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In the V-Process, a vacuum is drawn on the mold to hold the sand grains together to form the mold cavity. This vacuum is held through the pouring and solidifi cation process and then removed to allow the solidifi ed casting and unbonded sand to fall away for shakeout. In the fi rst step of the process, both the cope and drag patterns have a separate thin plastic fi lm drawn over them that is then heated to its deformation point so it forms a layer/cover over the pattern. Dry, unbonded sand is rained over the plastic-covered pattern encased in a special fl ask. Slight vibration compacts the fi ne sand grains to its maxi- mum bulk density to form the mold cavity. The fl ask and back of the mold half then is covered with a second plastic sheet and a vacuum is drawn on the fl ask. The sand (or mold half) between the two sheets of plastic and encased by the fl ask becomes rigid from the vacuum, allowing the mold half to be formed and the pattern to be removed. The two mold halves under vacuum are assembled together and poured. The vacuum is removed once the casting is solidifi ed. The cast- ing then undergoes traditional cleaning and fi nishing.

The high molding production area of A&B is still its nobake department, which is capable of castings up to 5,000 lbs.

ing and pouring techniques headed by the R&D Team Leader Delmer Har- rison III. A&B believes it must have the fl exibility to test out approaches to maximize effi ciencies and profi tability on existing jobs and also prove out methods on new jobs. “The industry is crowded with

metalcasters that claim to be experts,” Ingram said. “We must

develop and ensure the techniques to prove it.” T us far, A&B is proving that its

reinvention is more than just a make- over. T e key for the metalcaster will be if it can continue the momentum. “What we have accomplished thus far is the low-hanging fruit,” Sahni said. “T e real transformation is ahead.” According to Vin Sahni, CEO,

“Significant progress has been made with new leadership and manage- ment in place and we are headed in the right direction in an era where metalcasters have closed their doors left and right. We look forward to improving our skills and efficiency in serving our current and prospec- tive customers with exceptional price, quality and delivery.”

A&B’s new casting focus includes parts like these housings for a military vehicle transmission (r) and a helicopter.

December 2012 MODERN CASTING | 35

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