Research & Development
Support of research is critical for North America to maintain a strong, vibrant, healthy and continually advancing metalcasting industry. Part of 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 portion of the annual dues paid by AFS Corporate Membership. The current AFS Funded Research Projects are described below. The other projects are funded through research partnerships, government funding and industry contributions. AFS participates in these projects by securing industry partners and providing technical management and oversight.
AFS Funded & Monitored Research
Nine projects are currently being funded through the allocation of a portion of the AFS Corporate Member Dues in FY2012-2013:
- Optimizing Mechanical Properties of Cast Aluminum Alloys – A319 & A356 (Phase I/Phase II) – CWRU
- Ductile & CG Iron Casting Skin – Evaluation, Effect on Fatigue Strength & Elimination Phase II
- Development of Core Gas Venting Guidelines Phase II
- Studies of a Quenched Cupola Part IV: Behavior of Coke
- Magnesium Melt Cleanliness
- Veining Reduction Project – Thermo-Mechanical Approach
- New Approaches to Clay Control in Green Sand – Phase II
- Identifying, Implementing and Sustaining Energy Savings
- Influence of Mn and S on the Properties of Cast Iron
AFS Advocated & Coordinate Research
Achieving Lightweight Casting Solutions for Defense Applications (ALCS)
The ALCS program was the result of an FY10 Congressional Appropriation request made by members of the Illinois congressional delegation on behalf of AFS. $1.6 million was approved and signed into the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) FY10 Appropriations Bill. A Cooperative Agreement (CA) was secured with the US Army ARDEC – Benet Labs as a response to a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) that was the framework for conducting this program. The effort resulted in $1.2 million available for projects and support activity under this CA and the funding signed in to the DoD FY10 bill. All these projects are now complete, with a final report being submitted to Benet and Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC). The beneficiaries of the ALCS program will first and foremost be the Warfighter, the Military and our membership by promoting castings and a strong North American industrial base.
This information will also be made available to first AFS Corporate members, members and then the general public. More information on ALCS news related webpage can be located at www.afsinc.org/alcs.
Metalcasting Industry Funded & Monitored Research
Metalcasting Research Foundation
AFS has established the Metalcasting Research Foundation as a mechanism to fund metalcasting research, support educational efforts and help ensure our future and legacy. It is time to take our fate out of the hands of politicians and special interest groups. By creating a not-for-profit foundation, we have established the mechanism to advance metalcasting technology, support educational institutions, and provide our members a competitive edge in the marketplace. For more information or to donate, visit the Metalcasting Research Foundation webpage.
National Network of Manufacturing Innovation
America Makes: National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute
America Makes is the nation’s leading collaborative partner in additive manufacaturing and 3-D printing technology research, discovery, creation and innovation. AFS is partnering with Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI), which has been named a recipient of funds from America Makes. The research project “Accelerated Adoption of AM Technology in the American Foundry Industry” will support the transition of binder jet AM to the small business casting industry by providing increased access to the use of binder jet equipment and the development of design guidelines and process specifications.
American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII)
AFS is part of a 60-member consortium that will pair leading aluminum, titanium and high strength steel manufacturers with universities and laboratories pioneering new technology development and research. The long-term goal of the ALMMII will be to expand the market for and create new consumers of products and systems that utilize new, lightweight, high performing metals and alloys by removing technological barriers to their manufacture, according to the White House. AFS will champion the role of the metalcasting industry as a key metals manufacturing sector in this effort.
Digital Labs for Manufacturing (Digital Lab)
The Digital Lab has been established to increase the successful transition of digital manufacturing and innovative design technologies through advanced manufacturing, create an adaptive workforce capable of meeting industry needs, further increase domestic competitiveness, and meet participating defense and civilian agency requirements. As it relates to the metalcasting industry, the use of these technologies will assist in the more rapid development and production of lighter weight cast metal components for military, energy, transportation and commercial applications.
American Metalcating Consortium/U.S. Department of Defense/Defense Logistics Agency Funded Projects
Casting Solutions for Readiness Program
AFS, as part of their efforts in the American Metalcasting Consortium (AMC), has recently secured contracts funded through the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Supply Center Philadelphia and the Defense Logistics Agency, Ft. Belvoir, VA. The group of projects is under an AMC program entitled Castings Solutions for Readiness (CSR). The two new projects are continuations of previous AFS AMC efforts, including one project called Cast High-Integrity Alloy Mechanical Property Standards (CHAMPS) and the other Casting Standards and Specifications.
Casting Standards and Specifications
Accessing state-of-the-market technical, specification and training materials for castings is challenging. AFS is working to provide current and qualified information in a network friendly form to users of castings via the Casting Standards and Specifications project. The effort includes both archival and recent technical information in searchable databases. Specifications and standards are summarized, and the user is guided in their application. Tutorials covering the fundamental design concerns are also presented. The development of an online material design property database will greatly enhance the ability for the next generation of component designer to create the lightest weight and most efficient parts quicker and at lower cost. These tools facilitate more effective and efficient procurement to both DoD and industry in the support of weapon systems. Along with data from various AFS research projects, like the recently completed 08-09#01 & 08-09#03 projects for the Development of Fatigue Properties Database, AFS has also incorporated the USAMP Light Metals Materials Database properties and recently strain life fatigue data for CGI Grade 400 and a hi-alloy Class 40 Gray Iron into the AFS Casting Alloy Data Search (CADS) onto the AFS design website: www.metalcastingvirtuallibrary.com/cads/cads.aspx. This completes this phase of the project and AFS is working with ASM to create Cast Alloy Material Property Datasheets to be put on the ASM Material Selector and AFS websites. The work planned under this project will add design properties for 4-5 additional cast metal alloys per year, while continuing to upgrade the CADS online database.
U. S. Department of Energy - Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) / Energy-Saving Melting and Revert Reduction (E-SMARRT)-Cast Metals Consortium Program
The Department of Energy program under its Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) supported various R&D projects to promote energy efficiency through SCRA and its partners that included the Energy-Saving Melting and Revert Reduction (E-SMARRT)- CMC (Cast Metals Coalition) lead program. The CMC consisted of AFS, NADCA, SFSA and performing research organizations. The nine-year technical program ended March 31, 2014.
Superior Weapons Through Casting (SWC) Program
The three AFS projects that were conducted under the Superior Weapon Systems Thru Castings (SWC) Program and a 78 International Journal of Metalcasting/Fall 2012 cooperative agreement obtained by Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) for American Metalcasting Consortium (AMC) with Benet Labs are now complete. The AFS projects included High Strength & High Toughness Cast Aluminum Alloy at UAB, Developing an Improved Combination of Strength and Permeability for Investment Shells used with Foam Patterns at Missouri University of Science and Technology, and Visual Inspection of Casting (joint sponsorship with Steel Founders’ Society of America and North American Die Casting Association) at Iowa State University. Updates on these projects and others under this AMC slate of projects were given during the AMC Annual Technology Review held July 24-25, 2012 in Milwaukee. Those interested in information on the program should contact Thornton C. White, ATI, Senior Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Developing an Improved Combination of Strength and Permeability for Investment Shells Uses with Foam Patterns
AFS and National Industrial Sand Assoc. (NISA) Sand Casting Consortium
AFS Technology Transfer
To download one of the research forms, click on the appropriate link.
- AFS Research Proposal Form
- AFS R&D Project Committee Tracking & Divison Approval Form
- AFS Research Memo Agreement Contract Form
- Proposal Concept White Paper Form
- AFS Research In-Kind Form
If you are interested in participating in an AFS project or committee activity, contact the AFS Technical Department at email@example.com, or Tom Prucha, vice president of technical services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.