Held on 11th April, the 2019 ICME Chesterfield & Sheffield Branch one-day technical seminar was hosted at The Advanced Manufacturing Park facility, near Sheffield and attracted good attandance. The following is a summary of the presentations made during the day.


Andrew Laing and his father Alistair travelled down from Scotland and gave a very interesting paper on the history developments and projects at Charles Laing Foundry, established in 1920 by Andrew’s grandfather in Edinburgh.

They also highlighted examples of the architectural iron restoration projects recently undertaken at Charles Laing & Sons using historical product catalogues.

Ulrich Voigt, product manager – feeders & filters at ASK Chemicals Germany, gave a presentation on the many new developments in feeder technology for steel iron and Cu based alloys – including the new KMV & Optima range of feeders designed to maximise casting yield, minimise dressing time and reduce costs.

Ulrich explained the benefits of new feeder designs used for high production greensand applications.

Will Jeffs & Jon Donohoe of Cti gave an update on member services, focused on the environmental monitoring of emissions as they explained that this requirement continues to increase.

After lunch, Richard Heath, health & safety advisor at the Cast Metals Federation gave an update regarding recent demands on foundries to protect employees from welding fumes and other similar hazardous emissions.

He explained how the increased charges from HSE could quickly escalate or result in costly prohibition notices being issued to foundries.

In a varied program, Mark Rixham of Simpson Patterns then gave a very interesting presentation entitled: The changing face of patternmaking in the 21st Century.

Speaking fluently with the benefit of first hand experience, he explained the problems and advances in materials technology that are changing the shape of patternmaking in the modern era.

A second presentation from Cti by Matt Cawood described the research projects currently in operation at the organisation.

These included: cast versus forged properties of Ti alloys bringing into question long held beliefs in the aerospace industry in favour of forging; along with interesting results from counter gravity pouring of Al alloys supporting Professor John Campbell’s long held theories regarding detremental oxide film formation during pouring.

Many of the local steel foundries present during the day – following the lead by Jim Erskine at Progress Rail – have also explored the advantages of reducing oxide formation during pouring since Prof Campbell started the debate at a previous technical seminar.

A tour of Cti facilities concluded the day.