2022 Sand Casting Conference

Hilton Milwaukee City Center
September 12 - 14, 2022


Hear from leading experts on green sand casting and chemically bonded molds and cores. This conference will cover the latest advances in sand casting technologies as well as practical information that will help attendees improve their foundry processes. Learn how metalcasters are perfecting their sand casting operations and benchmark your operation against what others have done.

For information about Sponsorship Opportunities at the event, please contact Kim Farrugia at kfarrugia@afsinc.org or click here.


  • Hilton Milwaukee City Center
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • September 12 - 14, 2022
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Conference Agenda

Monday, September 12, 2022
Green Sand Casting

Session Chair:
Jerry Thiel
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

Noon – 1 p.m.
1 – 1:15 p.m.

Pete Gravunder
Badger Mining Corp., Berlin, WI

1:15 – 2 p.m.
Keynote - Sandology 4.0, creating the Metalverse




Tom Prucha
MetalMorphasis LLC, Rochester Hills, MI 

From digital data collection, distributed information sharing, adaptive machine controls and artificial intelligence (AI) based decision making, we are on the cusp of creating our own Metalverse. What is needed to implement this revolution in sand control and aggregate based manufacturing? First, we need to move towards more performance-based tests that are quantitative, conducted either in real-time online or augmented via lab testing. This means moving beyond the traditional Mold and Core Handbook focus test and should integrate into process simulation modeling. The results need to be shared across the value chain. With the potential for thousands of data inputs we need to be able to discern the key signals that are predictive. This will allow for better control and adjustments via knowledge-based algorithms. However, this will require investment, hiring a workforce with new skill sets and funding into research and development which will allow sand-based technology to meet customer expectations and stay competitive against competing manufacturing approaches.

2 – 3:15 p.m.
New Methods for Additive Control in Green Sand – Panel




Dr. Sam Ramrattan, Dr. James Springstead, and Dr. Andreas Decher
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

The composition of a green sand molding mixtures for iron foundries is crucial to green properties development and casting quality. The optimal parts of sand, clay, water, and carbonaceous additions are constantly changing and has to be controlled in working foundries. Mr. Brian Rachwitz with more than thirty years of foundry experience will lead a panel in identifying the need for additive control in high-production green sand. Dr. James Springstead will discuss a new digital methodology to measure active clay. Dr. Andreas Decher will identify the latest technologies for foundry water control. Dr. Sam Ramrattan will present an automated method for quickly measuring organics in green sand.

3:15 – 3:45 p.m.
Controlling Muller Sand Moisture with Moisture Sensors instead of Compactability: A Case Study




David Paulsen and James Furness
Furness-Newburge, Inc. Versailles, KY

A brass and aluminum foundry needed to replace its Muller’s decades old moisture control system. Replacement with a compactability control system was cost prohibitive. Advances in optical sensing technology created an opportunity to provide a more economical option for moisture control. These precision optical analyzers required no sand sampling equipment and could be installed directly over a sand belt. Optical analyzer measurements achieved a 0.99953 linear correlation with sand lab moisture measurements. Control challenges at this facility included large fluctuations in return sand moisture and no sand batch weight measurement. Production control charts and histograms demonstrate the system’s effectiveness. This case study illustrates that optical moisture analyzers provide an appealing alternative to compactability systems for green sand moisture control.

3:45 – 4 p.m.
4 – 4:45 p.m.
Discussing the Impact of Hydraulic Oil on Green Sand Properties




Liam Miller
Minerals Technologies Inc., Hoffman Estates, IL

Foundries have long suspected that contamination of a green sand system with hydraulic oil could cause casting defects. This presentation provides a review of past and recent publications and laboratory studies on the subject of hydraulic oil contamination.

4:45 p.m.
Day 1 Concludes
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
7 – 8 a.m.
Green Sand Casting (Continued)

Session Chair:
Jerry Thiel
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

8 – 8:45 a.m.
Eliminating the Need for Core Wash to Control Iron Penetration by Changing Aggregate Sizing

Al Jacobson
Grede Casting, St. Cloud, MN

Iron penetration into drag and lower cavity cored surfaces is a common and costly defect for many green sand foundries. To stop this iron penetration, foundries often apply a graphite coating to the core prior to molding. The labor, material and equipment costs associated with applying this coating are substantial.

Most foundry sand people know that higher GFN core sand will reduce or eliminate this iron penetration, but once the cores breakdown into the green sand system other issues develop. Lower permeabilities can result in gas and pouring defects. Higher green sand surface area that existing mulling capabilities cannot properly coat with clay can cause sand inclusions, dimensional shifts, shrink, mold tear-up, etc.

This case study will show how a high production automotive jobbing foundry eliminated the need for coating cores by using a higher GFN sand and how they mitigated the negative effects to their green sand system.

8:45 – 9:15 a.m.
Greensand Data Storage and Analysis Using Microsoft Power BI




Scott Hiles
Kohler Company, Kohler, WI

Data display and analysis does not necessarily require investment in dedicated data analysis software. This presentation will be a demonstration of gathering data from many disparate sources into one report using readily available Microsoft Power BI software and using the data to daily monitor and control a greensand system. Examples will also be given of using sand property data to target defect action items.

9:15 – 10 a.m.
Silica Sands

Neil Kniseley
Badger Mining Corp., Berlin, WI

10 – 10:15 a.m.
10:15 – 11 a.m.
Development of In-Line Automatic Green Sand Properties Tester Contributing to Stabilization of Green Sand Properties




Jim Wenson
Sinto America, Grand Ledge, MI

Scrap and defect reduction is extremely critical in casting production. In the green sand molding process, the first step to a quality casting is making a consistent and precise sand mold. Maintaining steady sand properties is invaluable for continuous production of quality molds. One road block to holding sand properties within tolerance is the fluctuation of moisture (compactability) caused by a multitude of factors such as ambient temperature, humidity, delivery time, production pauses, etc. during transportation from muller to the molding machine. It is also difficult to observe real-time fluctuations of sand properties by taking a limited number of manual measurements. Which, in turn, make it hard to correlate defects caused by sand because the actual sand properties of the mold is unknown. In order to get more accurate sand properties directly at the time of molding, an automated and precise measurement of sand immediately before the molding machine is required. In-line automatic green sand properties measurement devices can greatly increase the ability to maintain ideal molding conditions and reduce casting defects.

11 – 11:45 a.m.
Panel Discussion - Pneumatic vs 3-Ram Compactability Testing: Trends, Effects, and Experiences

Nathaniel Bryant
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

Chuck Gerth
Chuck Gerth
Amsted Rail, Granite City, IL




Annie Nelson
Waupaca Foundry Inc., Waupaca, WI

Britni Snow
Magotteaux Inc., Lewisburg, TN

Compactability of green sand is one of the most widely adopted testing methods employed by the foundry industry. A compactability target is often used to ensure that discharged molding sand is adequately prepared prior to molding operations. There are two AFS methodologies that are used to measure the compactability of green sand, namely the 3-ram and pneumatic techniques. It is not understood, though, if there are differences in the compactability result depending on which method is employed. Foundry participants from the AFS Green Sand Molding Committee measured their operating sand system’s compactability with both techniques simultaneously to understand this effect. Further, some influence on other green sand properties was seen based upon the technique used to create a standard AFS 2x2 specimen. The trends observed, along with some of the participants' experiences will be discussed on the panel.

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Chemically Bonded Casting Technology

Session Chair:



Scott Giese
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

12:45 – 1:30 p.m.
Evaluation and Comparison of Temperature Dependent Mechanical Properties of Chemically Bonded Sands




Sairam Ravi
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

Sand core mechanical properties are widely used in the foundry industry as an indicator of core integrity and quality. These properties typically include room temperature strengths. While room temperature mechanical properties are an important indicator for Core/Mold handling and initial resistance to molten metal, the mechanical properties of bonded sand change significantly with an increase in the temperature of sand. Understanding the temperature dependent mechanical properties may provide a better understanding of bonded sand behavior when subjected to high temperatures. Temperature dependent mechanical properties of bonded sand can further be used in stress simulations for higher accuracy in prediction of final casting quality, and may be useful for predictions of defects such as hot tears. However, while significant research has been conducted on comparison of chemical binder systems for room temperature mechanical properties, there is very little data on high temperature mechanical properties for chemically bonded sand from different binder systems. Trials were conducted at the University of Northern Iowa to evaluate different chemical binder systems for their effect on high temperature mechanical properties of sand. The binder systems evaluated included commonly used organic and inorganic resins in the industry. The binder system used was observed to have a significant effect on high temperature properties of a sand core. The results from the research are discussed in the presentation.

1:30 – 2:15 p.m.
Low Emission Shell Sand




Brent Gromala
HA International LLC, Westmont, IL

2:15 – 3 p.m.
IoT for Cores & Molds

Nathaniel Bryant
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

Ashley Marks
John Deere, Waterloo, IA

Recent advancements in sensor technologies have opened new opportunities for data acquisition in the foundry industry. The Internet of Things (IoT) describes a wireless communication network between physical objects through embedded sensors. Physical objects, in this case, could be foundry equipment, sand molds or cores, or even workers. These sensors acquire data in real time and can transmit it to a database where analysis could be conducted with artificial intelligence or machine learning to discover trends and optimize processes. To investigate the use of advanced wireless sensors at an industrial scale, the University of Northern Iowa partnered with John Deere Foundry. Applications explored included embedded sand core sensors and environmental sensors to monitor the efficiency of their casting cooling line.

3 – 3:15 p.m.
3:15 – 4 p.m.
4 – 4:45 p.m.
Using Temperature Dependent Properties of Resin Coated Sand for Simulation of Core Fractures in Aluminum Castings


Sairam Ravi
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

The defect was initially re-created and explained using a simulation software. Once the root causes were determined, possible solutions were evaluated and implemented to fix the defect. Resin coated sand cores are widely used in the automotive industry for precise dimensional tolerances and surface finish. Resin coated sand also offers higher hot strength when compared to other chemical binders, hence making it possible for hollow and light weight cores. However, depending on the sand to metal ratio, certain applications may have issues with fractures on the surface of these cores during solidification of the alloy, leading to fins on the surface of the casting. These defects were previously observed across both sand and die casting applications. This case study investigates the root cause(s) behind a veining type defect that was found in an Aluminum casting with a resin coated sand core, used in the automobile industry. Several resin coated sand samples, including the baseline sample which caused the defect, were evaluated for high temperature thermal expansion and mechanical properties.

4:45 p.m.
Day 2 Concludes
5:15 – 7 p.m.
Evening Reception
Wednesday, September 14, 2022
7 – 8 a.m.
Chemically Bonded Casting Technology (Continued)

Session Chairs:



Scott Giese
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

8 – 9 a.m.
Panel: Common Issues with Aggregates and Chemically Bonded Sand Processes




Jarek Olszak
LAEMPE REICH, Trussville, AL

Aaron Kaboff
HA International LLC, Westmont, IL




Bill Shafer
Carpenter Brothers Inc., Mequon, WI




Russell Hector
ASK Chemicals, Dublin, OH

The Cured Sand & Aggregates committee would like to hold a panel session discussing common issues with aggregates and chemically bonded sand processes.

9 – 9:45 a.m.
3D Printing in the Foundry: What’s Next?




Brandon Lamoncha
Humtown Products, Columbiana, OH

Brandon Lamoncha, the Director of Additive Manufacturing at Humtown Additive will show the current state of the production environment, touching on Direct Phenolic Binder, IOB, and Robotic Extraction of printed parts. As the world’s largest 3D Print Service Center for the Foundry Industry, Brandon will explain what the opportunities, challenges, and what the future holds for the sand casting industry utilizing 3D Printed Molds and Cores.

9:45 – 10:30 a.m.
The Motivation and Outlook for Inorganic Binder Systems- An Update




Kelley Kerns
HA International LLC, Westmont, IL

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.
10:45 – 11:15 a.m.
11:15 – 11:45 a.m.
3D Sand Printing Technology in the Foundry Industry




Dr. Yoya Fukuda
Kimura Foundry

Kimura Foundry America, Inc is a new -age, high technology foundry. In November of 2018, Kimura Foundry America opened in Shelbyville, IN, for production of low quantity/prototype castings. We proudly manufactures a wide variety of metal castings, with a customer base reaching to all corners of the world. One item that makes Kimura Foundry America a high technology foundry is the 3D printers that we use to print our cores and molds for castings. Four binder jet sand 3D printers and high speed casting simulation software and various inspection capabilities, including in-house CT scanning enables us to deliver high quality castings with very short lead times. These printers use Kimura’s own patented artificial sand to help ensure a quality casting.

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Environmental, Health & Safety

Session Chair:




Jeff Krause
HA International, Westmont, IL

12:45 – 1:15 p.m.




Jeff Krause
HA International, Westmont, IL

1:15 – 1:45 p.m.
What does Sustainability Look Like in 2022?




Dana Cooper
Cooper Hayes LLC, Stevensville, MI

1:45 – 2:15 p.m.
Foundry Binder Carbon Footprint: Overview of Sustainability from the European Perspective

Dr. Matthias Mentzel
Frederik Lietz, HA Group CSR

2:15 – 2:45 p.m.




Robert Baird
General Motors, Carmel, IN

2:45 – 3:15 p.m.
Addressing Net Zero in Foundries- Strategic Plan Options

Albert Chung
KERAMIDA Inc., Indianapolis, IN

3:15 – 3:45 p.m.
3:45 – 4:15 p.m.
Estimating CO2e from Inbound/Outbound Logistics

Speaker TBA
CH Robinson

4:15 – 5 p.m.
Managing Customer ESG Requests

Anastasia Kyrmanidou
KERAMIDA Inc., Indianapolis, IN

5 p.m.
Conference Concludes


Registration Fees

AFS Member: $750.00 | Non-AFS Member: $1,125.00

Cancellations & Substitutions

AFS presents a variety of technical and management conferences (in both in-person and virtual formats). The refund policy for AFS conferences is as follows: 1) Substitutions are accepted at no charge at any time up until the start of the conference; 2) Full refunds are offered if AFS is notified in writing of cancellation at least 30 days in advance of the conference. No refunds or credits are available for less than 30 days written notice.