The aluminum casting market has become a viable alternative solution in many industrial markets. Understanding how aluminum can replace traditional iron and steel in your product line is only part of the equation. The other part is understanding how they will be produced to enhance part longevity and reduce costs.
As the number of automobiles increases, manufacturers of aluminum parts will be called upon to make more complex high-tech lightweight parts to increase safety and last longer. For this industry, aluminum builds better vehicles. The importance of aluminum in commercial vehicles and cars is increasing due to the many industry advantages. While most people emphasize the lightweight benefits for increasing fuel economy and reducing emissions, we like to also point out that castings made from aluminum can be amazingly complex while also being cost-effective, strong and very durable. Look for more aluminum in each vehicle in the future, including the structure.
Like every “solution,” this one started with a problem. An unnamed foundry supplying exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valves to an auto parts manufacturer could not fulfill the order, and that buyer urgently needed to find an alternative source for aluminum castings. Epcor Foundries in Cincinnati was awarded the business. Then, Epcor’s challenge was to get the new part into production quickly, avoiding the quality problems that the previous supplier faced.
Epcor used ESI Group’s QuikCast casting simulation software to evaluate the initial mold design. They were able to identify several areas where the simulation showed porosity would be a problem. Engineers ran a series of alternative mold solutions while adding risers to feed molten metal to compensate for shrinkage in critical areas of the mold.
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