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Metal Casting Technologies : September 2006
www.metals.rala.com.au 30 powder metallurgy. The winner for post graduate work was Dr. J. Wannasin from Prince of Songkla University in Hat Yai who explained his research on semi-solid processing of Al Alloys. His work is being funded by the Thai Reverse Brain Drain Scheme which encouraged Dr. Wannasin to return to Thailand from research work at MIT in the US. Over the past year MTEC -- The National Metals & Materials Technology Center, which celebrates its 20th birthday this September, has renewed efforts to interact with Thai manufacturing industries including foundries and die casting shops by providing a wider range of training programs, technical services and consultancy. The main objective is to encourage non-joint venture Thai companies to first of all understand the technology of the materials and processes that they use, so that they can go on to make improvements to their technical control, quality, efficiency and their environmental performance. For example, the use of computer technology for design and engineering applications is still very limited in SME metal casters in Thailand so during the past year the CAD/CAM/CAE Technology Program has been expanded. This follows the setting up of a Manufacturing & Design Technology Research Group, whose focus is to integrate research on materials, processing and performance with computer based design and engineering aspects. The Program seeks, through training and consultancy, to develop the ability of industrial personnel to make effective use of software across all manufacturing processes. To facilitate more interaction between industry and academics the former MTEC Network Laboratories in Thai Universities have been reorganized as Specialized Technology Units (STUs). MTEC has now built up a strong Casting group that includes the Casting Center of Excellence STU at King Mongut's University of Technology at Thonburi, and has developed a close working relationship with several major automotive castings suppliers including Siam Nawaloha, Somboon Group, Daisin, Lemmerz Wheel, etc. Typical projects with industry include: ■ Use of mould filling and solidification simulation together with improvements in liquid metal treatments to improve the soundness of Ductile Iron automotive castings. ■ Process mapping and optimization of the production of low pressure die-cast wheels. ■ Improving melt quality in SME Aluminium casting shops. A practical example from the work on quality improvement with Aluminium castings producers is the development of a transportable automatic pouring unit to cast standard test bars (as illustrated) to overcome the variability problems experienced with manually poured test bars. This unit provides more controlled filling of test bars than manual pouring thus allowing more reliable assessment of melt quality in terms of tensile property measurements. TFS and Training Following their relocation back to new offices at the BSID building in the Bureau of Supporting Industries complex in Bangkok, the Thai Foundrymen's Society (TFS) is continuing to promote technical upgrading of all Thai foundries by offering seminars and conference/works visits. In April, with the support of Keikinzoku Co. of Japan, the TFS organized the 2006 Bangkok Die Casting Congress, at which over 100 delegates listened to presentations by die casting experts from Japan. A party of 40 TFS members visited China to attend the Metal + Metallurgy China event in Beijing and to run the rule over competition from China and elsewhere. In May the TFS cooperated with MTEC to provide seminars at the Intermach 2006 exhibition held at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC), 45 delegates attending a one-day course on Prevention of Casting Defects. The 3rd Thai Foundrymen's Conference is due to be held during the forthcoming Metalex show at BITEC from 23-26th November, the theme will be "Innovation for Better Casting". Almost US$35,000 worth of sand testing equipment has recently been donated to improve facilities for education and training in mould & core materials technology at the Center of Excellence in Metal Casting Technology (CEMCT) in the Faculty of Engineering at King Mongut's University of Technology, Thonburi. The state of the art equipment was provided by Dantherm Filtration Ltd, formerly DISA Air Group and will used for both research projects and training. In a special ceremony Associate Professor Ake Chaisawadi gave honorary tokens of thanks to Mr. Henrik Friis, Managing Director, and Mr. Sutthichai Maneeratphongsuk, Foundry Product Manager, the representatives of Dantherm Filtration Thailand. Mr. Henrik Friis, MD of Dantherm Filtration, with staff members of the CEMCT, Dept. of Production Engineering, King Mogut's University of Technology during presentation of sand test equipment by Dantherm AsianFoundryOverview