STANDARDS: YOUR INNOVATION BRIDGE. European Conference – 30th October , Brussels


StaCast (“New Quality and Design Standards for Aluminium Alloys Cast Products”, FP7, 2012-2014) has been addressed to the European Aluminium foundry industry (more than 2000 Companies, mostly SMEs), with the aim of supporting the exploitation of its enormous potential, mainly associated to the increasing demand of lightweight components. The open challenge is that of transforming this industry into a quality/efficiency-driven sector, by developing innovative Standards and Technical Reports useful for design and production of high quality and highly performing cast components.
StaCast main outcomes are:

  • public survey of EU Aluminium foundries, to understand their quality and standardisation requirements,
  • the development of a CEN Technical Report for a reliable classification of defects and imperfections in Aluminium alloys cast products,
  • the development of a CEN Technical Report with the procedure to evaluate mechanical potential of Aluminium-based foundry alloys,
  • the elaboration of engineering guidelines for the mechanical design of Aluminium alloys castings.


METEF 2014 Interview to Franco Bonollo

METEF 2014 – 11-13 June Verona, Italy

Franco Bonollo is full Professor of Metallurgy at the Department of Management and Engineering of Padova University. His scientific activity is focussed on light alloys and composites, foundry processes and their simulation, innovative welding techniques. He is author of about 160 scientific and technical papers. He is also co-Author of the books “Pressocolata delle leghe di alluminio: simulazione numerica del processo”, “Numerical Simulation of Foundry Processes”, “Alluminio: manuale degli Impieghi”, “Handbook of Defects in High Pressure Diecastings”. He won for two times (2000 and 2004) the “Dacco’ Prize”, which is yearly assigned for the best Italian paper on foundry topics. He has been Scientific Coordinator of the EC Leonardo Pilot Projects COPROFOUND (on Numerical simulation of Foundry Processes) and METRO (set up of metallurgy courses with e-learning methodologies). He has been leader of the WP “Quality Mapping” inside the EU Project IDEAL (2002-2005, on the optimisation of cast Aluminium automotive components. He has been Scientific Manager of the EC IP NADIA (New automotive components Designed for and manufactured by Intelligent processing of light Alloys, 2006-2010). He is also responsible of various research projects, carried out in cooperation with Italian and European industrial Companies.

Link: Interview to Franco Bonollo

Deliverable 5.2

Stacast Project website

The StaCast project website is a topic of the Work- Package 5 focused on Dissemination  and Public Reporting (Figure 1) and represents the first achie vement of the project since this website has to be a tool for supporting the intensive communication within the Consortium and to ensure the dissemination of the public results of the project
as well as some specific activities of the Project (e.g. the Questionnaire for Foundries and Suppliers).
Figure 1 - Deliverable 5.2
The StaCast Website has been designed for the StaCast project needs with public and restricted area, including discussion forum for partners, questionnaires, general info, document sharing, administrative & technical databases, events calendar.

Deliverable 1.1

Summary of public surveys and questionnaire answers

WP1 of StaCast Project is aimed at individuating by means of properly elaborated questionnaires (distributed using the mailing lists of each of the Partners) and of dedicated surveys (elaborated by some of the University Partners) the specific standardization needs for what concerns Al alloys castings.
This activity is the direct consequence of the StaCast Project motivation, which is based on four key-issues.

  1. The vast potential of Aluminium Alloys EU Foundry Industry strongly needs a coordinated set of Support Actions, in which a central role MUST be played by the elaboration of new and advanced Standards, particularly in the fields of Defects classification and Mechanical Design, which are mutually inter-related.
  2. The use of a new EU Standard for the Classification of Casting Defects, which will help EU Aluminium alloys foundries at promptly performing corrective actions to reduce/eliminate defects, is becoming strategic. Such Standard will be also a useful “communication tool” among all the actors of the design and manufacturing chain.
  3. The development of a new Standard on mechanical properties is strongly needed too, in order to correctly evaluate the effective mechanical potential of Al foundry alloys.
  4. The design and manufacturing of Al alloys cast components NEED the availability of dedicated rules and guidelines, in order to correctly make use of the two new standards deriving from issues 2) and 3).

The four issues above need, first of all, to be confirmed by a dedicated survey to be carried out on an EU basis. This is the background which led to the set up of the Questionnaire, and to the answers elaboration which are described in the present Deliverable.

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Deliverable 2.1

Database on Defects

Defects are intrinsically generated by casting processes, due to several reasons. The final properties and in-service behaviour of castings are always related to microstructural features and to defects: both microstructure and defects are the results of process stages, alloys properties and dies & tools design. As an example, it should be considered that in HPDC filling stage extreme conditions are established: complexity of components leads to complex dies, and the high production rates required (up to 120 shots/h) lead to very high filling velocities for the molten alloy (up to 40 m/s) with strong generation of turbulence in the flow. Solidification takes place in few seconds, and the die is first in contact with a molten alloy at more than 700°C and, after 30-40 seconds, with a
sprayed lubricant at room temperature. For these reasons HPDC (as well as other Aluminium alloys casting processes, such as permanent mold casting process) can be considered a “defect generating process”. Not only an average 5-10% scrap is typically produced, but the type, size and severity of defects are varying.
From these considerations, it seems that the potential of high-pressure die-casting and permanent mold casting processes will be completely exploited only when the quality level will be perfectly optimised. In this regard, the analysis of defects allows the foundry to monitor the products quality respect to a quality standard. Further, the analysis of defects provide to the foundry useful correlations between defects type/distribution and their origin, so that it could be possible to define process modification for improving the quality.
One of the current targets of the StaCast project is the compilation and dissemination of common tools to allow foundries to define a proper, comparable, quality standard. The first tool to be proposed is a common basis of language, i.e. a terminology and classification of defects in order to help die-casting foundries to face with increased confidence and ability the defect-related issues, to assure quality and reliability of their products.

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