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From the Editor

Materials—The Foundation for the Clean Energy Age First, there was fire. Then, there was

casting. Perhaps it wasn’t exactly like that but

during a recent webinar discussing the role of materials and related manufacturing processes and need for innovations as a critical link in creating an energy efficient and low-carbon economy, it was mentioned that advances in the development of materials and energy have defined and

amount of time presenting the role of various material and process developments but a scant one page on casting. The academia and scientific community fail to understand the manufacturing sector and also the research activities and technological opportunities available. This is despite the important and critical role that metalcasting has in most of the energy creation and use sectors, including

“Are we as an industry on-target and engaged in addressing what is needed not only for

Clean Energy, but what can advance our industry?”

limited human social, technological and political aspirations. Anyone who read the novel, Atlas Shrugged- Part 1, by Ayn Rand or saw the recent film adaptation received a first-hand glimpse of how this hypothesis can play out. Regardless of the various views and

theories, the importance that materials have played and will continue to play to the growth of our economy and the impact on our society can’t be under rated. We may have moved from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age to the Manufacturing Age and now the Information Age, but materials, manufacturing and sources of energy still are vital to our future. How is it that materials are the foundation for the clean energy age? In addition, what role will metalcasting play in shaping that foundation? The basis for the webinar referenced

earlier was the Innovation Impact Report: Key Findings, which is the capstone of a three phase project coordinated by The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS) on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office that is directed towards linking transformational materials and processing for an energy efficient and low carbon economy. The report spends a significant

wind energy, nuclear, hydro, solar, traditional turbine, transportation and fuel exploration. When reviewing the castings section

“Gaps & Limitation to Overcome” and also the priority activities for research in the near-, mid- and long-term, I find that our industry already is engaged in most of the items listed. That isn’t to say that more shouldn’t be done or that we have the landscape covered, but, as an industry, we are focusing on items to make us more productive and competitive and will improve society and propel us to a clean energy age. What are examples of such activities? Recent issues of AFS publications,

including the IJMC and Modern Casting, have presented research on one of these items: “entrapped gases in certain casting processes that can result from poor atmosphere control, improper venting or turbulent flow.” As mentioned in this issue’s

Thomas Prucha

Editor. International.Journal.of .Metalcasting AFS.Vice.President.of.Technology

International Journal of Metalcasting/Spring 2012 5

overview of Metalcasting Industry Research- AFS Funded & Monitored Research (p. 84), Project 11-12#020-Development of Core Gas Venting Guidelines is focused on measuring and determining the amount of gas generated when molten metal reacts with chemically bonded sand olds and cores through the creation of prediction models for both a shop floor calculator and inputs to modeling software. The initial work was presented in the Summer 2011 IJMC (Vol. 5, Issue 3, pp. 57-64) with further explanation in the Beckermann paper on p. 23 of this issue. We as an industry on-target and

engaged in addressing what is needed not only for Clean Energy, but what can advance our industry? As an organization, AFS is trying to

offer information and platforms to help ensure we are on the right path, such as information on turbulent flow and oxide formation in this issue and during the Hoyt Lecture by Prof. John Campbell at the 2012 Metalcasting Congress. If you need collaborative databases to promote the design and use of castings, review the AFS Research Report, “Comparison of Monotonic and Cyclic Properties of Ductile Iron in the AFS/DOE Stain-Life Fatigue Database for Cast Iron,” to see that AFS is already taking a lead in that activity and also collaborating with ASM to create an online Cast Alloy Data Sheets. The key is that we must continue to

trumpet the developments in our industry because “Metalcasting is Shaping the Foundation for the Clean Energy Age.” Only through this continued promotion will others begin to support our efforts.

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