E

UA Engineering Students Place Second at Metal-Casting Contest

150351, 03-12-15, Engineering Students working

Students in the AFS casting team pour aluminum into a mold in the College of Engineering foundry.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A team of University of Alabama engineering students placed second at the 2015 Student Casting Competition for the Southeast organized by the American Foundry Society.

The competition was held this month in Birmingham.

For the competition, the students, all seniors studying metallurgical and materials engineering, casted a reversible griddle cast of aluminum and brass alloys. The griddle casting was part of a study of a Capstone project for the materials engineering design class.  The students designed the griddle, selected the alloys, performed the casting and mold design assisted by casting and solidification simulation software and cast it in the UA foundry using aluminum and brass alloys.

A furan binder with 3-D mold printing technology was used to create the mold of the griddle for casting. The griddle will be anodized before being used.

At the competition, the students were judged on concept, difficulty, use of casting principles, use of engineering tools, creativity and the presentation of their physical castings. The students turned in an electronic version of the presentation two weeks before the competition.

“The advantage of using 3-D mold printing, rapid prototyping, is that the students were able to produce their intricate molds for casting the griddle quickly,” said Dr. Laurentiu Nastac, associate professor of metallurgical and materials engineering.  “The casted griddle was of high quality, too.”

Members of the UA team included:

  • Sean Perry from Edwardsville, Illinois
  • Ahmad Salman from Jabriya, Kuwait
  • Mark Amason from Ashville, Alabama
  • Desrick Mitchell from Luverne, Alabama
  • Ana L. Diniz Duarte Belem from Brazil
  • Kyle Burns from Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Mallory Creed from Destrehan, Louisiana

Also part of the team is Shian Jia, a graduate student under Nastac from Beijing, China.

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s College of Engineering has more than 5,800 students and more than 130 faculty. In recent years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Portz, Boren, Mitchell and Truman scholars.