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The Steel Founders' Society of America Quality Assurance Task Force identified oxide macroinclusions as a universal problem experienced by users of steel castings. SFSA along with the Department of Commerce and the Department of Energy have sponsored research directed at reducing the occurrence of macroinclusions in steel castings. The Clean Cast Steel Technology program has investigated melting practice, pouring practice, gating practice, ladle treatment, and special devices such as filtration and analog simulation of mold pouring and filling.
In-plant trials have demonstrated a dramatic improvement in casting quality with submerged pouring of steel castings. Research is currently underway in optimizing foundry melting practice to reduce macroinclusions. A 30–50% reduction in macroinclusion occurrence has been observed in production castings at the foundries participating in the trials. Analog simulation and in-plant trials of pouring practices have demonstrated that poor gating practice can increase air entrainment and oxide inclusions. Ladle treatments such as calcium wire injection has been demonstrated in plant trials to significantly reduce oxide defects in steel castings. Experiments have been conducted at participating foundries to examine the benefits of filtration on casting quality. Filtration has been shown to reduce rework and scrap by 70% in some cases.
castings, steel, macroinclusions, reoxidation, submerged pouring, filtration, calcium wire injection, analog modeling
Vice president, Technology, Steel Founders' Society of America, Des Plaines, IL
Executive vice president, Steel Founders' Society of America, Des Plaines, IL
Research engineer, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL