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Innovation O


A sampling of presentations from the AFS Metalcasting Congress in Fort Worth, Texas, focuses on ways to move the industry forward into a new period of prosperity. A MODERN CASTING STAFF REPORT


ne of the biggest draws of the annual AFS Met- alcasting Congress is the


presentation of completed research projects. Tey are shared and discussed and hopefully help metalcasters across North America improve their opera- tions, better service customers, and stay ahead of the game in a very competi- tive market. Tree of the presentations are sum-


marized below. Tese papers from the leading minds in the industry represent studies and ideas that could have wide- ranging positive impacts on the future of metalcasting.


PRESENTATION Research into the Quantitative


Evaluation of Casting Surfaces Using 3-D Laser Scanning


AUTHOR Nathaniel Bryant, University of


Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, Iowa) RESEARCH FOCUS Surface roughness is an integral part


46 | MODERN CASTING May 2018


of casting quality specifications. Te surface finish of fluid handling


castings, piping components, and related geometries can be a critical factor in their service life and overall efficiency. Tis is especially important in high velocity liquid and gas applica- tions, because rough surfaces affect the allowable flow. Rough surfaces are also subject to increased wear since there is increased frictional interference during the material transfer. In production facilities, quality engineers are still bound to qualitative forms of surface roughness measure- ment using cast comparators and visual inspection. Te University of Northern Iowa is researching a method to quan- titatively describe cast surfaces using a laser scanning device. Te results can be represented by industry accepted scales such as root means square (RMS) and roughness average (Ra). Defect analysis and part variation measurement capa- bilities are also possible with this new method. From an aesthetic standpoint, smooth and regular parts appeal to casting customers. It is more appeal-


Metalcasting’s Future Through New Ideas and


ing for the casting customer if parts are smooth and regular. Te surface quality of castings is the first impression for the customer, so it is advantageous to have smooth casting surfaces. Additionally, the evaluation of pro-


cess changes that can affect the surface roughness of castings can benefit from quantitative measurement.


THE DISCOVERY Measurement of surface roughness


on cast surfaces is difficult and relies on qualitative methods with signifi- cant variability. Tese methods give an estimate for surface finish, but lack a numerical value for the measured surface. Methodology based on laser metrology offers the ability to quanti- tatively measure casting roughness on non-reflective surfaces without part destruction. It also helps quality inspec- tors identify casting defects with a way to measure their severity. According to the gage R&R results, the methodology shows promise in terms of repeatability and reproducibility. Without a true calibration standard for cast roughness, it proves difficult to propose a method-


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