AFS Announces 2009 Casting of the Year Winners

May 5, 2009

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., May 5 /PRNewswire/ – The metalcasting industry recognized nine cast components as top designs in the 2009 Engineered Casting Solutions and American Foundry Society Casting Competition. The components are used in a variety of industries, including material handling, agriculture, energy production, military, heavy truck and automotive.

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Craft Pattern & Mold Inc., Maple Plain, Minn., earned top honors in the annual competition for its Polaris motorcycle frame casting. The casting replaces an assembly of more than 20 parts and serves as the main structural frame component for the Polaris Victory Core concept motorcycle.

Craft Pattern & Mold’s component was cast in A356 aluminum with T-6 heat treatment via nobake sand, weighs 51 lbs. and measures 12 x 18.75 x 45.5 in. Structurally, the cast frame is more rigid and precise in shape and form than the original fabricated steel frame and offers reduced dimensional variation.

AFS also awarded four Best-in-Class honors and four Honorable Mentions. Following is a look at each of the award-winning components.

2009 Best In Class

Refueling Manifold, Alum-Alloy Co. Inc., Ontario, Calif. The refueling manifold connects to multiple fuel tanks for in-flight refueling and is integrated into a modification kit that is installed into U.S. Air Force aircraft. The manifold mounts to the airframe with four bolts, and all the fuel connections are made with quick-disconnect flexible hoses. The end-user received a commendation from the U.S. Air Force for the design of the refueling manifold and installation kit.

Cam, Signicast Investment Castings, Hartford, Wis. The cam was converted from a machined solid billet. The investment casting, weighing 1 lb., eliminated machining of the component. The casting supplier was able to produce the cam tracks and spline in near-net-shape. Signicast also provided the star shape on the end of the casting that was previously a secondary component pressed onto the original machined part. Overall part performance was improved due to a reduction in weight, which resulted in less rotational inertia.

ClassicSeries CVR Dental Pump, Piad Precision Casting Corp., Greensburg, Pa. The dental suction pump’s casting design features cast-to size holes, diameters, and internal ports and passages. Some internal passages and overflow ports could not be formed through the extraction of steel cores, so the casting supplier used two expendable sand cores. The casting design also incorporated three mounting feet into the housing, which reduced the net casting weight by 7% and overall cost by 14% compared to purchasing the housing and mounting base plate separately.

Agriculture Hitch, Bremen Castings Inc., Bremen, Ind. The hitch coupling for an agriculture implement is a replacement that consolidates five different hitches into one. Each original hitch was made of multiple steel pieces that were bent and welded together. The consolidation of hitches into a single casting reduced the number of parts and allowed commonality of products for the customer, as well as the consumer. The new casting provided the customer an annual savings of $20,000.

2009 Honorable Mention

Aerospace Valve, Aristo-Cast Inc., Almont, Mich. The 770g valve was made for the aerospace industry. To fully understand the complex core geometry of the 3 x 4 x 2-in. part, the casting supplier produced cores using fused deposition modeling. These models helped the casting engineers spot trouble areas that would require special attention. A low pressure semi-pneumatic device was used to fill the core passageways and eliminate air pockets that could cause core breakage or failure. The finished castings were checked via x-ray for core breakage.

Snubber Arm Casting, P&H Mining Equipment, Milwaukee, and Spokane Steel Foundry, Spokane Valley, Wash. The large above ground electric mining shovel converted from steel slows the 25,000-lb. dipper door from opening and closing too fast. A full dipper load on the door is 227,000 lbs. Codesigned between the OEM P&H Mining and Spokane Steel Foundry, the cast part resulted in a 40% reduction in machining time, a 15% reduction in weight and a per unit savings of 46% ($81,178 annually).

Wind Power Tail Fin, LA Aluminum Casting Co., Hayden Lake, Idaho This 3.7-lb. part is used to aid in wind power generation. The customer for the tail fin part of a 1 MW wind generator was experiencing a 50% fall-out rate. Converting it to a permanent mold casting reduced the rate to less than 1%, saving the customer $470,000 annually. The sand blasted permanent mold version for use on land exhibited a denser surface structure than the previous version, providing a better surface finish after sand blasting.

U.S. Military Target Location Device, Precise Cast Prototypes & Engineering, Commerce City, Colo. This magnesium part helps acquire and locate targets for the defense industry. Using magnesium castings shaved months off development, reduced overall cost, and provided superior electromagnetic interference reduction, which is significant for electronic enclosures. The casting supplier had to overcome thick sections surrounded by thin areas. Some cross sectional thicknesses are as little as 0.04 in.

This year’s Casting Competition was sponsored by MAGMA Foundry Technologies, Schaumburg, Ill. MAGMA will provide Craft Pattern & Mold Inc. with a one-year license of MAGMASOFT software, including training and implementation assistance.

For more information on the competition, visit www.afsinc.org/2009castingcompetition, or contact Dave Krugman, AFS, at 800/537-4237 x 286 or dkrugman@afsinc.org.

Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., AFS is a not-for-profit technical and management society that has existed since 1896 to provide and promote knowledge and services that strengthen the metalcasting industry for the ultimate benefit of its customers and society.

SOURCE American Foundry Society

Source: newswire

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