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Metal Casting Technologies : September 2006
www.metals.rala.com.au 6 BRIEFINGS Alcan tips 'China syndrome' to roll on ALCAN chief executive Dick Evans agrees with BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto that the China-inspired resources boom will be "stronger and longer" than those of the past. "We don't see any major crisis, like a bank meltdown or political upheaval derailing the Chinese growth engine". He believes Chinese growth is assured for five to 10 years, "though not perhaps without fluctuations". But having been in the aluminium industry for nearly 40 years - and witness to "five boom cycles" -- the man who runs the world's second biggest aluminium company does not expect the good times to roll on forever. Nor does he expect prices being paid in the current takeover mania to continue. Alcan has some $5 billion in assets in Australia and is completing a major expansion of its alumina operation at Gove in the Northern Territory. It hopes to eventually cut costs by swapping the operation to gas from Papua New Guinea. China Foundry Association Active Promotions With a view to promoting international foundry trade, China Foundry Association has recently held International Exhibitions in Beijing and Shanghai. The outcomes of the promotion have resulted in an increase in sino-foreign foundry joint ventures and overseas private foundries. These new enterprises automatically acquire advanced equipment, technology and management, and have therefore made substantial contributions to the development of the Chinese foundry industry. The China Foundry Association has also organized delegations of Chinese foundrymen to visit exhibitions or exhibit their products in international fairs of developed countries such as Italy, Japan, Korea, U.S.A., France and Germany. This has broadened the interest and activities of foundry directors. This enabled them to not only understood more about global competition, but enabled strategies to be employed for technical renovation and rational management of their foundries in order to upgrade the quality of their castings. The Shanghai region is one of the important industrial bases of China, its casting output accounts for about 10% of the country's total production. It is also fast developing in the area of die casting and other non-ferrous castings. This has lead to the organization for the Non-ferrous & Special Casting 2007 conference and exhibition. The 6th China International Non-Ferrous, Die Casting, Precision & Lost Form Casting Exhibition will be held in Shanghai during September 2007 (see forthcoming events for further information). The future focus on the development of automotive and space industries demands the enhancement of both quality and quantity of non-ferrous and die castings. There are more than 7000 die casting machines in operation in China, most of which need to be renovated and improved. In the coming 2-3 years, the total investment will reach US$750 billion, and the import trade value, US$600 billion. (See China Overview in this edition) Cast Metal Services Pty Ltd (CMS) Exclusive Australian Agent Elkem Foundry Products Division appointed Cast Metal Services Pty Ltd (CMS) as their exclusive agent covering Australia nationally in July 2006. CMS has been the agent for the Queensland and New South Wales regions for many years and will continue to be supported by Elkem's expertise. ISO Classifies Compacted Graphite Iron New standard specifies five grades of CGI from different sources The International Organization for Standards (ISO) has issued a new classification standard for compacted (vermicular) graphite cast iron. ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 157 countries -- one member per country -- with headquarters in Switzerland to coordinate the system. ISO 16112:2006 specifies five grades of CGI based on the minimum mechanical properties measured on machined test pieces prepared from separately cast samples, cast-on samples, or samples cut from a casting. For more information, visit www.iso.org Ausmelt Australia Wins First Lead Smelter Contract in China Ausmelt will supply a lead smelter with a capacity to produce 100,000 tonnes a year of lead to Yunnan Tin Company Ltd (YTCL) in China's Yunnan province. Under the contract, Ausmelt will provide lead smelting technology, design engineering services, commissioning services and equipment. This is the second smelting contract Ausmelt has signed with Yunnan. The first, in 1999, was for a tin smelter to process 50,000 tonnes of tin concentrate a year. The Chinese Government has recently announced new regulations that will require all new lead smelters to have a minimum production capacity of 100,000 tonnes a year. Vesuvius Continues its Expansion in China Vesuvius Group has announced a planned construction of a new £5.3 million crucible factory to be constructed in Suzhou close to Vesuvius' two existing manufacturing sites which make, respectively, flow control products for the continuous casting of steel and fused silica ceramics used in the glass and solar energy industries. Vesuvius has been in China since early 1998 and now has four manufacturing sites producing specialty refractories for the steel and glass industries. The new facility, which will be operational by mid-2007, will produce energy efficient, long life, high performance clay graphite crucibles for the fast growing non-ferrous foundry market.