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used for testing blast furnace coke (petrographic analysis, reactivity, abrasion resistance, degree of graphitization, ash melting point and ash catalyst index). The proposed study proposal will be the first to examine the importance of these additional properties.

Given below are a number of potential improvements in coke performance that are conceptually possible. The analyses of coke in this proposed study should identify which concepts should most profitably be pursued.

1. Reduce CO formation as it produces less energy and more emissions than CO2.

2. Reduce the abrasive loss of coke. 3. Reduce the melting point of coke ash to increase car- bon dissolution in iron.

4. Produce alloys in-situ, e.g. SiC or Mn. Thermodynam- ics indicates it is possible.

5. Determine if coke properties, not currently measured, will provide new insight into coke’s performance.

Status Update: The project has just started. The work is being monitored by the AFS Melting Methods & Materials Cupola Committee (8F). Those wishing more information should con- tact Sy Katz, at

New Approaches to Clay Control in Green Sand (11-12#03)

Coordinator: Dr. Sam Ramrattan and AFS Molding Methods & Materials Committee (4)

Measurement of live clay in molding sand is critical to control of foundry green sand. Live clay levels must be controlled to develop and maintain proper strength levels and mechanical properties of the molding sand. Control of the live clay level is also critical to control of moisture and compactability because clay is the primary moisture absorber in molding sand. If clay level could be better controlled, the moisture and compactabil- ity could be more closely controlled. Inadequate control of compactability is the leading cause of green sand casting de- fects, and the associated costs of scrap, rework, labor, and en- ergy to individual foundries and the industry as whole warrant investigations into alternative methods of control.

The foundry industry needs a faster, more accurate, and low cost alternative to properly measure active clay in green sand. The Methylene Blue Clay techniques employed by the foundry industry for measuring active clay suffer poor reproducibility and are thus incapable of maintaining accuracy. Casting defects are consistently attributed to variations in green sand systems and limitations of the clay control methods for green sand. A better clay measurement and control program is necessary to improve green sand systems. Western Michigan University has a new set of tests that can be used as process control tools to characterize and measure clays in green sand. This study explores the applicability of these tests to measure and control clay in green sand.

The AFS 4-H Green Sand Additives and Testing Committee has been interested in finding a replacement for the Methy- lene Blue Clay Test as well as in studies of the heat damage to clays. The purpose of this study is to determine the ef- fectiveness of using alternative in-process tests for measuring active clay in green sand while simultaneously studying the heat damage to clays.

The 4-H Committee has addressed the research needs identi- fied in the Molding Methods and Materials Division Research Plan by identifying critical variables and characteristics to ob- tain greater green sand control. The 4-H Committee has ex- plored alternative methodologies to measure active clay levels in foundry green sand and has identified a short list. The focus of this work will be to develop certain chemical, physi- cal and dynamic tests for measuring and controlling active clay levels in green sand. In addition, there will be focus on identi- fying new techniques for measuring heat damage to clays. An opportunity exists in which one new test could be developed that may indicate active, dead, and total clay in green sand. Application studies will be pursued predicated and contingent upon the results.

Status Update: The project has just started. The work is being monitored by the AFS 4H Green Sand Additives and Testing Committee. Those wishing more information about the project or participation should contact the Steering Committee chair Matt Wosoba, at, or Dr. Sam Ramrattan, at


International Journal of Metalcasting/Winter 2012

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