The Cast Metals Federation announced a series of honorees in its year-end awards program, leading with the selection of a high-performance cylinder head produced by Grainger & Worrall for Cosworth, the designer and builder of motorsports engines, as the Component of the Year for 2013.
The CMF is a trade association representing the metalcasting industry in Great Britain.
Grainger & Worrall is a producer of structural castings in aluminum and iron grades, and among its operating specialties are custom designed and produced castings for motorsports clients.
The award winning sand casting in A354 aluminum weighs 11 kg (24.25 lb.) and is an updated version of a casting that was reintroduced by Cosworth in 2010 for its Formula 1 engines.
“The cylinder head achieved extraordinarily consistent results with no casting ever failing on the track,” the CMF noted.
"This is a component right at the forefront of automotive casting technology," stated John Parker, CEO of the Cast Metals Federation. "At every stage of the manufacturing process this component pushes the boundaries to achieve reliability, performance and lightness to help develop extra power and speed from the engine."
Other castings in consideration for the award included a 1.2 metric ton steel high-pressure pump housing produced by Darwins Holdings; an investment cast wing tip developed by Aeromet International; and a suite of castings for the bed of a new hospital scanner, made by Harrison Castings.
"The CA cylinder head is typical of the highest standards expected by the demanding motorsport environment and we are grateful to Cosworth for allowing us to reveal one of our many specialist Motorsport castings usually kept under tight security," said Edward Grainger, director of Grainger & Worrall.
"The component represents the pulling together of technological advances, its application, along with the desire and tenacity to make what are often very small but incremental steps to succeed.” Grainger continued. “This culture to deliver excellence within race deadlines is what we are most proud of, and continues to push us forward ready for the next challenge."
Innovative Company, Breakthrough Alloy
The Federation also recognized PMS Diecasting, a highly automated producer of zinc castings as the ‘Company of the Year’ for 2013. Over the past 18 months, the operation in Rotherham, England, relocated to larger premises and set up two new companies to improve customer service, and also improved its financial performance.
"PMS Diecasting are an example of a strong, motivationally run foundry with a fully engaged and involved workforce," explained Parker, of the CMF. "Their commitment to the customer, the staff and the bottom line shows a company at the top of its game."
Three other U.K. foundries contended for the annual award: Alucast, Eurac Poole, and M. Sutton Non-Ferrous Founders.
Finally, CMF selected the A20X aluminum alloy developed by Aeromet International plc as the first-ever honor for its Innovation Award. Developed by Aeromet over a 12-year project, the high-performance alloy for aerospace applications “offers higher strength-to-weight ratios, improved corrosion resistance, extended fatigue life and elevated temperature properties compared to any conventional cast alloy,” CMF reported.
"The introduction of a new alloy is a rare occasion, and particularly one that brings with it the benefits that A20X does," according to John Parker. "Aeromet's commitment and achievement in bringing this new alloy to market has been considerable, but it is this continuous striving for innovation that takes our industry forward."
Aeromet International, of Worcester, produces sand and investment castings in aluminum and magnesium. Another of its developments, a jet plane winglet casting, also was considered for the Innovation Award, as were an insert resolution offered by CastAlum, reduced prototyping accomplishments by Grainger & Worrall, and a new pattern radio identification system developed by Omega Machinery.
"This recognition is the icing on the cake for what has been a long and difficult development period in bringing A20X to market," stated Neil Goddard, business development director at Aeromet International plc. "Having gained the two key industry approvals, the alloy is now gaining traction within the aerospace and defense sector for both sand and investment castings."