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CORDIS

Innovative casting process of lighter steel components for the transport industry

Objective


In the project period the following outputs were achieved:
* Material properties and specification for the automotive and aeronautical applications.
* Material selection.
* Ingots of selected material.
* Detailed characterization of alloys
* Selected components and its specifications.
* Detailed simulation tests.
* Design of laboratory experiments/preliminary laboratory results.
* Laboratory experiments data for the numerical model implementation.
* Implemented numerical model.
* Production of pure PMMA L-F patterns.
* Production of crankshaft and rib castings.
* Introduction of cast-in oil channels.
* Fill monitoring of the state-of-the-art casting clusters.
* Environmental investigation of the L-F pattern degradation products.
* Cost benefit analysis.
* Mechanical and micro-structural characterisation.
Objectives and content
The overall object of this project is to develop an
innovative casting technology for manufacture near net
shape steel components, compatible with the mass
production requirements of transport industry.
The proposed approach for reaching this target, is to
advance the Lost Foam technology for its application to
steel.
Lost Foam technology can be considered to be
satisfactorily developed for aluminium alloys and cast
iron, becoming more and more widespread due to its
advantages in comparison with other technologies.
The possible extension of Lost Foam casting to steel
grades represents a great technological innovation and a
very attractive industrial goal due to the following
reasons. At present time the most widespread forming
processes for steel are stamping for sheets and forging
for massive parts; the steel casting technologies, till
now available, are not diffused in the transport industry
mainly because they are not cost competitive and/or not
compatible with mass production.
From the technological point of view, the development of
Lost Foam technology for steel casting will lead to
technical, economical and environmental benefits: near
net shape forming, high casting quality, low tools
investment, high productivity, high process energy
efficiency, reduction of pollution and cast part cleaning
operations for better working conditions. From the
transport industry point of view, there is a very strong
need of innovative technologies for the traditional
materials to remain competitive. Several research
programs (i.e. PNGV, ULSAB) are demonstrating the wide
range of improvement by ferrous materials technologies in
terms of component performances (i.e. weight reduction
for environmental benefit, improved structural behaviour)
as well as production costs saving.
The technical approach proposed will consist of the
following main tasks:
material selection (steel grades) as function of
process and components requirements, - process numerical
simulation,
process development by laboratory and pilot plant
experiments,
industrial applications selection, design, manufacture
and testing; cost/benefit evaluation.
The main expected deliverables of the project are the
following:
Lost Foam casting procedure for steel parts
two different automotive components
one aeronautical components
economical benefits evaluation on real parts.
The planned activities are structured for complementary
competencies (automotive, aeronautical, SME industries)
through quality methodologies in concurrent engineering,
design for process capabilities and simultaneous cost
analysis.

Call for proposal

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Coordinator

CENTRO RICERCHE FIAT S.C.P.A.
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Participants (6)