“Foundry in a Box”

Report from 2016-17 Teaching Transformation and Innovation Grant
Final Summary Report by Paul C. Lynch, assistant professor of Industrial Engineering, Penn State Behrend


Project Summary

Penn State Behrend became a Foundry Educational Foundation (FEF) affiliated school fall 2016. As part of their manufacturing curriculum, Dr. Lynch is developing hands on lab based activities. The campus does not have a metalcasting foundry within the manufacturing lab. To address this, Lynch implemented “Foundry in a Box”, a program developed by the American Foundry Society and Kent State University, for schools that do not have state-of-the-art foundry equipment. The “Foundry in a Box” was also designed for AFS Chapters to conduct outreach activities.

Penn State Behrend secured a Foundry in a Box kit; however, it only included a set of two matchplates, flasks, and tools to make and pour sand molds—and one of the matchplates was not producing quality cast parts. The Schreyer Institute's Teaching Transformation & Innovation grant provided funding for new matchplates (patterns), flasks, tooling, and consumables (K bonded sand and tin) for the Foundry in a Box. As part of the manufacturing solidification processes course, taught by Lynch in spring 2018, students were asked to design new “Penn State Behrend” or “Erie, PA” themed matchplates (patterns) using 3D CAD software. The grant also provided funds to purchase materials to produce the new Penn State themed matchplates. The new matchplates, flasks, and consumables were used in the IE 311 manufacturing processes lab.

Project Instructional Objectives

Objective
(what students will know or be able to do
as a result of the project)
Evidence
(how you’ll know they’ve achieved the objective)
(1) Design Metal Casting Patterns IE 311 Students submitted pattern designs, solidification models, and process plans for manufacturing Penn State/Erie themed designs. They also presented their work as a final project to the entire IE 311 class.
(2) Mold Making, Pouring, and Finishing of Metal Castings Engineering students were able to make molds, pour castings, and finish castings under the supervision of their instructor. They produced finished castings for their instructor and also wrote a report on mold making and casting.
(3) Costing of the Metal Casting Process Engineering students were able to carry out steps (1) and (2) noted above. As part of this activity, they were able to provide a cost analysis of the casting activity while comparing the casting process with other manufacturing processes (i.e., additive manufacturing, machining processes). Students applied all of this knowledge in their final presentation and in answering casting cost questions on quizzes and exams.

January 16, 2018: Industrial Engineering Students (IE 311 – Solidification Manufacturing Processes) Make Sand Molds and Manufacture Castings

Students in IE 311 used the Foundry in a Box kit to make molds, pour castings, and finish castings under the supervision of their instructor. The students produced finished castings for their instructor and also wrote a lab report on mechanical properties, mold making, and casting. This exercise introduced the students to the sand casting process and got them familiar with a horizontal matchplate/pattern for sand casting.

Picture of Penn State Behrend students working on molds and castings in their IE 311 class
Picture of Penn State Behrend students working on molds and castings in their IE 311 class

January 30, 2018: Industrial Engineering Students (IE 311 – Solidification Manufacturing Processes) Tour Urick Ductile Solutions (Sand Foundry) in Erie, PA

Students toured a full-scale sand foundry after they were exposed to sand casting in class and the lab.

Picture of IE 311 students taking a tour at the Urick Ductile Solutions (Sand Factory) in Erie, PA.
Picture of IE 311 students taking a tour at the Urick Ductile Solutions (Sand Factory) in Erie, PA.

February 16, 2018: Design Project Part A: Industrial Engineering Students (IE 311 – Solidification Manufacturing Processes) Submit 3D Matchplate Designs in Lab Groups


Picture of a 3D matchplate designed by IE 311 students.
Picture of a 3D matchplate designed by IE 311 students.

March 2, 2018: Design Project Part B: Industrial Engineering Students (IE 311 – Solidification Manufacturing Processes) Submit Edited 3D Matchplate Designs and Solidification Modeling of Designs in Lab Groups


Picture of an edited 3D Matchplace design and the solidification modeling 
      design by IE 311 students.
Picture of an edited 3D Matchplace design and the solidification modeling 
      design by IE 311 students.

March 2 – 16, 2018: (6) Lab Groups of Industrial Engineering Students (IE 311 – Solidification Manufacturing Processes) 3D print Matchplates on Stratasys 3D printer at Penn State Behrend


Picture of 3D print Matchplates on Stratasys 3D printer by IE 311 students.

The matchplates were Penn State Behrend Theme (Paw Print Checker, Paw Print, State of PA, Penn State Lion Shield) or Erie, PA Theme (Gem for Gem City, Lake Erie Lighthouse)


April 7, 2018: Junior Industrial Engineering Students Use their Matchplates to Manufacture Castings

The students were able to make molds, pour castings, and finish castings under the supervision of their instructor. The students produced finished castings for their instructor and also used the manufacturing experience to put together their final presentation.


Pictures of final molds and castings made by IE 311 students as part of their
      final presentation
Pictures of final molds and castings made by IE 311 students as part of their
      final presentation
Pictures of final molds and castings made by IE 311 students as part of their
      final presentation
Pictures of final molds and castings made by IE 311 students as part of their
      final presentation
Pictures of final molds and castings made by IE 311 students as part of their
      final presentation
Pictures of final molds and castings made by IE 311 students as part of their
      final presentation

April 13, 2018: Design Project Part C: Industrial Engineering Students (IE 311 – Solidification Manufacturing Processes) Submitted Reports on Matchplate Cost Analysis and Production of Castings in Lab Groups


Picture of an example of rapid prototyping cost analysis for making the matchplates.
Picture of an example of rapid prototyping cost analysis for making the matchplates.
Picture of an example machining cost analysis.
Picture of an example machining cost analysis.
Picture of molds and castings.
Picture of molds and castings.
Picture of molds and castings.
Picture of molds and castings.

April 24, 2018: Design Project Part D: (6) Lab Groups of Junior Industrial Engineering Students (IE 311- Solidification Manufacturing Processes) Present their Matchplate Design Work:

As part of the “Foundry in a Box”, 23 Junior Industrial Engineering students were able to design, solidification model, and 3D print patterns for the Penn State Behrend Foundry in a Box. This exercise allowed the students to start with Design and see their designs made into matchplates and poured into castings. Each group completed a design with a Penn State Behrend or Erie, PA theme. On April 24th, each of the (6) lab groups provided a final presentation addressing the following outline:

Presentation Outline:

  1. Matchplate Design (CAD Files/Screen Shots)
  2. Explain Casting Design Concepts (Used in your Matchplate Design):
    Runner and Gating
    Draft and Taper
  3. SolidCast Model of the Designs (Show Pictures and Briefly Explain What each tells you):
    Solidification Time
    Niyama Criterion
    Cooling Rate
  4. Matchplate Manufacturing (Show Pictures of the 3D Printed Matchplate)
  5. Complete Cost Analysis of designing and producing the patterns:
    3D Printing
    Machining
  6. What would you do differently in design [Part (1) and Part (2)] in the future?

Picture of IE 311 students delivering their final presentation.

How did the project contribute to the students’ learning?

Lessons Learned

Overall

This was a very successful Project. Thank you to the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence for providing the resources necessary to make this possible.