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Metalcasting Industry Research


Support of research is critical for North America to maintain a strong, vibrant, healthy and continually advancing metalcast- ing industry. Part of the AFS mission is to promote these activities for the betterment of our membership, our industry and our society.


AFS directly funds research projects from allocation of a por- tion of the annual dues paid by AFS Corporate Membership. The current AFS Funded Research Projects are described be- low. The other projects are funded through research partner- ships, government funding and industry contributions. AFS participates in these projects by securing industry partners and providing technical management and oversight. Current


research funding partnerships include: Achieving Lightweight Casting Solutions for Defense Applications (ALCS) funded via a Congressional Appropriation and conducted under a Coop- erative Agreement with U.S. Army ARDEC Benet Labs, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) former Office of Industrial Technology [now renamed the Advanced Manufacturing Of- fice-(AMO)] funded through the Cast Metals Coalition (CMC) Program, U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Defense Logis- tics Agency (DLA) Castings Solutions for Readiness (CSR) Pro- gram funded through the American Metalcasting Consortium (AMC) and Superior Weapons Thru Casting (SWC) Program, which is a Congressional Appropriation & Cooperative Agree- ment with Benet Labs on behalf of AMC.


AFS Funded & Monitored Research


Eight projects are currently being funded through the allocation of a portion of the AFS Corporate Member Dues in FY2011-2012.


Optimizing Mechanical Properties of Cast Aluminum Alloys—A319 & A356 (Phase I/Phase II)—CWRU (08-09#04/10-11#01)


Coordinator: Case Western Reserve University and AFS Alu- minum Division (2)


The mechanical properties of cast aluminum products can exhibit wide variation even when the same alloy is used. Best practices to achieve maximum properties encompass: high molten metal quality (clean metal, degassing), metal treatments (modification, grain refining), good gating practices, filtration, directional solidification, fast cooling rates and adequate riser- ing. The industry would benefit from a well-defined set of “po- tential” (i.e. maximized) properties that can be achieved for any given alloy when best practices are applied.


This project proposes to establish a database with “potential” properties of cast aluminum alloys, in other words, if best prac- tices in melting the aluminum and treating it are carefully fol- lowed, a high cooling rate is applied and shrinkage porosity is eliminated, what would the properties be?


Status Update: The first phase is complete and a report was given at CastExpo’10. Work on Phase II is ongoing and will fo- cus on improvements resulting from metal treatment and heat treatment. Initial test bars have been produced, variations in heat treat is being investigated and fatigue testing to complement the mechanical property tests is now being conducted. Progress re- ports are given at AFS Aluminum Division (2) meetings. Those interested in the work of this committee should contact Steering Committee Chair David Neff, theneffers@sbcglobal.net.


International Journal of Metalcasting/Spring 2012


Ductile & CG Iron Casting Skin— Evaluation, Effect on Fatigue Strength & Elimination Phase II (09-10#01)


Coordinator: Ohio State University and AFS Cast Iron Division (5)


The elimination of the flake skin is one of the key elements of unlocking the full design potential of compacted graphite iron (CGI). Capitalizing on the results of a previous AFS spon- sored effort, 04-05#02, “Study of the Effect of the Casting Skin on the Tensile Properties of Light Weight Ductile Iron Castings,” the Department of Materials Science and Engi- neering at The Ohio State University (OSU) proposes to con- duct research with the goal of understanding the mechanism of formation of casting skin in CGI, evaluating its effect on selected mechanical properties, and developing the methodol- ogy for its complete elimination. The results of this research will be of immediate applicability to the industry without ma- jor capital investment.


The research strategy is designed to develop the knowledge re- quired to improve and ultimately eliminate the skin quality of CGI castings and to generate data on its impact on the static me- chanical and fatigue properties of CGI, as well as on the efficien- cy of shot blasting in improving these properties. Additionally, the study may help in the definition of the minimum thickness of the layer that must be removed by machining to avoid negative skin quality effects. The research will capitalize on the experience in the characterization of casting skin accumulated in the Virtual Solidification and Casting Laboratory (VisionCast) at OSU.


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