more than 30/run/sample. In addition, the analyzer uses atomic absorption for metal quality control.

NewAge Industries introduced its computerized Brinell Optical Scanning System (BOSS) that eliminates operator influence on test results. A hand-held scan head is placed on a sample until the impression appears near the middle of the computer screen. A button is pressed and the computerized system measures the impression diameter and displays the Brinell value. All preset parameters can be set up in test files, and the complete range of test loads and indentor sizes also can be added.

Yxlon (a merger of Andrex and Philips Industrial X-Ray) exhibited its MU2000 radioscopic X-ray inspection system for the inspection of test samples. The system operates via artificial intelligence to recognize a flaw in the test sample. The system has bi-parting sample loading doors for reduced door operation time and C-arm and split manipulation to maximize the overall cabinet envelope. This multi-format basic system can be upgraded to allow automated inspection sequences and image processing/archiving options for both off-line and in-line inspection demands.

Software

As an addition to its Magmasoft casting simulation software, Magma Foundry Technologies has introduced its Magmasteel add-on module for steel foundries. The add-on simulation provides: calculation of feeding moduli for specified feeding zones; an extended database for feeding aids, gating elements, chills and ladles; prediction of natural convection during solidification; analysis of macrosegregation of alloying elements and variation in local composition; and optional heat treatment and economic analysis capabilities. Maynard Steel Casting, Milwaukee, was the first installation site for the new add-on module.

UES Software has upgraded its Unix and Windows NT simulation software with the addition of three new modules. The first is 3-D mesh generation with one-step mesh from an .STL file. The second is a heat flow module that provides transient, non-linear heat conduction in 3-D and enthalpy formulation for phase change. This is available for lost foam casting. The third add-on calculates thermally induced stresses.

EKK has introduced automation to its Amesh finite element mesh generation software that generates mesh for casting and mold. The software now has the capability to build models from a solid model via either user control or automatically.

B&L Information Systems has developed a new client/server software system as an add-on module to its BLIS-400 system. The BLIS-MPC allows users to display images on Windows-based PCs and to print images on shop documents such as process sheets, shopcards and travelers so the image accompanies labor routing comments, material routing data and user-defined process specifications. The result is improved communication between management and shop floor personnel to ensure first-time quality.

GlobeTech showcased its modeling program, IronCAD. A drag and drop 3-D environment and a visual approach allows the user to create and modify designs, and IronCAD's unique architecture and patented technology enable all collaborators to share in a concurrent design process.

Foseco introduced FeederCalc for Windows, a computerized risering program enabling iron and steel foundry engineers to make calculations for the design of optimized risering systems. The program is capable of calculating casting weights, feeding distances, riser sizes and riser neck dimensions. Using the software, engineers can cost analyze any chosen method and compare different selected feeding systems against each other, highlighting the cost-effective and most economical technique to produce a sound casting.

Environmental/Pollution/Safety

Wheelabrator-BCP (USF Surface Preparation) exhibited its jet pulse slide-in cartridge dust collector, featuring open pleat design of cartridges for filtering with phenolic resin paper, high-energy pulse cleaning system with square header for extra compressed air storage and 12-gauge reinforced H.R. steel casing with airtight, welded construction.

August Mack Environmental exhibited its industrial ventilation systems for the control of fumes, particulate, mists and vapors in chemical reactors, cupolas, induction melt furnaces, cyanide tanks on plating lines, foundry sand handling systems, shotblast operations and grinding systems. Its emission control technologies include: pulse-jet, shaker and reverse air baghouses; packed-bed, venturi and dry-fume scrubbers; oil mist collectors; and catalytic incinerators, afterburners, flares and electrostatic precipitators.

Celicote Air Pollution Control featured its Type MS II Mini-Scrubber, a packaged gas scrubber available in sizes of 4000 and 6000 ACFM. Removal efficiency is in the range of 95-99% depending on emission specifications. The scrubber is fabricated in corrosion-resistant polypropylene, has no moving parts other than a built-in fan and is easily serviced. The sparger-type design eliminates the need for a liquid circulation pump and spray nozzles, which minimizes maintenance requirements. It is ideal for control of odor emissions, chlorine and HCL processing and scrubbing water-soluble organic chemicals.

The AK Series vacuum cleaner/loader, which can handle up to 12 tons/hr of any wet or dry material, was exhibited by DeMarco Max Vac. It is specifically designed for smaller volume vacuuming applications requiring up to 1-in.-diameter hose size and has the identical patented separation and filtration circuit, high suction power, ruggedness. ease-of-use and maintenance-free features as the company's larger Max Vac vacuum cleaners/loaders.

Dustmaster Enviro Systems exhibited Mixer Systems' 8-ton/hr dust system. The "cross-current" mixing action of this paddle mixer blends and braids materials in a homogenous mix, batch after batch. The 8-cu-ft capacity mixer also includes all of the other high-performance features of the company's larger paddle mixers such as fast mixing cycle, easy access for loading and maintenance and heavy-duty design and construction.

ETA Engineering showcased the 9000 dust collector, which features welded construction, low maintenance design and exacting tube sheet, which is a full 0.1875-in.-thick, HRS plate welded to the collector housing, with a punched hole tolerance designed to provide a positive, trouble-free seal for the 6-in.-diameter bag filter. Other features include: a low-maintenance pulse valve, extra heavy-duty screw conveyer and the ability to be custom fit to a specific application.

GMD Environmental Systems exhibited its Flue Gas Cooler, which cools cupola off-gases before they enter a baghouse emission control system, eliminating the need for a wet quench cooling system. The firm's proprietary high-temperature dilution cooling design can cool gases as hot as 2000F (1093C) to 250F (121C).

Castec displayed its Dust Agglomerator "Pak," a self-contained unit consisting of a dust hopper with a live bottom bin feeding a screw feed that controls throughput capacity into the high-speed mixing unit. The dust is metered in a rotating mixer, where the required dust for wetting the dust is added. The resultant mixture is uniform, dust free and eliminates problems in handling dry fines.

Gudgeon Themfire International exhibited its "bagless baghouse" system at the show. The dust control system uses turbulent flow precipitator technology, capturing dust and fines without the use of bags or compressed air. The system is up to 99% efficient at 30 [[micro]meter], works at 3000-10,000 cfm, reduces the need for extensive ductwork, and uses less energy than a conventional system.

Fox Valve Development featured its venturi eductors, which are used to convey fine, dusty, abrasive powders and, unlike rotary airlocks, have no moving parts, seals or shafts that require maintenance. They create a "vacuum" at the powder material inlet, enhancing powder feed and eliminating the "blowback" that creates a dusty mess around airlock installations. Successful installations have been made at such foundries as Caterpillar, Mapleton, Illinois; U.S. Foundry & Manufacturing Co., Medley, Florida; and Elyria Foundry, Elyria, Ohio.

GreCon exhibited its Spark Detection and Extinguishment System, which prevents dust fires and explosions by extinguishing sparks before they reach the filter. The system's sensors contain photo elements that detect a spark's infrared radiation and trigger user-determined countermeasures. It immediately releases a fine mist of water (or other extinguishing agent) downstream, extinguishing the spark without interrupting production or adversely affecting the filter media. The system greatly reduces risk of personnel injury, equipment damage and downtime.

Kirk & Blum highlighted its pulse bag dust collector at this year's CastExpo. It is an automatic self-cleaning system that utilizes pulse jets of high-pressure air to provide efficient, thorough cleaning with no internal moving parts. Top bag removal. walk-in plenum design provides the ability to easily install and remove the snap-in filter bags. The cleaning cycle is controlled by a solid-state timer that activates the pilot solenoids on the diaphragm pulse valves. The pulse valves deliver the high-pressure, 90-100 psi, compressed air to the blow tubes.

Multi-Vac Environmental Products exhibited its 2000 Series of vacuum loaders that feature on-board nozzle storage and standard 2-cu-yd hopper capacity. The loaders are equipped with a reverse pulse filter cleaning system for continuous operation and a positive displacement vacuum pump. The maximum vacuum generated is 15 hg, which is enough to flow material yet remains within the specifications of the blower manufacturers.

Among the various styles of protective eyewear exhibited, Uvex Safety highlighted its Skyper line. This style features a wrap-around protective spectacle for optical clarity and peripheral protection from side impact, a molded-in browguard for protection from flying particulate, a molded-in nosebridge for comfort and fit, and a ratcheting lens inclination system and patented, adjustable Duoflex cushioned temples for a customized fit.

The VecLoader Spartan series of foundry heavy-duty, continuous portable vacuum loaders was featured by Vector Technologies. In addition to wet and dry sand, they can vacuum most flowable bulk material and liquids. All models easily can be matched to an assortment of cyclone separators, filter-receivers, collection systems, classifiers, self-dumping hoppers and intermediate collection devices.

Wheelabrator Air Pollution Control exhibited pulse jet, reverse air and shake/deflate fabric filter systems and cartridge dust collectors to control emissions and meet regulatory requirements. The dust collector demonstrated its patented locking mechanism, efficient element cleaning system and external filter element replacement procedure. Aftermarket services, including rebuilt/retrofit capabilities, and the company's JET Pleat multi-pleated filter element also were featured.

Cleaning and Finishing

One of the highlights of the Vulcan Engineering Co./Action Machinery exhibit was the demonstration of an integrated robotic vision system that incorporates finishing tasks with a quality check. Designed specifically for the foundry environment, the system can inspect castings for gauge defects such as short pours, mold spread, overgrind and bent parts or surface defects such as sand inclusions, porosity and mold cracks. It also could be mounted near the casting pouring line to monitor fill levels.

Also unveiled at CastExpo was Georg Fischer Disa Goff's CRD continuous, two-oscillating blastwheel shotblast system. The continuous open top rocker drum rotates 180 [degrees] around its longitudinal axis, continuously exposing the castings to the blastwheels located directly above. Designed for 34 tons/hr with automatic matching of product flow and abrasive, the maintenance-friendly system provides proper exposure with zero casting damage.

Mossner + Reich exhibited technology for the automated finishing of aluminum castings. The VB 801F machine features a feed motion that moves the bandsaw in x- and y-axis. With the rotary table for fixture mounting, loading and unloading is accomplished parallel to cutting, thus reducing overall cycle times. Special attention to the collection of cut gates and chips and their transport out of the bandsawing center allows for uninterrupted 24-hr production with only occasional, weekly cleanup required.

The Mortar Co. featured the latest technology in automated casting trim presses from Serf. These systems offer 100% casting finishing as well as additional processing, nondestructive testing and gauging. Procedyne's fluidized bed core debonding system for aluminum castings also was presented. This system can simultaneously reclaim sand and provide solution beat-treat for aluminum castings.

Wheelabrator-BCP (USE Surface Preparation) exhibited its mesh belt continuous blast system, which allows for flexibility in blasting a variety of product sizes and shapes. It features a 36-in.-wide endless manganese alloy wire mesh belt available in various wire thicknesses and a 13 x 35-in. belt and bucket elevator.

ATSCO introduced its Air Sledge, which was developed for heavy foundry spree breaking operations and to eliminate dangerous and time-consuming manual sledgehammer methods. A single squeeze of the trigger actuates the air-operated ram, producing a crisp, powerful hammer blow, which then resets itself in preparation for the next shot. Overhead suspension provides a safe, controllable operation, greatly improving the safety of both the individual worker and others in the immediate area. Typical operation is at 90-120 psi, however output can be regulated by air pressure.

Honsa Ergonomic Technologies featured a 3-hp, vibration-reduced vertical grinder for finishing steel and gray iron castings. The grinder, which accepts 6-in. cup wheels and 7- and 9-in. depressed center wheels, incorporates a polymer isolation system that isolates the operator from the motor and much of the vibration generated.

The BC-15 continuous blastcleaning machine from Jet Wheelblast Equipment was featured. It incorporates two rubber belt tumbling barrels equipped with two 25-hp blast wheels. This design provides continuous processing of castings, forgings, diecast parts and others.

Kolene showcased its Kastech molten salt casting cleaning technology. Designed as "scavenger" processes, they are applicable to sand, investment and lost foam casting methods. They are ideal for removing burned-in sand, graphite and surface scale from sand castings; residual external shell and internal coring from investment castings; and core wash residues from lost foam castings.

A system developed to ensure quick, efficient monitoring of a customer's blasting process was showcased by Panabrasive, Inc. The electronic monitor is used for precision checking of blasting intensity to optimize the customer's process, provide quality control and reduce costs. Automatic input and computer processing of the results also are provided.

Pangborn exhibited its line of Rocker Barrel continuous shotblast cleaning equipment, which now utilizes a one-piece manganese steel drum to convey castings through the blast stream. This style is in contrast to past designs that incorporated countless moving parts that were subject to abrasives and sand. The abrasive throwing wheels are mounted directly over the dirty casting resulting in efficient use of the abrasive and low-cost operation.

Top Cat Service highlighted its HHG-DRAL-18000 die grinder, a combination of a heavy-duty, H-type motor with operator-friendly design. The tool is aluminum-bodied with rear exhaust and a lever handle. It operates at 18,000 rpm and 1.2 hp, weighs 2.5 lb and is 1.5 in. in diameter.

Wheelabrator Abrasives introduced its Blastcheck, a proprietary program used to track an individual operating mix, separator discharge or dust collector accumulation as compared to set standards. The program evaluates needs based on the size and type of abrasive used, and type of application. Through regular sampling of a screen analysis, it can help balance and maintain operating mix, control sand content and help lower finishing cost as well as consumption of steel shot and grit.

Materials Handling

Didion International showcased its Mark 5 Series rotary media drum, a machine that combines sand casting separation, sand blending/conditioning, dual sand screening, and casting cleansing and cooling. An external screen was added to the front end of the machine for cleaner, cooler return sand, eliminating the need for the maintenance, utilities and cost of additional screening equipment. Also, the retention rings inside the drum were rounded to help further improve the cosmetic quality on fragile or large castings.

General Kinematics introduced a two-way vibrating conveyer that moves castings without noise, dusting or damage. Direction of flow is immediately reversible by controlling the rotation of single, low-horsepower motor. A line of vibrating spiral elevators also was featured with sizes up to 30-in. diameter. These are arranged for the lifting, lowering and cooling of sand and castings, and totally enclosed designs are available to maintain a conditioned process environment.

Of the various ergonomic, productive material removal tools it offers, Atlas Copco Tools highlighted its GTG40 turbine grinder, which delivers 6.1 hp and weighs only 8.5 lb.

Brunswick Industrial featured its automated core definning robot, which consists of a Fanuc robot and either a two- or four-position indexing table. The robot traces the parting line of a core with a small diamond-coated abrasive tool to accurately remove the fins. It can defin cores at an average travel speed of 2.5 in./sec and has a repeatability of [+ or -]002 in.

At its CastExpo exhibit, Mannesmann Dematic highlighted its Z line of cylindrical-rotor gear motors with improved output torque ratings. They are available in in-line, right angle or offset configurations and come standard with class F insulation and an extensive two-speed motor range. Also featured was its DK16 electric chain hoist, designed for capacities up to 3 tons and developed to help improve ergonomics, productivity and operator safety in high-volume, high-capacity manufacturing applications. The chain hoist has speeds up to 16 fpm and a built-in fan that dissipates the heat that previously limited the cycling capability of electric hoists to medium- or low-duty applications.

The R/KBG and R/KC series of electric vibrator drives from Renold Ajax were exhibited at CastExpo for applications such as flow aids, densification, shakeout and metering of solid materials. These motors operate at frequencies of 900, 1200, 1800 and 3600 rpm, and eccentric weights can be manually adjusted to vary the centrifugal force from 0-100%. Special features include: foot mounting, cast metal housing, O-ring groove sealed end covers, increased corrosion protection and external ground lug with CE certification.

The Bumpy Bar Code, a technology that reads a bar code directly embedded in a product, was showcased by Sensis. Represented by highs and lows in surface height, the bar codes are indented, peened, cast, etched, stamped, molded or embossed directly into parts or tags, representing serial or part numbers.

Rapid Prototyping, Patterns and Tooling

DTM Corp. featured its Sinterstation 2500 Plus system with the selective laser sintering capability to produce 3-D prototypes made of plastic, metal and ceramic powders, as well as sand molds and cores, expendable patterns for investment castings, injection molding tools, and pressure diecasting tools. The new system is an enhancement over previous models with increased accuracy and ease of use due to a redesigned powder delivery system, a new carbon dioxide laser and scanning system, and improved thermal control of the process chamber and laser module. The new system also will have a higher power laser for faster scan speeds and higher productivity.

In hopes of speeding the manufacturing process for complicated metal castings, 3D Systems has introduced the Quickcast process, which uses the "plastic" prototypes built on the manufacturer's SLA systems as investment casting patterns. These patterns are then dipped and burnt out like pattern waxes to produce an investment casting. This process allows a foundry to advance from CAD data to casting without building tooling and provides part accuracy exceeding industry standards. Complexity and quality of parts also are an issue as walls to 0.016 in. can be achieved and surface finish to 0.38 micron is possible.

The C[O.sub.2] MiniBlast SDI-5 showcased by CAE Alpheus is capable of utilizing any form of dry ice as a blasting medium, including blocks, pellets and nuggets. It offers versatility by allowing the user to select the best medium for each cleaning application.

Cold Jet, which specializes in dry ice blastcleaning equipment, displayed the RDS 500 CUB and accessories including its new molded nozzle. The systems are specifically configured for each application and clean permanent aluminum molds and coreboxes while they are hot and in place.
COPYRIGHT 1999 American Foundry Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Apr 1, 1999
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