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Univ of Alabama/Tuscaloosa: A rich tradition in foundry research and training.

The Univ of Alabama/Tuscaloosa maintains one of the country's leading metalcasting programs in university research and instruction.

UA established its Metal Casting Technology Center in 1986 to put the talents of the faculty of the College of Engineering to work for the foundry industry, according to Dr. Thomas Piwonka, the center's director.

"In so doing, the university is able to carry out both the quality research for the foundry industry and prepare students for leadership roles in the industry," he said. "Because the center is associated with the UA College of Engineering, interdisciplinary research teams can be assembled and focused on metalcasting problems.

"Examples of such teams are those working on resource recovery and waste minimization, gating and risering systems for castings, and improved melting methods."

Facilities for metalcasting students include an operating sand foundry capable of melting ferrous and nonferrous alloys, and investment mold-making equipment. Three undergraduate and two graduate courses are offered.

The university's nine-member faculty has established a national and international reputation for the quality of its castinq research work.

Among them is Dr. Doru Stefanescu, one of the leading metalcasting researchers in the world. His current research projects include an investigation of metal penetration defects in ferrous castings, development of casting techniques for composite materials, analysis of information available from cooling curves, and the prediction of cast structure evolution during solidification.

Dr. Nagy El-Kaddah is the principal inventor of the magnetic suspension melting technique unveiled by Inductotherm Corp at the Investment Casting Institute's annual meeting in October. He also is working on methods of inclusion removal in metal delivery and gating systems.

Predicting casting soundness and the developing mathematical models to describe casting defects are the specialty of Dr. John Berry, who also is a specialist in nonferrous alloys.

Dr. Garry Warren is concerned with investigating detoxification of waste foundry mold materials, with the twin objectives of recovering melt values and rendering the mold material safe for disposal.

Dr. Bob Batson is working on the statistics required for SPC in metalcasting operations, especially those involved in testing mold materials. Dr. Wayne T. Merritt has begun a study of repetitive motion injuries caused by improper work design in foundry operations.

Dr. James Hill is developing expert systems to design gating systems for sand and investment castings. An investigation of the decomposition of polystyrene and PMMA pattern materials used in the EPC process is being studied by Dr. Marvin McKinley.

To respond to the recently passed Metal Casting Competitiveness Research Act, UA has invited the following to join in forming a consortium to perform research for the foundry industry: Univ of Alabama/Birmingham, Auburn Univ, West Virginia Univ, Georgia Institute of Technology and Southern Research institute.
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Title Annotation:The Metalcasting Institutes; Metal Casting Technology Center
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Dec 1, 1990
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