For the third time in six years, O’Fallon Casting was recognized in 2014 by the Investment Casting Institute with their “Aerospace Casting of the Year” award. Receiving this award is special award as it is granted by industry peers to honor an outstanding example of the capabilities of the Investment Casting process.
This year’s ICI Casting Contest Winner is unique among other award winners as it is an aluminum alloy prototype that was manufactured from the CAD solid model of a Dip Braze design. As such the appearance of the part so resembles a “Sheet Metal” housing that many who see the part are at first unable to distinguish it as a casting. This reaction shows the brilliance of this entry and why it was selected as the winner by the Judges of Casting Competition.
As you observe this casting you will notice that it is comprised of numerous thin (.05”) flat members. Consequently this 18” x 8” x 5.5” structure is very lightweight, weighing less than one pound. As the part is not designed to be manufactured as a casting the solid model does not contain any of the fillet radii that are so essential in good casting design.
Although these obstacles will be overcome in a redesign of the part for the casting process the existing configuration presents a significant challenge to the manufacture of a cast prototype. Despite the inherent challenges O’Fallon Casting’s Investment Casting process was successful in producing two castings from two SLA Patterns.
The one-piece prototype casting is structurally more rigid and dimensionally more accurate than the Dip Brazed assembly currently in use by the Customer and well demonstrates that Investment Casting offers significant advantages and is a better design and manufacturing alternative. A one-piece Investment Casting design will reduce the part count and enhance the manufacturability of an engineered product.
The Sales Engineers at O’Fallon Casting are skilled at Concurrent Engineering and will be pleased to assist our Customers to develop parts as good casting designs.