Research Paper

Below are the links to the research papers.  Email me summaries of at least four of them as well as posting a summary of your favorite in the comments (directions have changed).  I want to make sure every paper is reviewed at least once.  This will be for 50 points.  If you have not sent me your paper, you may still turn it in for partial credit.  If you do not see yours below, make sure you email me to check on it.

Each of your summaries should include the following:
1.  2+ sentences about the paper.
2.  1+ sentence emphasizing the most important point.
3.  1+ sentence emphasizing the thing you found most interesting.

Corwin Whitefield_Microwave Induced Heating for Metal Casting Furnaces

Chad Porter_Properties and Applications of Non-ferrous Metals

Brian Medema_Induction Furnace research paper

Brandon Pomeroy_DIE CASTING

Bethany Weeks-JapaneseAlloysReport

Andrew Countryman_Iron Production and Use in Ancient Rome

Alexi Ehrlich_Aluminum

Adam Stone_The Bessemer Process

Adam Commons_Reverbratory Furnaces and the Industrial Revolution

William Scheurich_Metal Casting Defects

Thomas Larson_ Pre-Columbus Metalworking in the Americas

Matthew Fant_Permanent Mold Casting

Matt Rogge_Microwave Heating of Metals

Mark Hanson_Metal Casting in the Viking Age

Kris Conrad_Viking-Age Metallurgy

Khinotskiy Yuriy_Blast Furnace

Devin Ford_Lost-Wax Casting and its History

Early Indian Metalwork _ Andrew Lewiswind-powered smelting in sri lanka


About skaad

Professor Laura West, head of Sculpture at Fresno City College, has been casting iron since her undergraduate studies at Southern Illinois University in the late 1980's/early 1990's. This is where her first iron furnace was built. Professor West continued her studies at Idaho State University and then became part of the teaching staff at the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture before moving to Fresno, California. Although Professor West has run and built furnaces of a wide variety of sizes, types and situations, she specializes in smaller furnaces and beginner crews. Laura is known internationally for her iron casting skills. Her small tap out iron cupola which melts 100 lbs/7minutes and has been used in classrooms and workshops from coast to coast. This furnace alone has seen over 30,000 pounds of iron flow through it. Professor West was even a member of a small crew of people who poured iron north of the arctic circle in Alaska. Laura's work has been exhibited internationally and focuses on the placement of cast figurative elements within installation and environmental formats. In the past several years, her work has expanded to include the use of digital technology and rapid prototyping. This research focuses on the use of digitally produced molds and patterns for use with cast metal.
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13 Responses to Research Paper

  1. Will Scheurich says:

    The Bessemer Process by Adam Stone
    This research paper summarizes the accomplishments of Henry Bessemer. It focuses on the process he developed to produce steel. The driving point of the paper is that the Bessemer process uses forced are in molten iron to burn off impurities to make it easier to convert into steel. I thought it was interesting how Bessemer was lead to the process because he wanted to make better gun barrels.

  2. Alexi Ehrlich says:

    Thomas Larson – Pre-Columbus Metalworking in the Americas
    1.) This paper is about what level of metal working the peoples of the Americas had before the arrival of the Europeans. It talks about what techniques the indigenous people had and why they may not have developed certain technologies of metal working.
    2.) I think the most important point in in this paper is that the indigenous people of the Americas did have a multitude of metal working skills despite some current views.
    3.) I thought the most interesting point was that the indigenous people never used the metal for tools or weapons even though they had copper.

  3. Brian Medema says:

    Corwin Whitefield – microwave furnaces
    Corwin begins his paper on microwave furnaces by giving background on how microwave radiation affects different materials. Specifically, a material has to have polar molecules (like water does) in order to absorb microwave energy; these materials are referred to as ‘susceptors’. Metals tend to reflect the energy, often to exciting(!) results. It does not seem there is widespread use of microwave technology in industry, but there have been a number of amateur/home-enthusiasts who have made some interesting developments using different susceptor materials to heat up metals. I thought the combination of crucible and mold to be particularly interesting, as was the combination of graphite (a room-temperature susceptor) and magnetite (a high-temperature susceptor) to create a single powdered material that could achieve higher temperatures than either material could on its own.

  4. Adam Stone says:

    Metal Casting Defects – William Scheurich
    This paper provided the seven major metal casting defects as classified by the foundry industry. Each defect was described clearly as well as potential causes were discussed. The most important point is that one defect can be caused by several conditions so it is the foundry man who will need to be experienced enough to determine the actual root cause. What I found most interesting was how many of these defects we have actually observed in our castings.

  5. Chad says:

    Matt Rogge-Microwave Heating of Metals
    “Microwave Heating of Metals” begins by describing what happens at the particle level to make heating metal in a microwave possible. In the second half of the paper, there is discussion about how to optimize microwave heating of metals. The most important idea in the paper is that reducing grain size reduces the time it takes to heat metal. My favorite part is the description of how microwave heating metal reduces oxidation because microwaves heat from the inside while furnaces heat from the outside.

  6. Yuriy Khinotskiy says:

    Viking Age Metallurgy – Kris Conrad
    The paper talks about the metals and metal casting methods that vikings used. Most often, vikings casting would be done in a clay-walled hearth. The most common type of alloy the vikings made was called “Viking Bronze.” Though the copper-zinc alloy was technically a type of brass.

    • Devin Ford says:

      The Bessemer Process

      1. This paper summarizes the accomplishments of Henry Bessemer. He was known as the father of steel and had 117 patents relating to metal and other processes. His main accomplishment was the Bessemer Converter which helped produce steel from Iron.
      2. The most important fact was he forces air through the steel in order to remove the impurities and this process later became known as the Bessemer Process.
      3. The most interesting fact was that the Bessemer process was almost invented by chance and he just happened to make an observation accidentally and expanded that to help develop a process to greatly help the metal industry.

  7. Andrew Lewis says:

    Permanent Mold Casting
    Matthew Fant

    This paper discusses the use, history and design considerations of permanent, reusable molds for metal casting. Permanent molds allow for tighter dimensional tolerances, better surface finish, and faster production times than traditional sand molds or lost wax casting for parts in quantities greater than 10,000. However, some downsides to the proccess include maintaining the molds, difficult mold modification, and expensive mold production. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly analyze a mold design before having it manufactured. Permanent molds were first constructed with stone molds for pouring copper and were later made out of iron for pouring iron or bronze.

  8. Beth says:

    Microwave Heating of Metals
    Matt Rogge

    Matt’s report gives a very thorough inspection of microwaving heating of metals, both from an industrial standpoint as well as a “user at home” standpoint. He explains how microwaves work in the conventional sense and then goes on to inform the reader how they are modified to be used for metal sintering. For the entire paper, he places emphasis on the feasibility of the creation and use of this type of furnace for both industry (as it could save them massive amounts of energy) and for the at home user (microwaves are a cheap and common commodity that can be easily converted for the use of metal heating)
    Plus, the introductional image alone is worth the download time.

  9. Andrew Countryman says:

    Die Casting: What it is and what it could be
    Brandon Pomeroy

    This paper gives the basic history of die casting and the details of the casting process including how the die is made. In addition to describing the process that is currently used, there is also information about how die casting could change as new technology is introduced into the process. The most important point made in this paper is that 3D printing of dies could drastically reduce the lead time for production of pats and allow for the easy correction of mistakes in the dies. An interesting point was that ceramics could be used to make short term dies that could be used for tests.

  10. Thomas Larson says:

    Lost-Wax casting and its History – Devin Ford

    Lost-Wax casting is a metal casting technique for making molds. A pattern of the final product is created out of wax, and sprues are added for metal to flow through and for gas to escape. The pattern is then coated in a mold material, such as clay or plaster. The mold is then heated to burn the wax out, leaving an empty chamber for the metal to be poured into. The most important feature of this process is that it allows very high dimensional accuracy on a pattern that can be simply shaped by hand, or by numerous other means. I find it interesting that the lost wax method was independently developed in the Middle East, China, Africa, and South America.

  11. Adam Commons says:

    Japanese Non-Ferrous Alloys and their Patination
    Bethany Weeks
    The Japanese have a long history of decorative metal working. Shibuichi and shakudo are copper alloys with silver and gold respectively. Different precentages of alloy material create different colored metals. Patience and careful control over alloying can be used to create widely different materials. The decorative pieces that are made from this technique are mind-blowing and make one stop to appreciate the skill these artists had.

  12. Corwin Whitefield says:

    Andrew Countryman: Iron Production and Use in Ancient Rome
    This paper reviews the bloomery iron-making process, by which Romans produced wrought iron. It also discusses the uses to which iron was put, including general tooling, military equipment, and surgical instruments. The most important thing to note is that because the Romans used the bloomery process for iron production, they were able to make iron by melting out impurities, but not to melt it for casting and so had to forge most if not all iron objects. It is interesting to note that despite the greater strength of iron, the inability to use it in casting processes meant that bronze was generally preferred to it for low cost applications.

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