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Metal Casting Technologies : December 2006
METAL Casting Technologies December 2006 6 BRIEFINGS Using Waste Heat for Energy Savings Recovering low and medium grade waste heat from industrial processes potentially offers substantial energy savings. Satellite technology can be used to monitor hot spots. The high-temperature processes used in producing commodities such as alumina, base metals, iron and steel wastes heat in various forms. According to research scientist Dr John Sanderson of the CSIRO in Australia, little is being done to recover low to medium grade waste heat (less than 500oC), which accounts for more than half of the total heat generated in industry. "Capturing this energy could help industry improve its environmental performance and realise substantial energy savings," he says. "It's a reasonable assumption that thermal imaging data could be used to identify large waste-heat emissions," Dr Sanderson says. More information on Dr Sanderson's research can be found at: www.minerals.csiro.au/processoct06 Robert "Darcy" Hamill Appointed New AFI President The Australian Foundry Insitute has a new President. Darcy Hamill commenced his foundry career in 1979 as a clerical assistant at the now defunct PC Timms & Co Foundry in Perth, Western Australia. He soon became, under the mentorship of Harry White, an estimator/ salesman. He continued to move on and joined SS Engineering & Foundry and then together with Peter Glenny purchased a small non-ferrous foundry. In 2001 he was nominated for a position on the AFI Committee in Western Australia. He has continued to serve on this committee and for the last three years also on the National Council. He is enthusiastic about the AFI Conference in Perth next year as he is firmly convinced that relationships developed during these gatherings are very important. OPINION Australian Metals Research - Leader Environmental Sustainability Led by the UK Stern report and reinforced by Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, western governments have been forced to narrow their focus on climate change and the sustainability of the planet. A creeping awareness in the minds of many millions of people who share and care for the earth have started to explore and ask for solutions as to how industry's mantra of "growth, growth, growth" and "bottom line shareholder benefits" is actually sustainable. Al Gore has stated that our relationship with the planet has been transformed by the magnification and effectiveness of our technologies. The accumulated power of our technologies does not have the dramatic visual effect of a nuclear explosion but, taken altogether, they have magnified our ability to do harm to the ecological integrity of the planet. It is now time to rethink the habit of exploiting the earth in an unconstrained way. Clearly the marketplace has always assisted to allocate resources and assist human endeavour but we can no longer rest on the assumption that the markets will sort it out. The reality is that, without intervention and action they will not. The invisible hand of supply and demand in all its various forms has been a very powerful mechanism to measure value. But the way markets recognise value where the environment is concerned is now flawed. The Metals Casting Industry Reducing its Environmental Footstep The metals casting industry has been in the front line of fire for many years as a heavy polluting industry. However, in recent years there has been increasing acknowledgement and solutions using research, innovation and training. A leader with a firm grasp of the future and recognition of environmental sustainability is the Cooperative Research Centre, (CAST CRC) in Australia which is specialising in research on the light metals aluminium, magnesium and titanium as well as ferrous metals. It is one of the world's leading light metal research institutes and a member of the Global Light Metals Alliance which includes members from Canada, USA, Germany and Austria. The future of the motor vehicle industry and its place in the environmental sustainability profile will heavily depend on increasing clever technology using light metals. CAST has a goal with its Environmental Sustainability program to allow industry to easily apply Life Cycle Analysis techniques to identify strategies to improve their processes and products. The end result will be companies that are able to achieve net environmental gains over their competitor's processes and products. CAST Emission Knowledge Data Bank CAST researchers are also using Life Cycle Thinking which involves the collection of detailed information on environmental impacts to form the basis of an emission knowledge database of materials and processes. This information will allow CAST to ensure research outcomes are sustainable and also to highlight and prioritise industry actions. For the Metals Casting Industry this research and application of its outcomes will be a major contribution to the planet's sustainability. Barbara Cail, Publisher We would welcome your opinions which can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org