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Research

Leading steel casting research has been a cornerstone of SFSA for more than a century. The Society’s portfolio of research programs are devoted exclusively to steel castings. Topics are influenced by the various research committees and research is conducted at leading universities with experts in areas like modeling, melting, heat treat, and material development.

SFSA members have exclusive access to research results through the steel casting wiki, technical meetings and the annual T&O conference.

Projects

  • Effect of Cooling Rate on Austenite/Ferrite Ratio, Iowa State University – Scott Chumbley
    • CD3MWCuN is a super duplex stainless steel used in corrosive environments. This two-phase microstructure gives this alloy a good combination of mechanical properties and corrosion resistance. Due to tightening specifications on allowable ferrite content, control of these two phases during melting has become increasingly critical. Schaeffler diagram has been used to predict the amount of austenite and ferrite in stainless steels based on chemistry; however, this plot was developed for welds. This project aims to develop a similar diagram based on variations of cooling rate from the homogenization temperature.
  • Cold Spray, Iowa State University – Scott Chumbley
    • In some instances, small porosities are found on sealing surface of castings after machining. When this happens, castings need to be welded and re-heat treated for them to be accepted. However, if the casting cannot be re-heat treated without compromising its properties, the casting is scrapped instead. This project recognizes the potential of cold spray in salvaging castings and minimizing scrap in foundries. Cold spray is a relatively new technology that is used to deposit material as a coating or to fill up cavities for dimensional restoration and surface quality improvement. This method seems to be a viable technique to fill up small surface porosity on a sealing surface and other minor surface indentations.
  • Digital Surface Standard, Iowa State University – Frank Peters
    • Current standards for inspection of cast metal surfaces use qualitative methods leaving room for variation in interpretation of the standard. Standards used in the metal casting industry are the Alloy Casting Institute (ACI) Surface Indicator Scale, Manufacturer Standardization Society (MSS) SP-55 Visual Method, and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) A802 that reference the Steel Castings Research and Trade Association (SCRATA) comparator plates. Some surface roughness inspection processes use the GAR Electroforming Cast Comparator C9. Other standards include ISO 11971 and BS EN 1370, which overviews SCRATA and BNIF, and ASTM A997 for investment castings. Digitizing the process will make the inspection more repeatable and reproducible and will help avoid confusion between the foundries and their customers. This will also help foundries verify visual inspection results internally or promote automation of the inspection qualification process.
  • Manufacturability Analysis Software Development, Iowa State University – Frank Peters and Matt Frank
    • Designs created by design engineers often meet the functional requirements but fail to meet the manufacturability constraints. Currently, feedback from a potential manufacturer is often too late in the design process. A software (3D Integrated Feedback, 3DIF) is being developed that will provide early-and-often feedback to designers that will guide them in designing the component to have more manufacturable characteristics in general which will reduce procurement costs and time.
  • Welding of High Strength Steels, Lehigh University – John DuPont
    • The goal of this project is to establish welding procedures for restoring the strength and impact toughness of welds on cast high strength steels (precipitation hardened (PH) stainless steels 17-4 and 13-8+Mo, and CHA3-GX). Research involves microstructural characterization, mechanical testing, and thermodynamic and kinetic modeling. Methods for optimizing weld properties when post-weld heat treatment is not possible are also being investigated.
  • Welding of 10wt% Nickel Steel, Lehigh University – John DuPont
    • Steels for navy applications require high strength and good low temperature toughness. This project aims to develop an overall understanding of phase transformations and mechanical properties in the heat affected zone of 10wt% nickel steel welds.
  • Enhanced Toughness in Steel, Missouri University of Science & Technology – David Van Aken
    • New steel chemistries have been formulated to enhance stage I tempering to produce higher toughness at higher hardness. Thermodynamic modeling is used to optimize solidification, reduce segregation, and formulate heat treatment parameters to obtain both high hardness and high toughness. Alternative deoxidation and nitrogen control practices are being investigated to eliminate the use of Zr for preventing AlN embrittlement that may occur steel castings.
  • Cast Preforms for Forging, University of Alabama at Birmingham – Robin Foley, Charles Monroe, John Griffin
    • Many forgings have long lead times and high costs because the stock is unavailable or is poorly shaped to produce the final forging. A cast preform allows material to be positioned to get the forging shape and properties efficiently. This project will determine the forging reductions for cast steel preforms to realize the required properties of a forging.
  • Automatic Risering, University of Alabama at Birmingham – Robin Foley, Charles Monroe, John Griffin
    • This tool is being developed as part of the casting module in ISU’s Manufacturability Analysis Software. This risering tool aims to provide a quick feedback to designers or to help with cost estimation.
  • Data Acquisition, University of Alabama at Birmingham – Robin Foley, Charles Monroe, John Griffin
    • UAB is working with Montana Tech on collecting data during pouring and filling of molds using thermocouples and borescope with filter in the mold to verify solidification modeling data.
  • Image Analysis Techniques for Digital Radiographs, University of Alabama at Birmingham – Robin Foley, Charles Monroe, John Griffin
    • UAB is developing an image analysis tool to rate digital radiographs and verify relationship between mechanical properties and maximum indication length. This maximum indication length will be determined using the RT standard developed by University of Iowa.
  • Dimensions and Distortion, University of Iowa – Christoph Beckermann
    • Current casting simulation software fails to accurately predict final dimensions, distortions, residual stresses, and cracks in steel castings. This research aims to develop modeling algorithms for reliable dimension and distortion predictions in steel casting. Mechanical property datasets for mold and metal are being developed and simulations are validated with casting trials. The goal is incorporate these modeling algorithms to solidification software used by foundries.
  • Process Modeling of High Strength Steel, University of Iowa – Christoph Beckermann
    • The objective of this research work is to provide advanced modeling capability for casting process design and performance prediction of high strength steel. Refinement of the model involves correlation of solidification simulation predictions to experimental data on mechanical properties and microstructural analysis.
  • Cast Steel Crankshafts, University of Iowa – Christoph Beckermann
    • This research aims to develop technologies that will enable the production of cast steel crankshafts that meet or exceed the performance of current state-of-the-art high performance forged crankshafts.
  • Porosity in Manganese Steel, University of Iowa - Christoph Beckermann
    • Current porosity prediction algorithms in commercial solidification software do not work well for manganese steel castings. The goal of this project is to develop a model for improved predictions of surface shrink and internal macroshrinkage and microshrinkage in manganese steels. Gas porosity was excluded in this study. Accurate mold and steel datasets will be developed.
  • Prediction of Gas Evolution Using Process Simulation Modeling, University of Northern Iowa – Jerry Thiel
    • Using experimental data, simulation tool can be developed that can predict gas evolution in chemically bonded sand. Based on simulations, a gas pressure curve can then be established at every point within the mold or core. Using previous research by Charles Bates, gas pressure results can be compared against a threshold value to predict problem areas in castings. Temperature and pressure can be predicted using simulation software which can then be used in a user algorithm. To develop and refine the model, experimental trials will be done on aluminum castings since most published research on gas porosity defects are for aluminum alloys.
  • Predicting Dimensional Accuracy of Sand Castings, University of Northern Iowa – Jerry Thiel
    • This research will develop a modeling tool in predicting dimensional changes occurring in sand as a function of temperature. Silica sand with different levels of zircon will be compared. An API code will be developed and field trials for both constrained and unconstrained sections will be conducted.
  • Use of Specialty Sand Blends to Reduce Veining Defects in Steel Castings, University of Northern Iowa – Jerry Thiel
    • This project investigates the reduction of veining defects using specialty sand. Different sand blends with various amount of specialty aggregates will be tested.
  • Environmental Emission Testing for Foundry Binder Systems, University of Northern Iowa – Jerry Thiel
    • UNI is working with the American Foundry Society (AFS) to develop test protocols in measuring and recording emissions from different binder systems.

Project status summary

Research ProjectUniversityProfessorStart DateEnd Date
Effect of Cooling Rate on Austenite/Ferrite RatioIowa State UniversityS. ChumbleySep-14Aug-17
Cold SprayIowa State UniversityS. Chumbley--
Digital Surface StandardIowa State UniversityF. PetersJan-15-
Manufacturability Analysis Software DevelopmentIowa State UniversityF. PetersFeb-16-
Welding of High Strength SteelsLehigh UniversityJ. DuPontMay-12Jun-17
Welding of 10Ni SteelLehigh UniversityJ. DuPont--
Enhanced Toughness in SteelMissouri Univ of Science and TechD. Van AkenFeb-15-
Cast Preforms for ForgingUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamC. Monroe, R. Foley, J. GriffinOct-15Sep-20
Automatic Risering (part of ISU Manufacturability Analysis Software)University of Alabama at BirminghamC. Monroe, R. Foley, J. GriffinFeb-16Jan-17
Montana Tech Data AcquisitionUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamC. Monroe, R. Foley, J. Griffin-2017
Image Analysis Techniques for Digital RadiographsUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamC. Monroe, R. Foley, J. Griffin--
Dimensions and DistortionUniversity of IowaC. BeckermannApr-12Mar-17
Process Modeling of High Strength SteelUniversity of IowaC. Beckermann--
High Performance Cast Steel CrankshaftsUniversity of IowaC. BeckermannMar-14Mar-17
Porosity in Mn Steel CastingsUniversity of IowaC. BeckermannNov-12-
Prediction of Gas Evolution Using Process ModelingUniversity of Northern IowaJ. Thiel--
Predicting Dimensional Accuracy of Steel CastingsUniversity of Northern IowaJ. Thiel--
Use of Specialty Sands to Reduce Veining Defects in Steel CastingsUniversity of Northern IowaJ. Thiel--
Environmental Emission Testing for Foundry Binder SystemsUniversity of Northern IowaJ. Thiel--