On Monday 7th December 2020, the West Midlands Branch and a total of 38 attendees from across the UK, were once again treated to this interesting, high standard technical lecture. The lecture ‘Integrated Design Procedures for Volume Produced Cast Aluminum Automotive Components’ was kindly presented by Tony Firkin of Alucast. Tony has a very wide range of experience in the casting sector and joined Alucast in 2016. His expertise and knowledge has helped develop Alucast’s offering of complex structural parts into the automotive sector.


The Technical Lecture gave a summary of the development of a suspension bracket application from the customer (Rover) and the foundry in the 1990s. This enabled a new understanding of best use of new cast materials including the use of ribs and section thickness to control the structures when changing the casting to an aluminium one.

This resulted in a learning cycle that included using the expertise of the Foundry, the Customer and Universities and included fixing the running system as part of the design of experiments, this in turn resulted in the increase in the understanding of the automotive stress engineers, who were validating their designs with fatigue testing programs in Gaydon.

The work led the designers to understand the importance of the feasibility stage of casting design and the importance of understanding the casting process when setting up their supply chains.


The level of interest was clearly shown by the high level of questions asked at the end of the lecture.

ICME members can download the lecture by visiting the ‘members area’ of the ICME website: https://www.icme.org.uk

For non ICME members please contact info@icme.org.uk

Article written by Mark Holliday Prof MICME