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Metal Casting Technologies : March 2010
12 www.metals.rala.com.au BRIEFINGS a 5.4-litre all-aluminum engine in their 2011 Shelby GT500. The new engine is 47 kls lighter than its predecessor's cast-iron engine. The use of aluminum in vehicle engines has grown over the past three years. A study commissioned by The Aluminum Association, Inc., last year showed that, on a component basis, aluminum use for engine blocks has had the largest increase with penetration reaching nearly 70 percent. In the same study, worldwide aluminum content was projected to grow up to 14 billion kls per year --from the current 7 billion kls -- through 2020. At the present time North America ranks as the world leader in aluminum penetration in vehicles, producing more than 50 vehicles that contain more than 10 percent aluminum content. Solidifying research links between University of Queensland and Thailand In February Professor Arne Dahle from Materials Engineering in the University of Queensland visited Thailand to discuss developing further R &D links with Thai researchers, especially those working in the field of light alloys, at King Mongut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) and at the National Metals and Materials Technology Centre (MTEC). The programme was arranged by Dr. Somboon Otarawanna, one of his research students, who has recently returned to take up a research position in metal casting at MTEC after completing his Ph.D. studies in die- casting at Queensland. During visits to KMUTT and to MTEC Professor Dahle gave seminars covering the major aspects of the research being carried out in the solidification group at the University of Queensland. He explained that a number of research projects involve collaboration with other universities and research centres around the world. One developing project on microstructure control in Al Alloys is in co-operation with a group at KMUTT headed by Dr. Chaowalit Limmaneevichitr. In his seminar at MTEC Professor Dahle covered the ways by which commercialization of research output can be achieved giving a large audience of young MTEC research staff the benefit of his experiences with patent law and venture capitalists. Thai Alloy invests to expand production Industrial capacity usage in Thai manufacturing has now climbed back up to 70-80%. With confidence improving Thai SME companies are beginning to invest in plant and equipment. One example is Thai Alloy and Associates Co. Ltd who produce alloy ferrous castings for the minerals, cement and materials handling industries. Currently the foundry, which is situated in Bangkok, Dr. Somboon, Prof. Dahle and Dr. Chaowalit (centre) with some of the cast metals research group at KMUTT. Dr. Somboon, Dr. Pearce, Prof. Dahle and Dr. Anchalee Manonukul touring the pilot plant facility at MTEC.
Media Kit 2010