2018 Aluminum Casting Conference

Crowne Plaza Knoxville
November 5-7, 2018


Come learn the latest technologies, best practices and receive practical advice on how to deliver clean metal to your molds and quality castings to your customers.

The conference will cover all aspects of aluminum casting, starting with the charge material and continuing through the full process, including:

  • Development of new casting alloys
  • Melting and molten metal treatment
  • Oxide and inclusion management
  • Gating practice
  • Pouring and filtration
  • Casting process control  
  • Solidification control 
  • Heat treating and post-casting processing

The conference will include a tour of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Manufacturing Demonstration Facility.


  • Crowne Plaza Knoxville
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
  • November 5-7, 2018
Get Directions

Hotel Information

  • Crowne Plaza Knoxville
  • Knoxville, TN
  • $135/night

Group Name: American Foundry Society

Room Block Release Date: Oct. 10

The hotel’s check-in time is 3 p.m. Check-in prior to the hotel’s published check-in times are subject to availability. Room assignments prior to this time are on a space-available basis. Check-out time is noon. Reservations must be received on or before Oct. 10, 2018. At the cutoff, the hotel will review the reservation pickup and release any unreserved rooms for general sale. Room reservations made after the cutoff date will be made on a space- and rate-available basis at the AFS group rate.

Parking: Complimentary on-site parking.

Conference Agenda

Sunday, November 4, 2018
5 – 6 p.m.
Monday, November 5, 2018
7 – 8 a.m.
8 - 8:10 a.m.

Conference Chair Brian Began 

8:10 - 9 a.m.
Design Principles for Effective Casting Production

Mike Gwyn, noredesign.com LLC, Mount Pleasant, SC 

9 - 9:30 a.m.
Casting Conversion: Why and How

Jiten Shah, Product Development & Analysis (PDA) LLC, Naperville, IL 

9:30 - 10 a.m.
Alloy Design Strategies in Al Alloys in High Temperature and High Stiffness Applications

Diran Apelian, Advanced Casting Research Center, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA

10 - 10:45 a.m.
10:45 - 11:15 a.m.
Surface Engineering in Multi-Material Casting

Dr. Carl Soderhjelm, Advanced Casting Research Center, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA

11:15 - 11:45 a.m.
Best Practices for Grain Refinement of Aluminum Casting Alloys

Geoffrey Sigworth, Harrisonburg, VA

11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
12:45 - 1:15 p.m.
Advantages of Under-Heated Dual Chamber Holding Furnaces in Low Pressure Casting

Dusty Ousley, Pyrotek Inc., Spokane, WA  

1:15 - 1:45 p.m.
Graphite Rotors for Degassing—The Science, the Myths, and the Existent Practices

Rafael Gallo, Pyrotek, Aurora, OH

1:45 - 2:15 p.m.
Rethinking Modification in Aluminum-Silicon Alloys

Dave Weiss, Eck Industries Inc., Manitowoc, WI

2:15 - 2:30 p.m.
2:30 - 3 p.m.
Energy Analysis and Reduction Efforts in an Aluminum Jobbing Foundry

Randy Oehrlein, Carley Foundry, Blaine, MN 

3 - 3:30 p.m.

Robin Foley, University of Alabama at Birmingham

3:30 - 4 p.m.
A Foundry Experience Up-Gassing A356 Aluminum to an Intermediate Specific Gravity

Darrin LightleSaint Jean Industries, Heber Springs, AR

4 - 4:30 p.m.
Importance and How to Differentiate Inclusions in Molten Aluminum Baths and Inclusions in Castings

Rafael Gallo, Pyrotek, Aurora, OH 

4:30 - 5 p.m.
Energy Savings Through Thermally Efficient Crucible Technology

Wenwu Shi, Foseco, Pittsburgh, PA

5 p.m.
Day 1 Presentations Conclude

No evening events.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018
8 - 8:30 a.m.
Process and Data Automation for the Mid-Sized Foundry

Jim Lagrant, Palmer Foundry Co., Palmer, MA 

8:30 - 9 a.m.
AFS Research: Permanent Mold Distortion

David Neff, Willoughby, OH

Lynn Ferguson, Dante  Solutions, Cleveland, OH 

9 - 9:30 a.m.
Influence of Process Variables on Mechanical Properties of High-Pressure Die Castings

Adam Kopper, Brunswick Corporation, Mercury Marine Division, Fond Du Lac, WI

9:30 - 9:45 a.m.
9:45 - 10:30 a.m.
Ask the Expert Panel: Tips and Tricks for Permanent Mold Casting

Randy Oehrlein, Carley Foundry, Blaine, MN

Hideki Gebken, Standard Manufacturers Services, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Dan Jablonski, Atek Metal Technologies, New Hampton, IA

10:30 - 11 a.m.
Disruptive Inorganic Binder Innovations for Aluminum Casting

Richard Riman, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ

11 - 11:45 a.m.
Ceramic Media for Green Sand Casting

Sam Ramrattan, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
12:45 - 1:15 p.m.
Case Studies in Additive Manufacturing

David Weiss, Eck Industries, Manitowoc, WI

Brandon Lamoncha, Humtown Products, Columbia, OH

1:15 - 1:45 p.m.
Using Black Water Reclamation System for Green Sand Molding

Frank Headington, American Foundry Society, Schaumburg, IL

Jim Furness, Furness Newburge, Versailles, KY

1:45 - 2:15 p.m.
Process Highlight: Lost Foam Aluminum Casting at BRP

Glover Kerlin, BRP US, Spruce Pine, NC

2:15 - 2:30 p.m.
2:30 - 3 p.m.
Basic Principles of Fluid Flow Mechanics

Sudesh Kannon; Co Power, LLC 

3 - 3:30 p.m.
Non-Conventional Gating and Sprue Design

Guha Manogharana, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA

3:30 - 4 p.m.
Innovative Gating Strategies

Jerry Thiel, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 

4 - 5 p.m.
Ridged Glassweave Filtration to Replace Ceramic Foam Filters

Jay Fritzke, Pyrotek Inc., North East, PA

5 – 6:30 p.m.
Sponsored Reception
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
8 - 9:30 a.m.
AFS Research: Quantifying Casting Quality Through Filling Conditions

Dan Hoefert, Eck Industries Inc., Manitowoc, WI
Robin Foley, University of Alabama at Birmingham 

9:30 - 10 a.m.
AFS Research; Effect of Solution Heat Treatment Time on 356 Fatigue Properties

Chris Barnes, Caterpillar Inc, Peoria IL

10 - 10:15 a.m.
10:15 - 10:45 a.m.
Demonstration of the Impact of Thermomagnetic Processing on Cast Aluminum Alloys

David Weis, Eck Industries Inc., Manitowoc, WI

10:45 - 11:15 a.m.
Quenching Aluminum for Residual Stress and Distortion Control

D. Scott MacKenzie, Houghton International, Valley Forge, PA 

11:15 - 11:45 a.m.
The Purpose and a Description of Failure Analysis

John Tartaglia, Element Materials Technology, Wixom, MI 

11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Improving the Effectiveness of Visual Inspection

Ted Schorn, Enkei America, Columbus, IN 

12:15 p.m.
Day 3 Presentations Conclude
12:15 p.m.

For those participating in the plant tour

Special Events

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

As the largest U.S. Department of Energy open science laboratory, ORNL’s mission is to deliver scientific discoveries and technical breakthroughs that will accelerate the development and deployment of solutions in clean energy and global security while creating economic opportunities for the nation.

Manufacturing Demonstration Facility 

The Manufacturing Demonstration Facility is the nation’s only large-scale, open-access facility for rapidly demonstrating early stage R and D manufacturing technologies and optimizing critical processes.


Registration Fees

AFS Member $750

Non-AFS Member $1,125

Cancellations & Substitutions

Substitutions will be accepted anytime. However, cancellations of confirmed registrants with full refund of fees will not be accepted unless received at least two weeks prior to the conference date. In the unlikely event the conference is cancelled for any reason, AFS liability is limited to the return of the registration fee.