CastExpo’16, sponsored solely by the American Foundry Society (AFS), touts itself as the single largest trade show and exposition for metalcasting in the Americas. This four-day show that is held only once every three years will host 400 exhibitors and 7,000 attendees.
If you are looking to increase your knowledge of metalworking and casting, you will find plenty of opportunities at the show. There will be courses in identifying the correct casting defect, an introduction to casting alloys, casting material properties, the casting process and an introduction to coreless induction furnace operation.
We’ve tackled casting problems in this blog before and explained how the wrong material or alloy can affect the final product. Optical Emission Spectrometry (OES) is a widely-used, industry-established technology for verifying alloys and an important factor in quality control required for foundries and metal processors who need advanced metal analysis to produce parts for automotive, aviation, aerospace, consumer products, and other industries. OES instruments (which you can see in our booth, #1654) are capable of providing rapid qualitative and quantitative analysis to correct chemistry inconsistencies in real-time and are an optimal solution for casting alloy elemental analysis.
Die castings are an important product of the metalworking industry, found in everything from cars to electronics to building materials — and their alloy make-up must be precise. As an example, die castings made from zinc alloys offer significant advantages over those made from polymers or other metals. Because the strength, durability, thermal and electrical conductivity, formability and castability depend upon the exact formulation, high fluidity zinc die casting alloys are covered by ASTM standard B989. The HF Zinc-Aluminum Alloy is based on ZAMAK alloys, one of two groups of zinc casting alloys made of approximately 4% aluminum that provide excellent die castability. The other family is the ZA alloys, high-strength alloys which contain higher amounts of aluminum.
Each of the different zinc casting alloys requires a very specific formulation to produce the expected characteristics. HF Zinc-Aluminum Alloy, for example, also contains magnesium, copper, iron, lead, cadmium, and tin. The exact percentages of each element, as well as the purity of the zinc and the absence of contaminants must be verified throughout the manufacturing process to guarantee the integrity of the finished product. (Read more about Zinc Die Casting here.)
Gaining this type of insight from experts is one reason this show is so important to the industry. The peer networking and the availability of technology exhibit staff make the show a valuable opportunity to gain knowledge that can help increase efficiency and productivity at your own operation. It is one of the only places where there will be ‘live’ instruments exhibited for attendees to touch and actually operate. In fact, we will be analyzing samples on the exhibit floor. Don’t forget to bring some metal samples to our booth to be analyzed. You can see the results in a matter of seconds and then discuss the findings with our experts on a real-time basis.
When you’re finished with the show, I recommend you visit the Mall of America. Even if you are not a fan of shopping, it has something for everyone, including restaurants, amusement rides, museum, aquarium, and theater. But they don’t have metal analyzers on display, so I suggest you visit our booth or take a look at our video that shows how OES technology can perform reliable and fast quantitative determination of trace and alloying elements in solid metal samples (scroll to the bottom of the page to access the video).
Hope to see you in Minneapolis USA.
April 16-19, 2016
Minneapolis Convention Center, Halls B-E
Twitter: @AmerFoundrySoc #CastExpo16 @ThermoSciMetals