Completed AFS Funded Research Projects - 2022



18-19#03 Determining the Effect of Boron in Gray Iron

Principal Investigators: Dr. Laura Bartlett, Dr. Simon Lekakh, Missouri University of Science and Technology

Steering Committee Chair: Greg Miskinis, Waupaca Foundry (Retired)

The use of boron containing ultra-high strength steel parts has been ever increasing in Europe and North America since 2007. All of that steel is now making its way into the scrap supply with unintended quality control consequences to gray iron foundries. The other source of boron in gray iron melts can come from fresh furnace linings. Although boron is known to be a powerful carbide stabilizer, it may also counteract the effects of pearlite stabilizing elements like Cu and Mn, resulting in “soft” pearlitic castings. It is debated what is the “safe” level of boron in gray iron castings or what effect boron has on the microstructure and mechanical properties. Conflicting reports exist because the synergistic effects of boron and pearlite stabilizing elements such as Cu and Sn, and other minor elements, such as N and Ti, have not been considered.

The purpose of this project was to quantitively evaluate the effect of different boron additions in the range of 8 to 60ppm on the microstructure and mechanical properties of Class 30 and Class 40 gray iron. The synergistic effect of boron and other alloying elements such as Cu and Sn trace elements such as nitrogen was also evaluated.

Library Paper Number: 22-134                                                                                 

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19-20#10 Dimensional Tolerance Assessment Using 3D Printed Sand Casting Process

Principal Investigators: Jiten Shah, Product Development; Tyler Nooyen, Waupaca Foundry, Inc.

Steering Committee Chair: Jerry Thiel, University of Northern Iowa

The use of 3D printed sand (3DPS) casting process is growing in the production environment, and the initial feedback is comparable to the precise sand casting processes. The adoption of the 3DPS is seen mainly with the hybrid approach, where the mold is made with the conventional green sand process and the complex core assembly is redesigned with a three-piece consolidated core using 3DPS. Very little is studied and known in the public domain about the dimensional tolerances achieved with this toolingless precision sand casting process, especially the potential of achieving much better true position and internal feature tolerances.

The purpose of this project was to identify and provide guidelines for improved dimensional tolerances with 3D printed sand iron castings to design engineers.

Library Paper Number: 23-033                                 

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19-20#12 Disposable, Wireless Sensor Systems for Integration within Molds and Cores

Principal Investigators: Dr. Eric MacDonald, University of Texas at El Paso, Jerry Thiel, University of Northern Iowa

Steering Committee Chair: Travis Frush, University of Northern Iowa

Relative to other forms of casting, sand casting provides a wide range of sizes, complexity, and types of metal alloys and combined with additive manufacturing (AM), complex, reverse engineered geometries are now possible. One potential benefit for 3D printing-enabled casting is the design freedom necessary to introduce cavities for the housing of disposable wireless sensors (the Internet of Things) in remote and traditionally inaccessible mold and core locations.  Process variation (during molding fabrication and casting) has been the source of defects and delays in product delivery.  Monitoring variations in the molding and casting process can support the prediction of product quality and provide valuable feedback to improve the process. The resulting data informatics will advance US foundries into the Manufacturing 4.0 paradigm

The purpose of this project was to demonstrate the potential of wireless sensing for improving casting process quality and yield, identify failed castings, and validate casting simulations.

Library Paper Number: 23-082                                                                                 

Webinar Link:  Click Here


20-21#01 Iron Casting Life Cycle Analysis

Principal Investigators: Yogxian Zhu, Dr. Greg Keoleian, Dr. Daniel Cooper, University of Michigan

Steering Committee Chair: Jeremy Lipshaw, Aalberts Surface Technologies

There are limited life cycle inventory data available to characterize the energy and environmental performance of ductile iron cast products for the automotive and other industry sectors. The data is used by industry and other analysts to inform material selection and design decisions. Consequently, the ductile cast iron industry is missing the opportunity to compare the energy and environmental performance of their components against equivalents.

The purpose of this project was to develop a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) model to characterize the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions for cast ductile iron parts and wrought steel equivalents.

Library Paper Number: 23-014                                 

Webinar Link: Click Here


21-22#02 Foundry Emissions Benchmarking Database

Principal Investigators: Craig Schmeisser, Mad River Strategies, LLC.

Steering Committee Chair: Jeet Radia, McWane, Inc.

The foundry industry has limited publicly available information for comparative analysis of emissions associated with iron and steel foundries.

The purpose of this project was to compile collected foundry emissions information and process information, as available, into a singular searchable database.

Library Resources: Click Here                                                                    

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19-20#14 Dynamic Testing and Analytics from Working Green Sand Systems

Principal Investigators: Dr. Sam Ramrattan, Dr. Lee Wells, Western Michigan University

Steering Committee Chair: David Fletcher, Lodge Manufacturing

Green sand control is a conundrum because there exists a wide array of factors, such as water, clay, additives, sand grain surface etc. that continuously fluctuate during a foundry’s day-to-day operations. Foundry engineers have long known that baseline standard green sand properties test provide limited information for green sand control.

The purpose of this project was to provide a statistical model demonstrating the ability of newly developed “dynamic” green sand control tools to augment standard tests and effectively detect near real-time process shifts affecting casting quality. The tests and strategy revealed the influence of advanced oxidation bentonite treatment on green sand stability, scrap rate, energy signature, dimensional stability, and labor per shipped unit at a working green sand foundry.

Library Paper Number: 23-061                                 

Webinar Link: Click Here


17-18#08 Powered Industrial Sweeper Crystalline Silica Exposure Study

Principal Investigators: Jacob Persky, Jason Lang, RHP Risk Management

Steering Committee Chair: Fred Simpson, McWane Inc.

Under OSHA’s new silica standard, dry sweeping is discouraged where it contributes to employee respirable crystalline silica exposure. To be able to use dry sweeping, employers must demonstrate either that wet sweeping/ HEPA vacuuming are not feasible or that dry sweeping does not contribute to exposure. The feasibility demonstration would be a difficult case by case determination for foundries with no guarantee of OSHA acceptance in each facility. On the other hand, the demonstration that dry sweeping does not contribute to exposure could be accomplished through a research project with broad applicability across the industry. 

PIS reduce the loading and buildup of visible dust, dirt, and debris. Currently, however, there is little data to demonstrate that sweeping can also reduce the overall respirable dust loading. This study is needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of powered industrial sweepers at reducing rather than increasing exposures to respirable particulate.

The goal of this project was to determine the overall respirable silica exposure effects when using powered floor sweepers in general industry work environments where crystalline silica is present.

Library Paper Number: 23-067