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NADCA Has Funding for HyperCAST R&D

Feb. 1, 2010
Program aims to advance magnesium-composite automotive components
The North American Die Casting Assn. reports that it has received $1.5 million to fund it HyperCAST research project. HyperCAST aims to develop materials and processes for casting high-strength lightweight components for automotive frames, bodies, chassis and powertrain designs, for fuel-efficient passenger cars and commercial and military trucks. HyperCAST is among 22 projects included in NADCA’s 2010 Research & Development Strategic Plan and Roadmap. Its primary focus is on magnesium-based composites produced through “self-propagating high-temperature synthesis” (SHS), also know as auto ignition combustion synthesis. Earlier, NADCA outlined five objectives for HyperCAST research: 1) developing high-strength aluminum- and magnesium-based composite alloys/materials; 2) defining parameters for robust high-volume casting processes for these alloys; 3) establishing material design data; 4) demonstrating and validating the materials and processes through the production of cast components; and 5) transferring the technology (processing guidelines and computer modeling approaches) to industry. NADCA said HyperCAST research will be carried out at the Colorado School of Mines, Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Purdue University and the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Lab. The Association hopes the HyperCAST project will achieve technologies capable of producing cost-effective, lightweight components with productivity enhancements of up to 25% and weight savings of 60% compared to current production cast components.