Schaumburg, Ill. The American Foundry Society (AFS) and its publication Metal Casting Design & Purchasing magazine announced O’Fallon Casting, O’Fallon, Mo., as the winner of the 2013 Casting Competition. The metalcaster won with its electronics housing produced for the defense industry. The component’s elegant design and incredible detail exemplifies the capabilities of the investment casting process.
The customer avoided hours of fabrication and assembly by combining multiple parts and features into a single, rigid piece. It is lighter and more precise than a comparable fabrication; secondary machining also was minimized.
The customer, who asked to remain confidential, was familiar with the investment casting process and worked with O’Fallon’s engineers to pack the part with functional features and elements while keeping it light. Thin walls (0.06 in.) keep the weight low, while a lattice of ribbing provides rigidity. Holes and slots further remove unnecessary material. Functionally, the casting contains a cardguide slot and bosses as mounting features for electronics. Cast fins on the exterior act as heat sinks for the sealed interior, and a cylindrical clamp-half is cast integrally on the housing’s side. Two cast-in holes avoid secondary machining requirements.
“Just look at it and say ‘wow,’” said one of this year’s casting competition judges. “The fins, the holes, the need for dimensional stability—electronics housings will continue to demand more features as more electronics are jammed into smaller spaces.” O’Fallon was recognized for its winning casting during the President’s Luncheon April 9 at CastExpo’13 in St. Louis.
Ten other castings were honored as Best in Class and Honorable Mention winners.
The Best in Class winners are:
- Carley Foundry, Blaine, Minn., for its 750-lb. aluminum radar casting produced via the nobake sand casting process. Converted from machined plates welded together, the design resulted in a 67% reduction in part cost and enabled the end user to realize a substantial tooling cost savings.
- Dotson Iron Castings, Mankato, Minn., for its ductile iron planter row unit. Six iron castings replaced 30 stamped steel parts for a new planter that had double the planting speed and seed placement accuracy of 99%.
- Monarch Industries Ltd., Winnipega, Manitoba, Canada, for its ductile iron Razr disc opener. Six machined castings replaced six weldments of 35 steel pieces. The casting design increased the part’s torsional rigidity through material placement and widening of cross sections.
- Signicast Investment Castings, Hartford, Wis., for its steel investment cast shaft, worm gear. Converted from a machined from solid part, the single casting requires no machining and resulted in a 40% cost reduction.
- Stahl Specialty Co., Warrensburg, Mo., for its aluminum coolant collector produced via permanent mold casting. The complex aluminum part provides significant weight savings from its predecessor.
Honorable Mention winners are:
- Barron Industries, Oxford, Mich., for a 1.275-lb. aluminum, investment cast duct for General Dynamics’ Abrams tanks.
- Joy Global Surface Mining, Milwaukee, for a 3,212-lb. steel boom foot produced via nobake sand casting.
- Brillion Iron Works, Brillion, Wis., for a 90-lb. sand cast ductile iron valve housing.
- Denison Industries, Denison, Texas, for its aluminum main housing and bulkheads used for industrial-sized variable transmissions.
- Victualic Co., Easton, Pa., for its ductile and austempered ductile iron Sym-Ply T20 clamp used as part of a gang wall forming system.
- The American Foundry Society is a not-for-profit organization formed in 1896. With its headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill., AFS provides members and consumers with information and services to promote and strengthen the metalcasting industry.