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Metal Casting Technologies : June 2006
METAL Casting Technologies June 2006 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR HOW TO DE-GAS A FURNACE FULL OF ALUMINIUM, WHEN YOU HAVE NO DE-GASSING TABLETS OR NITROGEN? Dear Ken This is done by a process called Pre-solidification. The metal is allowed to solidify to just below melting temperature in the furnace then rapidly reheated to pouring temperature and cast immediately. Regards Robert Hansberry, Managing Director ABC CASTINGS PTY LTD "FOUNDRY" DISCERNED Dear Ken I read with much interest the feature article written by Nev Murray entitled "Foundry ------ what's in a name?" I cannot resist reacting and contributing my three cents' worth in the following: Firstly, I find the question very interesting because we at the Philippine Metalcasting Association were once confronted with this problem. We were originally called the "Philippine Foundrymen's Society" because the main members were foundrymen, like the American Foundrymen's Society. Then this was changed to "Philippine Foundry Society" because foundry companies became the main members as the individual members could not support the association. Then we realized that the "Diecasters" have not been interested in joining us because of the name. We thus came out with a list of definitions, from our viewpoint, which helped us discern the small differences between the various terms, and settled for the name "Philippine Metalcasting Association" and made everybody happy. These have become some sort of a norm for us. These are presented below as we defined them: Foundry: A commercial establishment for founding or producing castings using refractory, disposable olds. (From this definition, a diecasting shop is NOT a foundry.) Metalcasting Shop or Plant: A commercial establishment for producing metal castings by any process ---- sand casting, centrifugal casting, investment casting, diecasting, etc. (This is all-embracing and it casts metals and their alloys.) Casting: The process of forming metal objects by melting metal and pouring it into molds. (This has the disadvantage of being ambiguous since the word is also being used in the movie industry and, being a more popular industry, the meaning of the word is biased in its favor.) Metalcasting: The process of forming objects by melting metal and pouring or injecting it into molds, a generic term. (This is a more specific, descriptive, and all-embracing term, and is preferred. It covers BOTH founding and diecasting.) Founding: The process of forming metal objects by melting metal and pouring it into refractory, disposable molds (usually made of sand). (This definition does NOT cover diecasting and permanent-mold casting ---- a diecasting process that uses gravity, instead of pressure, to introduce the molten metal into the mold.) Diecasting: The process of forming objects by melting metal and pouring it (by gravity) or injecting it (under pressure) into permanent, non-disposable molds. (This definition does NOT cover founding.) Metalcaster: One who casts metals and their alloys; a foundryman or a diecaster or both. (It is the generic term. It could also include those involved in the Metalcasting Industry as relevant Company executives.) Secondly, while I agree that the foundry is usually a "dirty" place to work in, it is not impossible to make it a "clean" place to work in. I have proven this in the foundry of the Engine Plant of Delta Motor Corporation, the Philippine assembler and distributor of Toyota vehicles, which I operated in the decade of the 1970s. The foundry was so clean that many visitors (both foreign and local) always congratulated us for successfully having kept it relatively clean and almost dust-free just like a first class restaurant. Of course, we were able to do this with the aid of dust collectors where needed and a team of janitors crawling all over the place. Spilled sand would not be found in the path from the shakeouts in the molding section to the shotblasting machines in the cleaning section. The foundry was the "pride" of the Delta management because it was able to keep up with the overall "good plant environment" of the Company. The Company President was a stickler for good housekeeping and this was achieved because he informally arrogated upon himself the role of "Chief Janitor" and did his rounds during the last working hour of at least four days of the six-day workweek. This setup made everyone, including supervisors and managers, do their bit. And after a while it became "second nature." It was fantastic! Thirdly, I would like to take exception on the statement "MONEY is the reason you are in business." I contend that SERVICE is the reason one goes into business and MONEY (as profit) is just the incentive or motivation to keep one going and to manage to do better every time. This is the reason why some people go into the foundry business, purportedly a marginal business, when there are many other businesses that would give much higher profits, like the drug business or the IT business. Service, not money, is the underlying purpose for most businesses ------ doing what one loves to do! John Hermes D. Bautista, PMAI Technical Consultant 6