ACRC helps the industry resolve technical issues.  One of the ways in which it does this is by bringing members, WPI faculty and staff together to discuss and brainstorm solutions at bi-annual meetings.  Discussing technical issues with others who share similar challenges leads to quicker understandings and resolutions.

Members are also able to have access to and learn from the extensive expertise and knowledge at WPI – one of the best technological universities in the country.  The ACRC team consists of pioneers in materials processing, solidification processing and powder metallurgy.

Areas of expertise include:

  • Thermodynamics
  • Kinetics
  • Molten metal processing
  • Aluminum alloy development
  • Plasma deposition
  • Spray casting/forming
  • Semi-solid processing of metals

ACRC Case Study:
Taking the guesswork out of helium-assisted sand casting

The Opportunity

ACRC investigated the possibility of using helium in sand casting to improve the rate of heat extraction from the casting, and help expel the process-generated mold gases to achieve better secondary dendrite arm spacing (SDAS) in the microstructure.

case-studyThe Process

Three modes of supplying helium to the mold were investigated:

  1. Cross flow in a partially encapsulated mold
  2. Cross flow in an un-encapsulated mold
  3. Parallel flow in an un-encapsulated mold

The Results

  • Helium-assisted casting with a parallel flow showed improved tensile properties and reduced SDAS by 23% compared to baseline sand castings.
  • Helium-assisted sand casting with a cross flow increased porosity in the cast component and was deemed not viable.