The metalcasting industry and future research on the International Space Station

Santner, Joe; Overfelt, Tony
January 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 504 Issue 1, p344
Academic Journal
Fourteen million tons of castings are used annually in ninety percent of all manufactured goods and in all manufacturing machinery making metalcasting the manufacturing backbone of America. There are approximately 3,000 foundries located in 49 states directly providing employment to 200,000 people and indirectly supporting transportation, petrochemical, construction, and other end-user industries. The Solidification Design Center (SDC) began a pioneering effort to address metalcasting industry technical needs to maintain US global leadership in quality, price, and delivery. While individual companies have interacted in the past with the Auburn University SDC, eighty-percent of the foundries employ less than 100 individuals while only six-percent of the foundries employ more than 250 persons. The American Foundrymen’s Society (AFS) formed the Solidification Design and Control Consortium to reach the small businesses in the U.S. metalcasting industry. Over a century of operation has proved the AFS committee structure to be a robust management tool. The recognized metalcasting industry technical needs and the unique opportunities that low earth orbit offers foundry process research are described in the present paper. In addition, the metalcasting approach to prioritize proposals, transfer technology developed within the small business community, and the metalcasting industry concerns regarding working with a government aerospace program are also discussed. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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