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Key Resources for Casting Buyers and Designers

Doug Kurkul, CEO of AFS

This month we are devoting this column to a discussion of resources available to buyers and designers of castings. Some of the resources are new, some long established, and all should be part of your industrial toolbox. 
High-quality castings start with superb designs, using exactly the right alloys for each application. Newly redesigned in summer 2021, CADS (the Casting Alloy Data Search) is a unique resource, provided by the American Foundry Society (AFS) in conjunction with the American Metalcasting Consortium (AMC) and the Defense Logistics Agency. All properties listed in CADS have a known ‘pedigree.’ Whereas some data sources provide outdated information or exclude original process-related details (such as part size, how it was made, or thickness of the material the test bars were taken from), CADS offers detailed casting process pedigree information. This offers you, the casting designer, a higher level of confidence. Access CADS at www.afscads.com.

Another beneficial database for parts purchasers and designers is the Casting Source Directory, which allows visitors to source foundries based on alloy, process, casting weight and geographic location within North America. With hundreds of AFS Corporate Member foundries included, the database is enormously helpful. If you are still not able to find a foundry to produce the casting in question, contact Tom Dore of the AFS staff at tdore@afsinc.org for further assistance. 

Some parts designers also find great value in another resource developed with AMC support, which is a series of design tutorials. These are conveniently available online at no cost. 

The AFS Technical Library is another resource at your disposal if you hold an active membership in AFS. It features more than 15,000 articles from AFS journals, trade shows, magazines and related sources. These are available for unlimited download, free of charge, for members. 

A fifth resource is the upcoming CastExpo in Columbus, Ohio, April 23-26, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. There are several reasons to mark your calendars for this exciting event. First, a half-dozen Buyers & Designers Track educational sessions will be included for the price of admission. Second, AFS expects dozens of foundries will be exhibiting, with expert personnel who can discuss the parameters of your project, right down to reviewing blueprints. Third, because this is North America’s largest metalcasting trade show and congress, the entire supply-chain will be present, making for a rich environment for education and technical networking. 
Finally, a number of the courses presented by the AFS Institute are suitable for designers and purchasers. 

More information is available about these resources by visiting www.afsinc.org and mousing over “Buyers and Designers.” Please do not hesitate to contact AFS with other questions you may have concerning casting designs.