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Showcasing technology advancements at CastExpo '05: this summary of recent innovations showcased at CastExpo '05 provides metalcasters a brief overview of what was new on the show floor in St. Louis.

During CastExpo '05, metalcasting industry suppliers congregated to exhibit the latest and greatest advancements in equipment, technology, processes and services to metalcasters worldwide. The 475 exhibitors displayed their products and capabilities on the show floor at the America's Center/Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, and provided demonstrations from flow Simulation and robotics to human statues and magicians.

With 100 more exhibitors than the previous CastExpo, attendees were given the chance to see new technology unavailable three years ago. MODERN CASTING has provided a glimpse into many of the technological advancements showcased at CastExpo '05.

Further information on these and other new products will be found in future issues of MODERN CASTING in the Product Innovations and Metalcasting Supplies sections.

Melting, Pouring & Heat Treatment

Applied Process Inc. promoted the use of carbidic austempered ductile iron (CADI). CADI is a new material that uses a matrix of ausferrite and carbides to add strength and wear resistance to ductile iron parts. It is more wear-resistant and less expensive than Grade 5 austempered ductile iron and can replace mangasteel in many applications at an equal or lower cost.

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Alfe Heat Treating showcased its capabilities with equipment for multiple heat treat applications. It also promoted its subsidiary, Alfe Systems, which, in addition to designing and engineering aluminum heat treating equipment, specializes the redesign and repair of all types and brands of melting, holding and processing equipment.

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ABB Inc. promoted its line of Presspour type OCC induction-heated pouring furnaces for the automated pouring of ferrous and copper alloys. The feed and discharge channels end in the bottom of the furnace vessel, ensuring a slag-free pour. The furnaces can be moved laterally to adapt to varying pouring positions and can be adjusted to various voltages for holding or superheating. Also, exhibiting its integrated solutions for metalcasters, ABB showcased its recent collaboration with Sintercast and that firm's production solutions for compacted graphite iron castings.

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Ajax TOCCO Magnethermic exhibited the Lad-L-Melt double hearth induction furnace, which allows for melting and ladling of aluminum simultaneously. The melting and holding hearth are separated by a refractory wall arched at the bottom to allow only clean metal to pass to the ladling hearth, and thermocouple control minimizes temperature fluctuation in the ladling hearth.

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Inductotherm promoted several of its innovative products including the HI T.E.Q. stack charge furnace, which has production capabilities of 6,600 lbs. (3,000 kg)/hr. and is 25% more energy efficient than gas furnaces. Aluminum ingots and scrap are charged into the top of the melter, and fuel-fired burners (firing up through the charge) melt the lower material and heat the higher material. Another product showcased was the VIP Melt-Manager Plus, which provides operator assistance for the complete melting cycle based on the charge weight and the kilowatt hours per ton needed to reach the desired pouring temperature. The technology can help reduce electric utility charges.

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Kuttner LLC promoted an external CO combustion chamber for cupola melting operations. The multi-port CO burner provides optimum combustion to maximize the incineration of CO and VOCs. The chamber offers precise control of primary and secondary combustion air, ensuring stable combustion and temperature. The firm also promoted the Wuerz recuperative hot blast systems that have blast air temperatures from 1,000-1,500F (538-815.5C). Flue gases can be cooled to 320F (160C) without water for a better baghouse operation and reduced maintenance. Recovered heat in the machines can be used for plant make-up air, core and paint drying and blast air dehumidifying.

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Koins Corp. promoted pourTECH, its automated pouring systems for iron. The pourTECH systems are designed to help prevent pouring without inoculation to increase the quality of the pour. The systems also provide fully automatic pouring functions by a closed loop circuit, which allows the pouring operators more time to take on another task. Further, pourTECH's networking capabilities allow the system to be linked throughout a casting facility enabling anyone in the plant to obtain production information from the line.

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Stotek displayed its un-pressurized aluminum dosing furnace. Dosing accuracy is [+ or -] 1% on the smallest dose size and better on larger doses. Less than 8kw is required to hold 2,700 lbs. (1,200 kg) of aluminum at 1,330F (720C). Up to 70% of the aluminum can be dispensed with no loss in dosing accuracy.

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Rimrock Corp. promoted the 405 Servo Drive Ladle, featuring a linkage drive mechanism with sensor assembly to enable the ladler to be stronger, faster and smoother. The machine features a payload capacity up to 75 lbs. (34 kg) and a metal tracking feature, which tracks the pouring arm as the sensors contact the metal and aborts the cycle if the ladle exceeds the programmable position limit.

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Morganite Crucible showcased its crucible furnaces (such as the Indux clay graphite crucibles and the Starrbide silicon carbine crucibles) for nonferrous metalcasting facilities. The firm recently supplied an integrated Molten Metal System to an automotive aluminum permanent mold casting facility. This system includes two holding furnaces mounted on a rotary table and a temperature-monitoring system that helps ensure a metal temperature of 1,328F (720C), maintaining 3,527 lbs. (1,600 kg) of liquid metal. The system provided reduced maintenance costs compared with other transfer systems. The company also featured its retrofitting capabilities in which it can upgrade a furnace to optimum capabilities, saving casting facilities from investing in a new furnace.

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Hayes Lemmerz Equipment & Engineering promoted its immersion heated fabricated refractory-lined furnace for aluminum. The furnace heats from within the melt instead of from above it, increasing energy efficiency and reducing oxides. Designed for use with low-pressure and/or vacuum permanent mold casting systems, this furnace allows the melt to be held in a vacuum and then drawn by pressure or vacuum up into the mold.

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The new Torpedo Type Transport Ladle was displayed by The Schaefer Group Inc. The double-spouted ladle has a 900-lb. (408-kg) hold capacity of molten aluminum. The ladles are designed with a flexliner to ensure reduced time and energy requirements to obtain molten temperature in the holding furnaces and reduce thermal head temperatures.

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CAN-ENG Furnaces Ltd. promoted its new line of basketless heat treating systems capable of providing process heating and T4, T5, T6 & T7 thermal processing for sand, permanent mold and thin-walled castings. Focused on one-piece flow, this system reduces energy consumption by 30% as well as required floor space by 30%. In addition, the system provides for a more consistent temperature profile in every part of the furnace and on every casting face for more consistent heat treating and end-result mechanical properties. Currently, the firm has three installations of its new heat treat technology at three major Japanese automotive facilities.

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Saint-Gobain Advanced Ceramics Hamilton promoted the Flow-Rite Foundry Filters line that can withstand thermal shock and extreme pouring temperatures while removing dross, slag and impurities from the melt. This leads to improved machinability, improved surface finish, greater yields and reduced operating costs.

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EMSCO promoted its capabilities with aftermarket service of induction melting equipment. Services include repair, modification and upgrade of induction coils, furnaces, leads and systems. In addition to its repair services, EMSCO offers complete installation, construction and product management services for metalcasting equipment projects.

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D&E Foundry Ladles (TeeMark Corp.) promoted its capabilities with the Tight Cover Mark IV ladles for ductile iron treatment. These covered, insulated ladles reduce heat loss potential as well as loss of magnesium in the melt. They feature a controlled venting system for safety and good recoveries, and they have a removable bottom that allows the refractory in the reaction zone to be repaired without removing refractory in the upper section.

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Pyrotek and Metaullics showcased their new line of ladles made from a fiberglass reinforced ceramic material. The reinforced ladles can withstand high temperatures while maintaining proper thermal properties. Further, the ladles are more durable than regular ceramic ladles.

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Modern Equipment Co. featured its new Micro Jet Melter, which has the ability to continuously melt up to 500 lbs. of aluminum/hr. Ingot and scrap are charged through the top stack of the non-crucible furnace. Charge materials are preheated by the flue gasses that exit through the stack section. Aluminum is heated to its melting point by a bottom burner and then flows into the bath section to be super heated.

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InterSource USA Inc. introduced a complete line of TaoFil ceramic foam filters. The reticular shape of the filter provides a thorough and deep filtration to remove impurities in the molten metal stream. TaoFil ceramic foam filters can resist high thermal shock while maintaining efficient filtration and are widely used in sand, investment, shell and permanent molds for both ferrous and nonferrous alloy filtration operations.

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Gaylord Foundry Equipment Inc. showcased its new 400 FS Hot Shot ladle and furnace heaters, which are available in a variety of configurations and can help metalcasting facilities reduce energy expenses while improving pouring practices.

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Buhler Inc. showcased its new Buhl DOS metal feeding furnace, which allows for the direct transfer of molten metal to the shot sleeve in diecasting applications. With the Buhl DOS, there are no fluctuations of the feed rate in recharging metal, and a pivoting metering pump allows for the best metal feed for all shot sleeve lengths and shot positions.

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Century Sun Metal Treating featured a 12-bar vacuum furnace for heat treating. The furnace offers high-pressure quenching to meet or exceed industry specifications. The furnace accommodates parts up to 30 x 40 x 112 in. (76 x 102 x 285 cm). The 12-bar furnace joins a line of two 10-bar vacuum furnaces and a 6-bar vacuum furnace.

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THT Presses Inc. came to CastExpo to show its new form of rheocasting, Sub Liquidius Casting (SLC). This new process does not use billets, but instead cools the molten metal to a semi-solid state at the same site as the die, eliminating the need to transport the slurry from the sod-maker to the die as in regular rheocasting. This semi-solid billet then is injected into the die to achieve higher properties than traditional diecasting.

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Frech unveiled DAW-F hydraulic hot chamber diecasting machines for zinc. The machines feature shorter cycle times as a result of the redesigned locking-hydraulics. The system has a unique housing system, which makes it easier to service, and features Windows-based operation through the Datadialog control system.

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Neff Press Inc.'s booth featured a metal compaction press for recycling metal chips and scrap. The machine takes metal chips and presses them together at high pressure to be made into bigger bricks that are as close to 100% solid as possible. These briquettes come to within 20% of the weight and density of solid material.

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United Refractory Co. exhibited its line of products for various furnace applications that allow plants to reduce refractory installation times while increasing the life of furnace linings. For cupolas, new technology with plastics and ramming mixes lengthens shelf life and improves working conditions during installation. Also, a new family of [Al.sub.2][O.sub.3]-SiC-C castables utilizing a highly engineered bond system are suitable for transfer ladles and treatment vessels.

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Ashland Casting Solutions (Ashland Specialty Chemical) introduced Velvaplast ZW FDI, a refractory coating in which its color changes from purple to yellow when dry. This can help reduce costs by optimizing drying times to know when to apply multiple layers or begin pouring. It also can allow core or mold density problems to be noticed more easily.

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Tinker Omega Manufacturing LLC displayed the new Dens-I-Meter, which electronically monitors, tracks and controls core and mold coatings. The device features a passive sensor system that continually monitors and displays the density of a coating. Its design allows it to operate without interference of liquid flow or mixing turbulence.

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The Zircar Refractory Composites Inc. booth featured lightweight insulating material, Type Zircal-18, which is a calcium silicate refractory board with low thermal conductivity. The advantage of this material over ceramic fiber is that it's more insulating and stronger. Type Zircal-18 is designed to be used as a backup insulate for induction furnace equipment.

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The Plibrico Co. booth featured the Exo-set Uno DC, which is a one component fast-setting, phosphate-bonded, high alumina-based refractory castable. Specifically formulated for diecasting, the Exo-set is a bonding adherence to old refractory material and is non-wetting to aluminum. It can be used with temperatures up to 2,500F (1,370C).

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Melt Consumables

Rio Tinto Iron & Titanium America showcased the value of Sorelmetal, which is an iron-carbon alloy containing very low concentrations of manganese, phosphorus, sulfur and other undesirable elements. At 4,000 kg/[m.sup.3] (250 lb/[ft.sup.3]), the bulk density of Sorelmetal is more than three times that of steel scrap. This much higher density dramatically reduces the amount of storage space required. It also can minimize handling during charge make up, reduce furnace charging time and allow better electrical efficiency when melting with induction furnaces.

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Superior Graphite Co. showcased Desulco, one of its key melting products. In iron melting applications, Desulco yields higher carbon recovery and dissolves faster than calcined petroleum or acetylene coke, improving the microstructure of iron castings. Desulco's use in steel applications helps reduce gas-related defects as well as ensures rapid in-specification carburetion rates, which eliminate the need for steel reprocessing and minimize slag foaming. The material also is ideal for copper melting practices, as Desulco's low gas level avoids the use of fluxes or reactive elements to degas molten copper.

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Miller and Co. LLC promoted its line of melt products. This includes: briquetted alloy products, calcium silicon, chrome, cored wire, ferro phosphorous, mica slip plane products from Cogebi and Milco carbon products.

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Sand Molding Equipment

Hunter Automated Machinery Corp., showcased its new XL 2024 matchplate molding machine, which features a Linear Guiding System that precisely maintains positive alignment of the cope and drag throughout operations at the squeeze station. The machine also features Detent Cylinders integrated onto a rigid platen that lock the drag flask in alignment with the platen, eliminating the possibility of mold shift; a new Autolock hydraulic pattern clamping system that eliminates the need to bolt down a pattern after pattern change and provides a tree "drop-in pattern change" that takes only seconds to complete; and an inverted hose tracking system that creates additional clearance for the removal and insertion of patterns during changes. In addition to the new features, the newest technologies have been used to simplify maintenance and increase reliability as well as enhance operator control.

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Ashland Casting Solutions (Ashland Specialty Chemical) promoted Quickpad release and wear films. These materials are made from a polymer film and feature a pressure-sensitive adhesive, allowing them to be applied to the tooling area requiring the most wear protection and core-release properties.

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While Foseco Metallurgical Inc. concentrated its exhibit on its filtration and coating solutions, the firm also detailed how these solutions helped its customers produce engineered cast components. For example, Foseco Metallurgical displayed the 2005 AFS Casting of the Year--the steel track shoe for the NASA crawler transporter from ME Global--as well as the story behind the casting as a way to illustrate its hand in the engineered casting process.

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Roberts Sinto Corp. introduced the aeration fill FCMX Flaskless Molding Series, which provides for horizontal flaskless molding with eight seconds of "in cycle" core set time at 200 mph. The two-station machine accommodates existing match plates and has the capabilities to handle deep-pocket patterns. An FCMX controls package includes historical, real time and predicative machine functions, molding data tracking and automatic machine molding compensation.

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Brock Solutions displayed its new matchplate molding machine, which reduces cycle times and maintenance costs and features enhanced hydraulic controls for increased performance. The variable squeeze pressures allow for the production of harder molds, and the machine incorporates new technology in the squeeze station to reduce mold shift. The shift reduction is achieved because of the machine's rigid squeeze station, draw guides with linear shafting and precision bushings, a rigid cope flask with an eject system and draw pins with replaceable seats.

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Summit Foundry Systems Inc. introduced its new line of 400 and 500 series sand transfer equipment designed to protect the sand from the rigors of the metalcasting facility environment. The 500 series is ideal for high-intensity casting environments often found in ferrous plants as well as applications that require high operating demands and longer run times. The 400 series is ideal for less-intense casting environments.

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Cleveland Vibrator Co. Inc. displayed many products including its SAM and ACM air-cushioned piston vibrators for matchplate and shell core machines. Because the piston is cushioned on a pad of air after each stroke, there is no metal-to-metal contact, keeping noise to a minimum. Each device includes a built-in exhaust manifold that directs exhausting air through a muffler. The company also displayed its shakeout tables as well as grid tables, which raise flasks off a roller conveyor to vibrate and compact sand around patterns.

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Palmer Engineered Products Inc. now offers offset pattern mounting boards. The new line is fully machined to accommodate a variety of automatic molding machines.

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Harrison Machine Co. LLC exhibited its new model N-22 flaskless matchplate molding machine. The N-22 allows for matchplate changes in 60 sec. and mold creation in 40 sec. The machine also can adapt to custom flask sizes, existing pour lines and most existing sand systems, and it can store up to 100 pattern programs.

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American Metal Chemical Corp. displayed its new Rosstherm K sealing riser sleeve for steel castings. This sleeve features an annular lip that deforms to the riser plug to prevent sand entry between the sleeve and the plug during the molding process. This eliminates the need to remove accumulated sand from the riser sleeve interior and reduces the chance of cast-in sand inclusions.

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Hapco showcased its two new dispensing machines: Rapidfil and Minifil. The portable dispensing machines can be used to dispense product into patterns and coreboxes in a few hours rather than clays.

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Diecasting and Permanent Mold Equipment

The ShurShooter Dry Lubricant Applicator from Shamrock Automation is a new machine designed for use with most dry or powdered plunger tip lubricants. A lubricant is placed into the large reservoir in the device and upon initiation from the diecasting machine, the ShurShooter dispenses a precise amount of lubricant into the delivery tube. A low-pressure air stream then delivers the lubricant to the shot well, and when the initiation signal is removed, the valve returns to its original position and begins the process again.

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Fata Aluminum Inc.'s FMP/4C automatic piston casting machine is designed for permanent mold cast automotive pistons. The machine permits multiple mold configurations according to the type of piston and productivity required, and it can accommodate molds with one, three or five-part inside cores used for casting pistons up to 4.13-in. (105-mm) diameters. It also fastens and releases molds as well as fluid connections using quick disconnect mechanisms.

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The Fanuc Robotics America Inc. booth showcased the M-710iB/45 SDLP extracting and die spray unit. The unit controlled an auxiliary axis servo ladler that simulated the pouring of metal into a diecast shot tube. The machine then extracted the casting from the die, and an auxiliary axis servo spray reciprocator then simulated spraying die lubricant into the die. The machine features six axes of motion and a maximum payload of 99 lbs. (45kg), and the multi-tasking cababilities of the M-710iB/45 SDLP eliminates the need for multiple robots in diecasting applications.

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Among the products featured by Quantum Machinery International Inc. was the company's cold chamber diecasting machine. The machine incorporates an automatic die height adjustment mechanism, double vane pump, hydraulic ejector assembly for uniform force on the casting and an injection accumulator for stable injection speeds.

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Sterling Inc.'s booth featured the 2016U Series of hot oil circulators, which control the die temperature in diecasting applications. Designed for temperatures up to 550F (287C), the 2016U units include features such as single-pass tank design and the M2B+ controller. Units also can be equipped with pulsed cooling. The M2B+ controller displays both the setpoint and process temperatures simultaneously and has a built-in ramp/soak feature.

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CMH Manufacturing showcased the latest addition to its Hall line of metalcasting equipment--the Autocast II 18 x 24 in. (45.7 x 61 cm) permanent mold casting system. The firm's recent acquisition of the equipment division of Stahl Specialty Casting Co. brought in a new line of technology. The Autocast II features twin cushioned tilt cylinders to provide a smooth tilting motion. The system's twin ram cylinders provide a safety factor as well as extra holding pressure and added clamping balance.

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Castec Inc. promoted its production of core pins and inserts for diecasting dies. Because each customer's requirements are different, Castec offers many choices such as core pin material, heat treatment, and coating method.

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The Regloplas booth showcased its Pressurized Water Temperature Control units to maintain die temperatures. These units substitute oil with pressurized water. With new technology, Regloplas' units allow the temperature of the water to go up to 320F (160C). The use of pressurized water is less expensive and environmentally safer than using oil, and because it is constructed of nonferrous materials, the water will not cause corrosion in the process system components.

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The PowerSpray line of products was exhibited by Wollin USA Inc. These tools consist of small individual spray devices that can be assembled in almost any position needed for a die spray application. The machines allow for short spraying cycles that include high-performance blasting.

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Beano's On-Site Machinery Inc. promoted its new Big Red portable machining unit, which can be used to repair/ augment diecast and injection mold machines. Big Red is the first of its kind to have the ability to machine a platen of 112 x 112 in. (284.5 x 284.5 cm) in one setup per platen side, opposed to the former six-to-eight setups/side. The machine can complete a multi-month project in days.

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Cross Chemical Co. Inc. promoted its Cast-Rite AMZ III synthetic diecasting water-based lubricant. This material can be used for aluminum, magnesium and zinc diecasting applications and eliminates cavity carbon, over-spray buildup and spray head clogging.

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The Castool booth featured a new vacuum valve (to reduce porosity defects) and lubricant (for dies). The Vf line of vacuum valves close in less than two milliseconds after the flow of molten metal reaches the piston, which closes the vacuum valve. The Vf valve is designed to get the highest amount of vacuum until the end of the injection. The lubricant, A.L.S. 192, is a non-graphite based material that is highly concentrated, so less lubricant is needed. It produces no toxic fumes.

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The Chemtool booth featured its new industrial cleaners. Lubricast Free Flow is formulated to remove casting buildup found in the internal cooling passages of dies. Lubricast 8500 is a die release agent that uses spray technology to reduce waxy and carbon build-ups. Cast Clean, designed for cast aluminum, will wash away residual die cast lubricants with its formula of detergents and wetting agents.

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The Exco booth featured new die spray technology featuring a large number of spray heads that reduce spray time. The spray technology can be designed to fit the particular shape of the die. Exco also showed its die temperature control unit, D-TeC, which has a thermal coupler within the die that monitors the temperature and the flow of the coolant in the die.

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Laempe showcased its new BeachBox binder technology, which combines the advantages of organic and inorganic binder systems while being compatible with both. The BeachBox process encompasses the LaempeKuhnsBinder, which is an entirely inorganic binder system that works only with water and contains no environment-harming material. With BeachBox, coremakers can use a 100% natural product as the sole binder system so no emissions will arise from the sand.

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Loramendi displayed an example of its SLC coremaking machines, which provide automatic corebox changes in 90 sec., continuous clamping with no corebox movement during the entire blow and cure cycle, and built-in exhaust connections to capture residual gases directly from the corebox. The machines also have upper and lower core ejection systems and integrated blow plate and blow head cleaning systems. Loramendi's Advanced Blow System allows for a low blow pressure, which results in reduced air consumption, less tooling wear and improved core density. The machines are equipped with a photocell to control the sand level in the blowing magazine as required by the corresponding core weight.

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Gaylord Foundry Equipment Inc. unveiled its new automatic horizontal split core machine. The horizontal split core machine accommodates horizontally split tooling in a fully automatic continuous operation.

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Mold & Core Consumables

Carbo Ceramics featured its CarboAccucast ceramic media products. This product line possesses strength, unique thermal properties and a uniform shape to provide increased media life, casting accuracy and production to metalcasting applications. This helps lower production cost, reduce waste and decreased cleaning room time within a facility.

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The Hill and Griffith Co. featured its complete line of products for the metalcasting industry, including Aquapart 11 with a graphite parting compound. Other products were Slikease release agent, Diluco diecasting lubricants and mold releases, and Gridlube hydraulic fluids and titan tool coating.

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Ashland Casting Solutions (Ashland Specialty Chemical) introduced Pep Set Quantum resin binder technology that is designed to provide more operational consistency in mold and core making. The resin's lower viscosity increases sand flowability and improves casting surface finish as well as increases strength and reduces odor.

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Fairmount Minerals displayed the new TechniSand Signature Series. This resin-coated sand technology performs as well as conventional resin-coated sands, but is specifically designed to reduce overall emissions, odor and smoke within a casting facility, regardless of metal poured. TechniSand has been proven to reduce up to 82% of free phenol in a facility.

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HA International took CastExpo as the time to show off its national pride in U.S. monuments with its reconstruction of Mt. Rushmore from a block of nobake molding sand. The firm molded a block of sand using its Techniset phenolic urethane nobake resin. Artists then spent two days of the show sculpting a copy of Mt. Rushmore. Techniset resins are formulated to satisfy industry demands for high productivity in nobake applications. Products include general-purpose resins for ferrous applications, low VOC resins where air emissions are a concern and nonferrous resins that use polyols having lower thermal decomposition temperatures to improve core shakeout in aluminum applications.

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Hormel Foods Corp. showcased GMBond, a protein-based sand binder that is mixed with various metal oxide catalysts to accelerate binder breakdown from the heat of the metal. The water-soluble, powdered binder is non-toxic and can be run efficiently in slightly modified coremaking equipment. The binder is made from renewable natural materials, allowing metalcasting facilities to waste significantly less sand and minimize pollution. Testing has shown that the binder reduces emissions by more than 90%.

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BPM Minerals LLC featured its HydroBond technology, which is an engineered western (sodium) bentonite with technological advancements for green sand systems. The material reduces the hydration time of western bentonite to yield improved green sand properties. Due to faster hydration, the material increases green sand compression strength and green tensile strength, improves moldability, reduces friability, lowers moistures and generates improved consistency in the return sand.

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Sand Conditioning & Testing

FargoWear Inc. promoted two new products. The firm's ceramic-faced plows can cut muller power consumption up to 20%. This is due to the fired alumina ceramic tile that covers the entire plow face to resist erosion and reduce friction. The second product was polyurethane-coated muller wheels. The coating process offers longer life spans and the sand will not stick to the polyurethane allowing for reduced maintenance times and expenses.

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Ashland Casting Solutions (Ashland Specialty Chemical) introduced Exactherm, a sand additive that allows a metalcasting facility to tailor the thermal properties of a mold or core to meet critical casting sections' needs. It can help provide better control of the casting process, eliminate misrun defects, blows and hot tears and improve the casting's surface finish.

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Simpson Technologies Corp. promoted its Multi-Cooler equipment for the cooling and pre-conditioning of sand. The Multi-Cooler uniformly cools sand to desired temperatures, controls moisture to tight tolerances and homogenizes return sand in a single process. It also reduces variation in key sand properties due to intensive pre-mixing.

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Greensand Controls LLC showcased its P4500 200TPH hydraulic powered green sand preparation plant, which is capable of making 40 batches of sand/hr, with a 5-ton batch size and 90-sec. door-to-door cycle rate. The machine has two side-bottom discharge doors that allow it to fully discharge in 20 sec.

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Consolidated Engineering Co. showcased its Sand Lion 3-in-1 system, which combines three sand/casting conditioning processes into one operation. The system removes excess sand from castings and molds using only heat. It then reclaims the sand by burning binder agents with heat and oxygen and acts as a heat-treat oven for new castings while the core-removal process is completed.

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Dependable/Redford-Carver promoted the capabilities of its line of coremaking, mixing and reclamation equipment for chemically bonded sand. Such machines include the Pacemaster TS Series for mixing applications. It utilizes two slow speed primary mixing screws and a turbo blender. This arrangement keeps the chemicals separated until final blending just before discharge, so rapid setting binders can be used without concern for curing in the mixer. Another product is the Redford Hot Process core machines, which can produce solid cores up to 200 lbs (92 kg). These machines will operate with all popular hot box, warm box and shell processes.

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Mixer Systems Inc. showcased its planetary mixer, which utilizes a unique "counter current" sand mixing action. The design provides a homogenous mix with no dead spots because the paddles cover a slightly different path at each turn. The mixing system features faster cycle times and low maintenance.

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Melt Quality & Testing

The DT-260 Datalog showcased by Heraeus Electro-Nite is an electronic molten metal temperature measuring mechanism that can store up to 800 measurements. The device can be connected to a PC through a serial input card, and the data can be transferred in an ASCII data string that is read by Microsoft-based programs. The DT-260 is portable and can be used in furnace, ladle and auto-pour applications.

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Leco Corp. showcased its new GPX polishing line featuring the GPX-200. The automatic 8- and 10-in. (203- and 254-mm) flexible design system is ideal for metallography applications. The GPX-200 features Leco's oscillation methods as well as a new automatic fluid dispenser.

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Antares Analytical promoted its capabilities as a supplier of replacement parts, consumables, and calibration/standardization standards for Baird spectrometers. The company now offers replacement sample blocks for all Baird spectrometers using either a KH3/5 source or the HR400 source.

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Quantron Inc. showcased the Magellan QM3 spectrometer that provides for a wide variety of applications. The QM3 line has excellent detection limits for all elements and measurement signals are recorded by stable, low-noise channel photomultipliers. The unit also is durable under environmental influences, such as temperature deviations and changes in air pressure.

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Angstrom Inc. exhibited its Metalscan 2500 desktop spectrometer. The instrument's small size allows it to be transported easily via overnight carrier for routine or emergency service at the firm's Belleville, Mich., facility. This reduces the annual maintenance cost for the spectrometer by eliminating airfare, travel and on-site labor.

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The Pyrotek and Metaullics booth showcased the capabilities of Metaullics' Star Degassing System for aluminum casting applications. The system (pre-wired for a simple installation) is ideal for furnace or ladle melts and can be operated manually or automatically, which allows the unit to take on multiple functions. This system also features an oxidation-resistance treatment that extends graphite life, and the Star lift system allows the equipment to be mounted on a ladle, a melting or holding furnace, or on a cart for mobile degassing service.

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Thermo Electron promoted its optical emission (OES), X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) equipment for spectrochemical/phase analysis of materials for production and quality control. Products include ARL Quantris/ ARL QuantoDesk CCD-based metals analyzers, ARL 3460/ ARL 4460 OE spectrometers and fully automatic systems.

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Hickman, Williams & Co., exhibited new technology with a post inoculant stream feeder. This computer-controlled, fully automatic injection system supplies inoculant additions into the iron stream. It memorizes data for all grams/sec, feed rates and features a pressurized system adaptable to locations away from the pouring point.

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Verichek Technical Services exhibited a new product to the U.S. market in the Test Master spectrometer for inspection in engineering and scrap reprocessing applications. The machine boasts a 2-sec. measuring time, and it can be operated in harsh environments due to its heat dissipation capabilities.

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Q.C. Designs Inc. showcased its aluminum porosity measurement system to quantify hydrogen Reduced Pressure Test (RPT) measurements. The equipment allows for measurements of the specific gravity of RPT samples to be completed in 30 sec.

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The Spectrum Industries booth featured a CCD optical system that can be used with a variety of materials, making it more economical to run.

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Magma Foundry Technologies Inc. showcased the capabilities of its Magmasoft products, such as Magmasoft Express. Express helps simulate almost any geometry and determine the proper gating and rigging solutions to improve castability. The software design does not require an analysis expert during the simulation, and it is ideal for "first level" assessments of new castings.

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ESI Group promoted its new ProCAST 2005 comprehensive process modeling software for high-production casting facilities. This software package features DMP (distributed memory parallel) technology that distributes simulation tasks among several processors running in parallel. For optimal scalability, the parallelization of ProCAST 2005 relies on the dynamic domain decomposition technology, which is used to distribute a task on multiple processors. The finite element mesh of the CAD model is partitioned in as many subdomains as there are processors. Also showcased was PamCast/Simulor, which is a single integrated industry-specific software package that allows the user to perform predictive evaluations of the entire casting process from filling to solidification including phase changes and cooling.

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The Odyssey integrated business system, exhibited by B&L Information Systems Inc., is the company's latest software product designed specifically for the metalcasting industry. The system enables metalcasting firms to more efficiently manage the business side of the casting process by allowing personnel to determine if production is on schedule, compare quoted costs to actual costs at any time, analyze machine efficiency by shift, track tooling cycles, and control scrap and rework.

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Flow Science Inc. promoted its FLOW-3D software in its newest version, 9.0, which offers two new models. One is the thermal stress model, which calculates the elastic stresses and deformations induced by cooling and solidification of metal parts. This helps to eliminate internal stresses developed during the casting process that can cause warping and even fracturing of a component. The second model is the microporosity model, which predicts the formation of microporosities caused by metal shrinkage.

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C.A. Picard International promoted its new NXT control system that provides new intelligence to processes and gives machinery more speed, efficiency and useful information for production, management and maintenance in a metalcasting facility. The NXT can coordinate the production status of all types of metalcasting equipment, from molding to finishing.

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EKK Inc. promoted its software capabilities, such as Capcast. Capcast includes a finite element stress analysis capability for the castings and dies in the diecasting process. This module is a non-linear stress simulation solver and can simulate both thermal distortion and stress as well as applied loading cases. The software also includes the capability to locate gaps between the casting and die during solidification.

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The Exact Metrology booth featured a laser scanner that can be used to produce CAD data on a component by scanning the laser eye over the actual part. The CAD file then can be downloaded into simulation software.

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Environmental Health & Safety

Dustmaster promoted the use of its DustMASTER dust handling systems, which will process all types of generated dust in a metalcasting facility. Hazard dust can be stabilized for landfilling. Non-hazardous dust can be processed for beneficial re-use. The DustMASTER batch mixing system uses a PLC-based control. These units also will mix all types of refractories including low moisture castables.

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The K&B-PAC Baghouse Controller exhibited by Kirk & Blum (Ceco Environmental Co.) is a multi-task dust collection system that incorporates pulse jet timing, pressure gauging, leak detection, blower controls and additional diagnostic sensors into a single device. The controller utilizes IntelliPULSE, which is a proportional rate cleaning technology that minimizes compressed air use, controls swings in pressure drop, extends filter life and optimizes filtration. The device also helps to significantly reduce initial engineering and installation costs.

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General Electric Energy promoted the BHA PulsePleat filter products that can be used new or retrofitted into existing dust collection equipment. This spun-bonded material has a tight pore structure and rigid physical properties, so it can hold a pleat without the need for supporting backing material, allowing it to offer two-to-three times more filtration area in the same physical space. Certain PulsePleat products sustain temperatures up to 450F (232C) and can reduce differential pressure and air-to-cloth ratios.

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TDC Filter Manufacturing/Midwesco Filter Resources Inc. highlighted its broken bag detectors, which provide an early warning indication of flow blockage or a loose or torn bag in the dust collector. Dust concentrations from 0.01 mg/[m.sup.3] can be detected.

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Houghton International Inc. showcased Cosmolubric B-230, a canola oil-based, biodegradable hydraulic fluid for robotic units and furnaces that operate with hydraulic systems. This product's lubricity is equivalent to that of synthetic fluids. Further, Cosmolubric is fire-resistant, and additives to the lubricant improve the oxidation stability of the oils to achieve the desired characteristics.

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Ecosorb Additive odor control products were the key items showcased by Odor Management Inc. These new products are ideal to help eliminate foul odors from amine gas used in chemically bonded sand. Adding Ecosorb to the sand at a ratio of 100:1 or less has no effect on core properties.

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The MikroPul booth introduced the Mikro-Pleat V-Series of snap-in pleated bags with integral venturi for baghouses. The venturi's shape in the V-Series produces smoother air flow. These pleated bags have an increased filter area and less-frequent pulsing and are more compact.

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Cleaning, Finishing & Inspection

Mossner + Reich Casting Finishing showcased its capabilities in the removal of gates and risers from aluminum castings. This technique incorporates a band saw with accuracy provided by a CNC guidance system. With rotating fixtures, the casting can be manipulated in any position and the saw blade may be twisted to selected angles to meet unique cutting patterns. This has resulted in installations at many major automotive companies and sub-suppliers.

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Spinner hangers were exhibited by Viking Blast & Wash Systems. The airless blast machines can operate on a wide range of part sizes and shapes. They include center-fed blast wheels and a cast control cage in the wheel, which allows for management of the abrasive pattern achieving the highest percentage of shot impact on the work.

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X-R-I Testing displayed its capabilities for the non-destructive testing of castings. Among the many services included were radiographic inspection, which ranges from a 20KeV microfocus to a 4MeV linear accelerator, and ultrasonic inspection in which the firm's operations conform to GE, FAA, military, nuclear and ASME specifications.

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Yxlon exhibited the MU2000 inspection machine, which is created on the concept of de-coupled manipulation--the X-ray source and detector move independently from the part manipulator. This maximizes the inspection envelope in a given X-ray shielded area and minimizes the necessary footprint, leading to high throughput and reduced inspection time.

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Wheelabrator Group showcased a non-Wheelabrator blast cabinet that highlighted the firm's Equipment Modernization Program (EMP) options to show their ability to upgrade any manufacturer's equipment. By retrofitting the most current technology on existing equipment, owners have the ability to cost effectively increase their productivity and operating efficiency while extending the life of their installed equipment. EMPs include Ezefit wheels, Ezelink mills, web enabled control panel upgrades that provide e-mail notification of process variables, magnetic separators, screw conveyors, bucket elevators, doors and dust collectors.

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Disa exhibited the Goff micro mesh continuous shot blast machine, which features four 5-hp blast wheels, a pitless design and an automatic belt tensioner. The machine's direct drive blast wheels allow abrasive media to be cleaned and recycled, reducing disposal and minimizing abrasive costs. The automatically controlled abrasive valve allows for optimum flow of the abrasive to the impeller in the blast wheel.

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Mans Automatic Grinding exhibited its automated robotic casting grinding cells for low- and high-volume casting facilities. The systems have dual stations for the grinding of two different castings at once. Maus also supplies an offline learning system for the grinding cell that allows facility personnel to program the machine in a similar manner as a CMM but while the system remains in operation.

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Rimrock Corp. displayed a new finishing cell that included an IRB-6400 robot, which moves castings to multiple deburring tools. This technology allows for increased quality and reduced cycle time by utilizing vision to detect the location and orientation of the part on an in-feed conveyor.

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Sinto Surface Treatment, a new division of Roberts Sinto Corp., unveiled its CNDR Drum Blast, which has a unique agitation capability. The barrel can tip slightly forward while rotating, forcing the castings away from the bottom of the barrel and exposing fresh surfaces to the blast stream. The barrel can then tip up to expose more of the castings' surfaces. The interior blast mill has no moving parts, which prevents pinching and jamming of small parts.

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Vulcan Engineering exhibited its new device for cleaning and finishing. The Fox-All Grinder system now integrates Vulcan Nitrojet for easy decoring as well as sand, ceramic shell and coating removal from castings. The system uses a liquid nitrogen jet operating at -200F (-129C) and 50,000 psi for environmentally benign casting cleaning.

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Foundry Solutions & Design (FS&D) showcased its automated finishing capabilities in its partnerships with L. Janke, R. Scheuchl Co. and Reichmann Co. Such capabilities included hydraulic cutting technologies, flexible grinding machines and decoring and finishing equipment for both nonferrous and ferrous casting facilities. FS&D also promoted its engineering services for complete casting facilities and process specific parts of existing facilities.

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Metaltec Steel Abrasive Co. promoted its production of low carbon, bainite cast steel shot. The bainite steel shot microstructure has proven to wear better and last longer than martensitic steel shot. Bainite cast steel shot meets the SAE J2175 cast steel shot specifications for hardness, density, sizing and general appearance.

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Machida promoted its complete line of quality flexible borescopes designed for various industrial inspections. With insertion tube lengths from 1-20 ft. and diameters that range from 0.6 mm to 11 mm, Machida can accommodate most any casting inspection. The company also will produce custom borescopes for specific applications.

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Vulkan Blast Shot Technology promoted its chronital stainless steel shot and grittal, stainless grit products. Chronital is used for cleaning, deburring, descaling and surface finishing on aluminum, stainless and nonferrous alloy castings and forgings. Grittal, an angular and aggressive grit, primarily replaces glass beads and aluminum oxide.

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Champion Chisel Works Inc. showcased its Apex Breaker Steel Line of steel bits for the metalcasting industry. The firm highlighted its 580 hex chipper, 680 3-in.-wide chisel, pavement breaker and rivet buster.

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Power Hammer Co. showcased the capabilities of its degating hammers. The company's four hammers (Model 25 for very small castings, Model 115 for small castings, Model 415 for medium castings and Model 815 for large castings) feature wear-replaceable hammer heads and provide for no internal metal-to-metal contact. The hammers also are designed to operate on plant air supply.

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Bodycote promoted its hot isostatic pressing (HIP) process. The company's international HIP group has invested in high-capacity equipment to help increase the role of HIP in casting facilities by lowering the cost per part. The HIP process can be used for aluminum, steel and titanium castings and can help achieve near-net shape parts.

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Fanuc Robotics America Inc. promoted the flexibility of its F-200iB unit that utilizes a parallel-link design for precise cutting applications while maintaining the quality of the part. The system easily be reprogrammed for a different casting on the finishing line, and with its vertical-move abilty of 300 mm/sec. and ability to move horizontally at 1,500 mm/sec., F-200iB will accelerate the overall finishing operation and reduce expenses.

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The Kodiak Group introduced "The Crusher That Chews" sprue crusher, which has the ability to close the dropout opening and "chew" the material at more than 1 million lbs. (453,592 kg) of crushing force until the preprogrammed size is achieved. The dropout opening also can be automatically set to open to a predetermined size as product changes occur. The machine can be used for both batch feeding and continuous, around-the-clock operations.

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The Honsa Ergonomic Technologies Inc. booth featured the new 85 series air hammer. The hand-held device provides intense, yet controlled, power with less vibration. Its light weight and small size can help increase overall productivity. It is ideal for weld destruct testing, pin driving, cutting and peening.

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Saporito Finishing Co. exhibited a new highly corrosion-resistant trivalent chromate conversion coating for aluminum that meets or exceeds MIL C 5541 requirements. The coating yields higher corrosion resistance than conventional hexavalent chromates and is not affected by baking or exposure to heats associated with curing processes.

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Pangborn Corp. promoted its new Rim-Loc reversible wheel for blast cleaning systems. The six- and-eight vane wheel is reversible to operate in both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions to deliver a higher abrasive concentration with less wheel wear. This also helps accelerate cleaning cycle times.

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The Rosler booth featured deburring and polishing capabilities with the SSA-L series of "mini" drag finishers and the LR series of long radius vibrators. The SSA-L series can be easily integrated into cell manufacturing concepts and has a media unload gate in the work bowl for quick media change. The long radius vibrators feature a process channel three to four times longer than Rosler's standard rotary vibrators and is ideal for processing small to mid-sized parts.

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Holmatro showcased its new finishing wedge, the FHW926, which has a compact dimension designed for the degating of smaller castings. This model can be operated with one hand and can rotate in every direction. Wedge blades can be removed within 30 sec.

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MINTEQ showcased a shot-crete refractory coating product that can be applied with a hose to aluminum furnaces rather than by building forms around the equipment, minimizing down-time. The shot-crete also is non-wetting, so there is no build-up on the furnaces.

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Materials Handling

Alb. Klein Technology Group promoted the SP25 Plug Flo Pneumatic Transporter. This machine feeds sand in batches from a holding bin to the transport piping. The SP25 transports the sand at a lower velocity; consumes less air thus reducing energy consumption; and does not use boosters or fluidization, allowing for simpler installation and better quality control.

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With Didion International Inc. and Conveyor Dynamics together displaying their latest shakeout and material handling solutions, the focus was on the technology being delivered to metalcasting facilities. Didion displayed a MD-50 MK-5 Rotary Media Drum which had been sold to Imperial Castings. This technology lowers shot blast costs by at least 50% and increases melt efficiencies by 15% through improved cleaning of casting gating systems before remelt. Conveyor Dynamics displayed a Mold Dump Conveyor, purchased by United Aluminum, that combines heavy duty construction with the Dyna Sync Dynamic Drive System as well as variable feed rate control, replaceable decks and wear liners with noise control and heated troughs to prevent sticking.

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Fanuc Robotics America Inc. exhibited several of its material handling automated units. At the booth was the M-900iA/350 robot for degating and deflashing operations, which simulated the selection and transfer of an automotive engine block casting from an overhead conveyor. The machine presented the part to a floor-mounted chisel for hole chiseling and rough deflashing. After that, the robot transfered the part to two pedestal robots for final simulated deflashing. The firm also featured its R-2000iA/165 unit for the assembly of sand cores. Using the firm's V-500iA/2DV vision system, a sensor can locate a base core from a random position on a conveyor and communicate the location to the R-2000iA/165, which then can lift and assemble side cores to the base core on the conveyor. This eliminates the need for costly locating fixtures commonly found in core assembly operations.

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Rimrock Corp. promoted its new power robot line (in collaboration with ABB) in the IRB 7600 unit for the safe handling of large castings. With handling capacities of 330 lbs. (150 kg), 882 lbs. (400 kg) and 1,102 lbs. (500 kg), the 7600 can lift and transport the heaviest castings from conveyors to finishing cells and other applications. The unit is designed with active saftey features including an electronically stabilized path that ensures the robot will maintain its planned path to its best capability while factoring in acceleration, gravity and inertia. The 7600 also features a built-in service information system that monitors the motion and load of the robot and optimizes the service requirements by itself.

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Kuka Robotics introduced to the U.S. its new line of high-performance casting facility robots. The line's floor mount robots consist of 11 different models that can handle from 35-1,100 lb. (16-500 kg) payloads. The low-profile shelf mount robots consist of six different models that can handle from 35-463 lb. (16-210 kg) payloads. The wrists and forearms of the units are coated with a corrosion-resistant and high heat-reflecting finish, allowing them to operate continuously in environments up to 212F (100C) and up to 356F (180C) for short periods at a time.

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Carrier Vibrating Equipment Inc., promoted its capabilities from sand coolers to casting conveyors. The company also has the Barrel Horse shakeout system that allows castings to swim in the sand bed, constantly blending via vibratory motion. Through this agitation and mixing method, castings are gently cleaned, excellent heat transfer occurs for a cooler casting, and sand lumps are reduced for a homogeneous return sand.

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General Kinematics Corp. showcased its new two-way conveyor. The unit conveys in either direction with a quiet, smooth horizontal motion. Material flow is easily reversed by changing the rotational direction of a single, low-horsepower drive. The 90-degree curve in the unit allows diverse layout opportunities while maintaining the features of a two-way design.

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The Demag booth showed the company's new DC Pro chain hoist, featuring a maintenance panel that allows easy access to the chain set, quick-disconnects and an adjustable pendant cable. The chain hoist, which can lift at speeds of 48, 32 or 24 fpm, also has an on-board diagnostics panel that tells service personnel where a problem is located.

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Rapid Prototyping, Pattern & Tooling

Vulcan Engineering showcased its new Tru Glu system for automated investment casting wax pattern assembly, which uses robotics to build investment casting trees. The system utilizes the robot for consistent assembly speed and quality as well as smooth welds and a vision system to identify part location on the central sprue and ensure quality assembly.

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General Plastics Manufacturing displayed its Last-A-Foam High Density Polyurethane Foams and low-dust Tooling Boards. Among the products were the FR-4677 Red Tooling Board for metalcasting facility patterns and the FR-4500 series tooling boards in several grades. The firm provides these products that have a density range from 4-100 lbs./cu. ft.

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Fata Aluminum Inc. highlighted several recent business ventures. First, Fata's new parent (as of September 2004) is Finmeccanica Co., the second largest industrial Group in Italy. Second, the firm is now involved in a joint venture in China called Nanjing Fata Tooling Co. Ltd., Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, for the development, design and manufacture of permanent mold, diecasting, sand casting and corebox tooling. This joint venture between Fata Aluminum (70% share) and Yuejin Motor Group Nanjing Tooling Co. Ltd. (30% share) was established in 2003.

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ProMetal (ExtrudeHone Corp.) showcased its rapid casting technology with the $15 machine. Via a .CLI file, the S15 can directly convert 3-D solid model data into molds and cores that are created layer-by-layer without patterns or manual setup. This is done using furan resin-bonded sand. The system is capable of producing multiple molds or cores at once. Select No. 393 at
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Publication:Modern Casting
Date:May 1, 2005
Previous Article:CastExpo '05: gateway to innovations.
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