From the CEO: Technical Expertise as a Member Benefit

By Doug Kurkul, AFS CEO

Access to technical expertise is one of the most valuable benefits of American Foundry Society (AFS) membership. There are several ways for AFS members to tap into this base of metalcasting knowledge.

Contact AFS Staff with Everyday Challenges. The AFS Technical Services team includes Steve Robison, Frank Headington, Tom Doré and Bo Wallace, who between them have more than 90 years of experience in foundries, technical societies and metalcasting academic programs. The team also includes Juliette Garesché, who has a similarly extensive background in environmental, health and safety matters; as well as Kim Perna, who can help steer your requests to help you get the most benefit from your membership.

Not a week goes by that the AFS team is not helping AFS members resolve issues related to casting design, molding, pouring, finishing, defect analysis and elimination, as well as other foundry matters. The AFS Technical Services team will provide prompt, confidential technical counsel. If they don’t have immediate access to the information you need, they will help you find it in the AFS Library or point you toward the right experts and resources. This is a benefit that is exclusive only to members of AFS. They can be reached by calling 847-824-0181.

Ask a Question, Answer a Question. Sometimes, you might appreciate hearing a variety of different persons’ takes on your challenge. AFS Casting Connection is a digital communications network in which AFS members pose questions for other members to answer. As one AFS member from Minnesota recently noted, “I would like to thank everyone who responded to my question…I got a lot of good information.”

The AFS membership comprises thousands of foundry employees, suppliers, and customers. The wealth of expertise is phenomenal, and AFS Casting Connection is one of the best ways to tap into that base of knowledge. You may also enjoy responding to other members’ questions.

AFS Technical Library. With more than 15,000 books and articles, the AFS Technical Library is one of the world’s finest collections of metalcasting knowledge. In 2018, AFS modernized the library software to make it much easier to search for, and download, the articles most relevant to your interests. You can also be notified when new articles are added.

AFS also made this a free member benefit – no more per-article fees and no monthly limits on the number of articles. The software is exceptionally easy to use, but if you need assistance, don’t hesitate to let Bo Wallace of the AFS team know.

IJMC. The International Journal of Metalcasting (IJMC), edited by Thomas Prucha, is dedicated to the transfer of research and technology for the global casting industry. It has been named the Official Research Journal of AFS and the World Foundry Organization (WFO). In July 2019, it was announced that IJMC's Impact Factor increased by 25 percent. The Impact Factor is a widely used measure that communicates how often a journal is cited by other authors. All AFS Corporate Members receive a copy of IJMC. Others may purchase IJMC from Springer Nature Publications by visiting

Committee Membership. Serving on an AFS technical committee provides access to incredible metalcasting knowledge and a chance to apply one's own knowledge in fascinating ways. All technical committees are accepting new members. Contact Kim Perna at to join the committee of your choice.

AFS Bookstore. AFS offers a broad variety of metalcasting titles that cover the challenges that arise in your foundry. Also, the 2019 edition of AFS Transactions is now available, containing all of the papers presented at CastExpo 2019 in Atlanta.

Technical Conferences. Each year, AFS hosts several technical conferences and workshops, where some of North America’s top experts – often AFS members – share papers and expertise. Visit to see the list of upcoming conferences. Moreover, don’t forget to register early for Metalcasting Congress, April 21-23, 2020, in Cleveland.

International Technical Leadership. AFS advances the metalcasting industry on a global basis. For example, AFS was involved in the drafting of ISO 185:2019, which specifies the properties of unalloyed and low-alloyed gray cast irons used for castings that have been manufactured in sand molds or in molds with comparable thermal behavior. Dick Gast represented AFS in these deliberations.

Similarly, Denny Dotson represents AFS on the Executive Committee of the World Foundry Organization (WFO). The WFO is planning to hold its next World Foundry Summit in New York City on May 19-20, 2020. Speakers will include entrepreneur Dean Kamen.

AFS members and staff have represented the Society at global foundry events in Mexico, Italy, Poland, Spain, Slovenia and Taiwan over the past 15 months. This activity helps to encourage the flow of technical information and reinforces the AFS brand as a leading global authority for the industry.

Keeping these technical resources top of mind will help you achieve your company’s best performance in the months to come.