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Metal Casting Technologies : June 2010
38 www.metals.rala.com.au TECHN ICAL FEA TURE TECHNICAL FEATURE Currently four projects are operating: ● Preliminary Study on Aluminium Foam Production Using a Melt Route ● The Development of Freeze Casting Process for Environmentally Friendly and Energy-Saving Production of Powder Materials ● Investigation of Casting Parameters on Defect Formation of Spin Cast Zinc Alloy Fashion Jewelries. ● Development of a Hydrogen-generating Material with High throughput Hydrogen Production and High Net Energy Gain for Direct Use as a Hydrogen-blended Fuel in an Internal Combustion Engine of a Generator. The work has lead to the filing of three patents by MTEC. The first two patents relate to the invention of gas injection machines for aluminium foam production, and the other concerns a dual thermal stages device for real-time in-situ microscopic inspection of structural transformation of materials . Some examples of light alloy casting research in Thai universities Ongoing research projects at Chiang Mai University and at Naresuan University, Phitsanulok in the north of Thailand are involved with electron microscopy (SEM and TEM) studies of the fine scale microstructural changes that occur during thermal treatment of conventionally cast and semi-solid processed Al alloys. Part this work has involved co-operation with Kyoto University in Japan into high resolution TEM studies of aging of Al-Si-Mg alloys. Work  on conventionally cast A356 (Al-7Si- 0.3Mg) has confirmed the precipitation sequences reported by other workers but found that peak hardness corresponded with Figure 3. Microstructure of alumina foam. After S. Srimanosaowapak . Figure 4. Microstructure of squeeze-cast A356 alloy poured at 6500C: (a) without cooling slope, (b) with cooling slope. After Poolthong . MTEC OPENS POST- DOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM IN THAILAND As a boost to R&D in metals and materials MTEC has opened a new post doctoral fellowship program. The aim of this new initiative is to support and encourage Ph.D. graduates in metal and materials technology and related fields, including foundry technology, and to strengthen their research and development experiences, under supervision of experienced researchers. The fellowship program should create a supply of highly qualified researchers who will be driving forces to deliver research outcomes which are beneficial to Thailand. Under the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program up to 6 successful candidates would be sponsored to work at the National Metals and Materials Technology Centre (MTEC). Each Fellowship will be full-time and last for two years. Applicants for the Fellowships must hold a Ph.D. from recognized institutions in Thailand or overseas in the fields of Polymer, Chemistry, Physics, Bio-Medical Engineering, Design and Engineering, Material Sciences, Energy and Environment. The applicants must also have at least one article published in peer-reviewed, renowned scientific literature or must have registered patents.