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Closing the Generation Gap

Recently, an American Foundry Society (AFS) staff member let teenagers play with molten metal. Well, sort of.

AFS Membership Director Leo Baran, who has a degree in metallurgical engineering, demonstrated basic sand casting techniques to a group of 18 high school students on June 20 using a “Foundry in a Box,” which includes miniature metalcasting equipment. And after showing them how to do it, Baran let the students try it for themselves.

The demonstration was a part of a week-long day camp the Chicago chapter of the American Society for Materials (ASM) International hosts for high school students interested in metallurgy and engineering. This year’s camp was held from June 20-25 at various locations in suburban Chicago.

“The young people that attended are truly interested in material science as a possible career path,” Baran said. “It takes a little dedication to attend the camp.”

Reaching out to such youth is essential for the metalcasting industry, and holding the day camp is a great way to do it. Learn more about the camp on the AMS website.
 


Modern Casting Partners With International Groups to Launch Global Magazine

MODERN CASTING magazine has partnered with Foundry-Planet.com and the China Foundry Association to launch Global Casting Magazine, an electronic magazine providing a global perspective on metalcasting, including news, features and technology from all regions of the world. This web-based resource will reach 70,000 metalcasters, including the leadership of the world’s largest communities in North America, Europe and Asia.

Global Casting was conceived and developed by the three partners to promote global best practices for quality, production and energy efficiency, and safety and environmental initiatives. The electronic magazine is published quarterly.

To subscribe to the magazine, send an email with your name, country, profession and company to info@globalcastingmagazine.com.

For a look at the Fall 2011 issue, click here.


Lady Liberty’s Favorite Look? Bronze.

Thanks to the meshing of old and new metalcasting techniques, a bronze casting of the plaster model Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi used to create the Statue of Liberty is now up for sale—at least to those who have money to burn, according to the New York Times.

One bronze replica of the model costs $1.1 million, and so far, two of the 12 bronzes have found homes with private collectors.

The plaster model was too fragile to be coated in silicone to make a mold. So a French company, 7Dworks, scanned the model and made a digital reproduction. This was sent to Fonderie Susse, Arcueil, France, which is using the investment casting process to make the finished bronze sculptures.

Each bronze replica is 9.4 ft. tall and weighs 1,000 lbs. It takes 600 hours to create just one.

Check out more details and photo galleries at the New York Times’ website.


Casting Is Cool

But don’t take our word for it. Watch this video about a metalcasting restoration project being conducted by Winston-Salem-based Famiano Design Group and Penumbra Design Studio.

Not enough casting in that one? Try this one.

We love it when the ancient art is co-mingled with modern technology, and these casting projects take it to the next level. Not only are the design teams using laser scanners to build patterns for their castings, the products themselves are little bits of history.

And with the right combination of coolness and technical know-how, perhaps the metalcasting industry can effectively tell its story and create some interest in casting as a career.

“If we can get the best and brightest into manufacturing positions and allow them to use their brains to figure out how they’re going to beat the overseas competition, we can win in a global marketplace, despite what people say about having to compete with 25-cent an hour labor,” Mike Klonsinski, Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Project, says in the second video.

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