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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, physical and dynamic tests for measuring and controlling active clay levels in green sand. In addition, there will be focus on identifying new techniques for measuring heat damage to clays. An opportunity exists in which one new test could be developed that may indi- cate active, dead, and total clay in green sand. Application stud- ies 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 informa- tion about the project, or participation should contact the Steering Committee chair Matt Wosoba at mwosoba@nfco. com, or Dr. Sam Ramrattan at

Magnesium Melt Cleanliness (11-12#04)

Coordinator: Dr. C. (Ravi) Ravindran, Ryerson University, and AFS Magnesium Division (6)

High-volume application of lightweight materials is a key to in- creasing fuel efficiency and vehicle performance and decreasing exhaust emissions to address environmental concerns. Current- ly, Mg alloys, which are the lightest structural materials, repre- sent only ~ 0.3% of the vehicle weight. The proposed research is part of an ongoing effort to increase the use of Mg alloys at a significant level in the automotive industry.

One of the most important parameters in controlling the proper- ties of Mg and its alloys for various applications is melt cleanli- ness with respect to inclusions. The presence of such inclusions will strongly influence the mechanical properties and corrosion resistance of structural parts. The project seeks a better under- standing of the origin of defects and inclusions in order to im- prove melt cleanliness and effectively improve the mechanical properties of Mg alloys. The proposed project aims at carrying out an analysis of the inclusions in Mg castings currently pro- duced, with the ultimate objective to reduce or eliminate/remove them. This project constitutes a first step for the improvement of Mg melt cleanliness. It will provide a clear picture of the cur- rent Mg melt quality in the industry. In the future, the project will have an important impact on the productivity through quality improvement and consequently reduction of defective castings resulting from casting defects. As a result, it will lead to cost re- duction and enhancement of foundry competitiveness.

Ultimately, the project will help improve the melt quality and lead to reduction of scrap, cost reduction and enhancement of foundry competitiveness. It will also lead to an increase of Mg competitiveness as compared to other materials. The conse- quent improved mechanical properties of Mg castings will lead to an increase of their structural applications in automobiles. It is the aim of the principal investigator and the Steering Com-


mittee to ensure broad diffusion of the project results. The project results will be presented in several scientific articles and presented in chapter meetings, casting congresses or in interna- tional peer-reviewed journals. Finally, a two-page foam board poster on current Mg melt cleanliness will be developed.

Status Update: The project has just started. The work is being monitored by the AFS Magnesium Division (6). Those wish- ing more information about the project or participation should contact the Steering Committee chair Rob Bailey at bsmetal- or Dr. Ravindran, at

Veining Reduction Project–Thermo-Mechanical Approach (11-12#05)

Coordinator: Dr. Sam Ramrattan, Western Michigan University, and AFS Mold-Metal Interface Reactions Committee (4-F)

The proposed research addresses a major technology barrier in manufacturing identified in the Department of Energy Metal Casting Industry Technology Roadmap. The research program addresses the identified manufacturing barrier of understanding the difficulties and expensive costs associated in achieving higher levels of dimensional accuracy. Today’s sand casting technology demands precision and the use of superior molding materials is a means to this end.

In 1990, the 4-F Committee estimated that $60 million is spent on labor, energy, and scrap to correct metal penetration and veining defects in iron castings. Most of the problems occur in internal cores where it is difficult to remove and salvage the casting. Incidentally, coatings are applied to these areas to rectify the situation. The occurrence of surface defects on coated cores can be attributed to large variations in coating thickness and possible application methods. Demonstration of these variations on surface quality supports the need to better understand the mechanism for casting surface defects necessary to compete in the global market.

The proposed research also complements completed and on- going projects supported by the 4-F Committee and metal casting industry. Thin-wall gray iron technology is strongly de- pendent on the knowledge of veining and penetration. Other potential AFS-funded research areas where the proposed ac- tivities have direct and indirect importance in the development of improved casting technology are heat transfer in permanent molds, thermo-physical properties for solidification modeling, and dimensional accuracy for precision casting.

The results of this study can help a foundry improve competi- tiveness by reducing defects, rework and scrap. It is critical for the project success to transfer the information to the foundry industry. Currently we are conducting tests for our industry sponsors that will benefit through this research by providing feedback and process improvements.

The 4-F Committee has used the AFS Chapter meetings as a technology transfer tool in discussing the on-going research project conducted by the committee. The presentations of the results will be aimed at the Casting Congress and at AFS Chapter

International Journal of Metalcasting/Spring 2012

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