ATEK Announces New President
We wanted to share that Scott Blasius is the new president of ATEK. Scott joined ATEK Metal Technologies in New Hampton, Iowa in 2021, and is responsible for leading the company’s performance and growth. Prior to joining ATEK, Scott spent 27 years holding leadership positions in automotive, metal forming, manufacturing operations across the U.S. Scott has a passion for people development and believes, “Our people are the key to our success in serving our customers with exceptional quality products, on time.” Throughout his career, Scott has focused on creating partnerships with suppliers and customers to provide solutions that create value across the supply chain. Scott served in the US Navy and takes an active role in returning service members to the civilian workforce. When he’s not engaged in these activities, chances are you’ll find Scott enjoying time with his family.
Brian Began Joins AFS as VP, Steve Robinson Transitions
We want to recognize the promotion and transition of our members at AFS Technical Services.
Brian Began has been appointed Vice President, Metalcasting Technical Services and will be our primary ACRC contact. According to Doug Kurkul, CEO of AFS, “Brian’s exceptional technical background, strong administrative skills, and deep familiarity with AFS will allow him to hit the ground running in serving AFS members and advancing the technical success of the metalcasting industry.” To learn more about Brian and his promotion, please see the statement recently published by AFS.
We also want to share that Steve Robison, our primary ACRC contact for many years, will be retiring, but will stay on part-time with AFS through June 2022. We want to recognize his many achievements with another quote from Doug. “Steve Robison has enjoyed a tremendous career of nearly 50 years in the metalcasting industry, working in foundry production, supplier sales and service, as well as the past 26 years at the American Foundry Society. Most recently, Steve has served as Chief Technical Services Officer. AFS and its members owe Steve a debt of gratitude for his dedicated service and commitment to excellence. We are delighted that Steve will be staying on with AFS part-time for a number of months as he transitions into retirement.”
ACRC’s Groundbreaking Technologies in the News
What do this bridge and cylinder block have in common? The cylinder block was made via Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) and the bridge was made by MX3D, all via WAAM. Learn more about these technologies that are being worked on and developed in ACRC’s lab by our talented and committed researchers. Both of these projects were recently featured in Industrial Heating. If you’d like to see the full article, click here.
December Meeting & Lab Visit Reminders
The ACRC meeting will be held virtually on December 9th and 10th. With so many uncertainties, we are playing it safe. We hope that it will be the last time we will do so as we dearly miss the personal interactions. Because some members have decided to attend the meeting in person, the Focus Group (FG) discussions will be held in a hybrid format. Those that are on campus will meet with the research team during the FG discussions, and others will be on zoom. We will use owl technology, so that we will be connecting effectively with each other. We look forward to showcasing our new, and nearly completed ACRC facilities in March. Since the TMS annual meeting will be held February 28-March 3, 2022, in Anaheim CA, which is a 20-minute drive from our campus, we will have an open house on the afternoon of March 3rd (Thursday), with a reception and dinner following the event. More details to come.
SPEE3D and WBTL Join ACRC
By Victoria Birk Hill, October 5, 2021
We welcome Steven Camilleri (CTO & Co-Founder) and Bruce Colter (Vice President & GM) of SPEE3D, a worldwide leader in Metal 3D printing, using their patented Cold Spray Additive Manufacturing (or CSAM) technology. SPEE3D makes the fastest Metal 3D Printers in the world to print parts, coat parts and soon to repair parts. Our CSAM technology is being used by Aerospace & Defense, Oil & Gas, Energy, Automotive, Healthcare, Consumer Packaged Goods, and in many Casting applications within these industries. SPEE3D is headquartered in Melbourne Australia with a North American subsidiary in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
We also welcome WBTL, a national high-tech enterprise specializing in R&D, manufacturing and sales for products of automotive safety systems and advanced driver assistance systems. WBTL is now supplying 52 customers including GM, SGM, Ford, Volvo, PSA, Mahindra, Chery, Changan, BAIC, Geely, SAIC, GAC, GWM, etc.. worldwide. Bethel Automotive Safety Systems Co., Ltd. (WBTL) is investing $50 MUSD in a new plant in Mexico; in Alianza Industrial Park in the Saltillo area of Coahuila State. In the first phase, WBTL will build over 20,000 SQM facility for Aluminum casting and machining to cover automotive chassis components such as knuckles and control arms. Foundation brakes and brake controls will be introduced in the future as needed. This facility will be commissioned in Q3 2022. We welcome Dr. Yongbin Yuan, Founder and CEO of WBTL. Learn more here.
As Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum said: “The 21st century is not about socialism nor capitalism, but about talentism”. We are happy to report that Brandon Fields, Cheolmin Ahn, Taiki Shirai and Shri Shankar have joined the ACRC team and are conducting their doctorate studies with us. Cheolmin is working on the newly launched thermal management project (Steve Robison- Focus Group Chair), and Shri is working on the Green Alloy project (Stuart Wiesner and Martijn Vos- Co-Chairs). Brandon and Taiki are both working on AM projects; Brandon on Al alloys, and Taiki on the solidification during WAAM processing. Our new cadre of talent will be introduced during our December consortium meetings. Meet more or our research staff.
December Meeting Update
The Board has decided that the ACRC consortium meeting will be held virtually on December 9th and 10th. With so many uncertainties, we are playing it safe. We hope that it will be the last time we will do so as we dearly miss the personal interactions. Because some members have decided to attend the meeting in person, the Focus Group (FG) discussions will be held in a hybrid format. Those that are on campus will meet with the research team during the FG discussions, and others (virtual) will be on zoom. We will use owl technology, so that we will be connecting effectively with each other.
We look forward to showcasing the new, and nearly completed ACRC facilities. One opportunity is in March 2022. The TMS annual meeting will be held Feb 28-March 3, 2022, in Anaheim CA, which is a 20-minute drive from our campus. We will have an open house on the afternoon of March 3rd (Thursday), with a reception and dinner following the event. More details will be given in due time.
Meet Our Newest Members: CPC Group and Persimmon
By Victoria Birk Hill, July 29, 2021
CPC Group: We welcome our newest members Victor Khristov and Vincent Khristov of CPC Group, which designs and sells casting machinery and resources specifically tailored to the automotive chassis components market. Counter Pressure Casting (CPC) is an innovative process that combines economy with highly reliable mass production technology to manufacture superior quality aluminum parts. CPC uses two separate pressure chambers. The process begins by equally pressurizing both the furnace and the mold chambers. The pressure in the furnace is increased while the pressure in the mold chamber is released. (The pressure differential is usually between 300 to 1,000 mbar.) This allows the melt to rise in the filling tube(s) with constant counter pressure on the melt’s surface. The filling process is non-turbulent and allows for better control and uniformity. The continuous counter pressure on the casting chamber also prevents the introduction of gases that normally occurs during filling in other processes.
Persimmon Technologies: We also welcome Martin Hosek and Jay Krishnasamy of Persimmon Technologies, a worldwide leader in robotics and electric motor technology. Persimmon provides vacuum robotics for the semiconductor, LED and flat panel display equipment markets worldwide. Persimmon has also developed a next generation electric motor technology using additive manufacturing techniques. Persimmon is wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. (SHI), a $7 Billion intergraded conglomerate. Persimmon is headquartered just outside of Boston in Wakefield, Massachusetts.
Mobile Foundry Concept Explored at ACRC
By Victoria Birk Hill, June 9, 2021
The army-directed research that ACRC is working on in collaboration with other research centers is featured in the June issue of Modern Casting. The research is exploring the viability of a mobile foundry, so that urgently needed replacement parts can be cast quickly in the field. Read more.
Prof. Apelian Receives Drexel Alumni Award
By Victoria Birk Hill, May 17, 2021
Congratulations, Diran for being recognized by the Drexel Alumni Board of Governors as a recipient of its 2021 Drexel Alumni Awards. Each year, the Drexel Alumni Awards are presented to members of the Drexel University community for their outstanding achievements in their professions and communities, and for their continued contributions and commitment to the University.
Our Research in the News
ACRC to Write Column in Industrial Heating
Prof. Apelian Recipient of AFS Awards of Merit
By Victoria Birk Hill, Feb. 16, 2021
Every year AFS presents Awards of Scientific Merit for “outstanding technical papers, meritorious technical contributions or services, and the development of a new process, production method, or engineering advancement having future possibilities.” This year, we are excited to announce that our director, Diran Apelian, Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at University of California, Irvine has received the award for “His gold-standard contributions to the foundry industry in molten metal processing and solidification, alloy development and fatigue behavior of cast materials.” Learn more about this great honor here.
Prof. Apelian Joins Expert Panel on Future Job Growth
by Victoria Birk Hill, December 17, 2020
ACRC’s founding director, Diran Apelian is part of an expert panel hosted by Zippia that weighs in on current job-market trends. Diran was asked about his opinion on where the job market for recent graduates is heading, as well as how young graduates entering the industry can be adequately prepared during this uncertain economic climate. To see his answers, please check out this article.
ACRC Relocates to UCI
by Victoria Birk Hill, August 15, 2020
We are excited to announce that effective July 1, 2020, ACRC is now part of the University of California, Irvine. It’s new home at UCI is the Institute for Design and Manufacturing Innovation in the Samueli School of Engineering, which will include research into additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence for manufacturing, big data and other industry 4.0 topics, all critical for advanced cast metal products. ACRC’s board of directors voted unanimously to relocate, following its director, Diran Apelian’s appointment as Distinguished Professor at UCI. The collaborative, under Apelian’s direction, will continue its work bringing fundamental understanding to existing processes, develop new methods, and address management-technology interface issues with industrial partners. Learn more
NSF Awards $18 Million to UCI
by Victoria Birk Hill, August 26, 2020
The National Science Foundation recently awarded $18 million to UCI in support of a new materials research science and engineering center. ACRC is now part of this group. UCI is one of three MRSECs newly funded by the NSF in 2020, joining 16 other existing centers at leading research institutions in the United States. The UCI MRSEC, which officially begins its six-year operation period on Sept. 1, will engage researchers in the discovery and development of materials with new capabilities – addressing grand challenges in advanced manufacturing, human health and national defense. Using sophisticated tools, such as those found in UCI’s recently established transmission electron microscopy facility, scientists and engineers will probe and electronically control substances at the atomic level. Learn more.
Conformal Cooling Research Aims to Reduce Die Cast Scrap
By Victoria Birk Hill November 12, 2019
ACRC in collaboration with Amercian Metalcasting Consortium, The North American Die Casting Association, Mercury Marine and Ryobi Die Casting are working on conforming cooling research that uses additive manufacturing and powdered steel to create die cast die inserts with unique conformal cooling systems to aid in solidification and reducing die cast scrap. The research, which read more
OnSpec for Measuring Melt Chemistry to Improve Metal Quality, Reduce Energy and Gaseous Emissions, and Greatly Increase Production Opportunity
Altek Press Release, November 1, 2019
Companies that process scrap aluminum require strict knowledge of the melt’s chemistry to assure the correct mechanical properties are achieved in the final product. Great care is taken in periodically measuring the chemistry, while the scrap is being melted, by taking molten samples, freezing, machining, and measuring them in a spark spectrometer. read more
Inaugural World Forum for Materials Science and Engineering
By Victoria Birk Hill October 17, 2019
We are excited to announce that the first ever world forum on Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) met last week in Wuhan, China to focus on sustainable development. There is no question that the field of MSE is going through unprecedented changes. With the advent of nine enabling technologies and Industry 4.0, we are facing read more
ACRC is FEF Certified
By Victoria Birk Hill June 26, 2019
The Advanced Casting Research Center and WPI worked together to officially become part of the FEF network of schools, dedicated to the next generation of talent for the metal casting industry. WPI earned high marks for its commitment to its lab and foundry activities, including a new furnace, molding equipment, new space and associated devices. Read more