Robust, and FLEXible CAST iron manufacturing

The FLEXICAST project presents knowledge-based technologies that aim to follow the way to transform the conventional (batch-by-batch) foundry process into a flexible (mold-by-mold) process. The proposal technologies will be applicable not only to new cast iron foundry lines, but also is readily available to be retro-fitted to existing plants. The specific objectives are: a) A cast iron production cell. Together with melting, treatment and pouring sub processes in a cast iron production cell is essential and imperative. We propose to install the melting shop closer to the pouring system kept closed on the mould carrousel, while the transfer and treatment ladle is removed. The widespread adoption of new melting shop as an operating process is in itself fostering the creation of even more powerful induction-plasma power supplies, versatile melt control technology, high-power density furnaces, temperature control systems, nodularization systems(magnesium vapour), inoculation systems, and automated pouring systems. b) Integration of Artificial Intelligence-based Control System. The objective is to develop a software platform. This can help us to the prediction of local structures, phases and ultimately the local mechanical properties, to asses casting quality in the foundry. In this point, also, three specific methodologies will be studied and improved: DTA analysis and on-line microstructural analysis and X-ray for on-line inspection. c) A robot cell for automated metal finishing processes. d) Demo pilot plant in real industrial settings in order to demonstrate a clear breakthrough using project development in comparison with the state-of-art solutions. Some results are: a) Cast iron manufacturing cell represents, at least, 30% energy reduction in comparison with conventional melting systems. b) Drastic reduction melt temperature scattering during molding process. Reduce metal transport (No transfer and treatment ladles). c) Overheating reduction. d) Reduce rejection of casting pieces.
More information
Web resources:
Start date: 01-11-2012
End date: 31-10-2016
Total budget - Public funding: 9 249 664,00 Euro - 5 700 000,00 Euro
Call topic: Innovative technologies for casting, material removing and forming processes (FoF.NMP.2012-7)
    Comment: D7.2 Pre-standard and safety rules Cast iron is a material quite difficult to standardize, in the sense of the cast iron properties prediction that we may expect to found in a specific cast iron piece. Flexicast project aims to propose a more exhaustive document. The main milestone is to introduce and use the concept of probability in the assessment of values.