Technology Committees


Specialty Alloy & Foundry Technology Committee Activities

The SAFTC met on 19–20 March 2014, Huntington, W.Va., USA
Tom Kantor, SAFTC papers chair, reviewed the SAFTC sessions at AISTech 2014. Session chairs were reminded to register, read papers and contact authors.
Nominations of SAFTC officers took place during the SAFTC meeting at AISTech in May.
Presentations given during the meeting included:

“Engineering Products for the Steel Industry,” Mike Barraclough, Hammers Industries.
“Thermite Reduction,” Mike Sullivan, Ironmasters LLC.
“3D Printing and Advanced Manufacturing,” Dennis Jarvis, Robert C. Byrd Institute.
“Combustible Dust Extraction,” Joe Flinn, ENGLO.
“Carbon — Carbon Composites for Molten Metals Processing,” Matt Ostrofsky, Carlise.

The SAFTC toured the Museum of Radio & Technology Inc., Richwood Investment Castings Inc., High Performance Heat Treating and Special Metals.

The SAFTC met on 12–13 November 2013, Birmingham, Ala., USA - Tom Kantor, SAFTC papers chair, reviewed the sessions for AISTech 2014. The SAFTC has scheduled two sessions on Tuesday, 6 May. Session chairs were selected.
The AIST Modern Electric Furnace Steelmaking Training Seminar is to be held on 3–7 February 2014 in Birmingham, Ala., USA. There was discussion on the lack of concentration on Specialty Steelmaking, and it was decided to look into reverting to the former stand-alone Specialty Steelmaking Training Seminar for 2015.  Inclusion of induction melting was suggested, and a conference call for further discussion was planned for 10 December 2013.  
The SAFTC enjoyed a plant tour of American Cast Iron Pipe Co.
An evening reception was held at the Vulcan Park and Museum, along with a presentation on non-destructive testing by Resonant Acoustic Inspection.
SAFTC members were able to attend a joint meeting with the Southern Division of the Steel Founders’ Society of America (SFSA) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) on Wednesday, 13 November. The host was Charles Monroe, and the meeting included presentations by SFSA executive vice president Raymond Monroe and John Griffin. Also included was a tour of the Materials Processing and Applications Development (MPAD) Center, and presentations by UAB students.

The SAFTC met on 24–25 October 2012 in Hershey, Pa. The committee was taken on three plant tours. David Yopconka, plant manager, McConway & Torley LLC, led the morning tour for the committee. In the afternoon, Warren Bieger, chief executive officer, Frog, Switch & Manufacturing Co., conducted a tour of his facility. The final tour was at Pennsylvania Precision & Cast Parts Co., which concluded a full day of touring steel and foundry operations.
Mark Suer presented the lineup of papers that will be given in two sessions at AISTech 2013. The joint Electric Steelmaking and Specialty Steelmaking Training Seminar program, which will take place in February 2013, was discussed. Two tours of CMC Steel Arizona are planned for this seminar. Presentations included, “Modeling of Castings,” by Dr. Christoph Beckermann, University of Iowa, who gave an overview of his work in the modeling of ingot casting, sand casting and continuous casting; “Specialty Steelmaking Benchmarking Module,” by Jeralyn Brown (Management Science Associates Inc.), demonstrating the new AIST Process Benchmarker; and “Special Refractories for Specialty Metallurgy,” by Howard Lowenstein (Holland Manfacturing), which highlighted refractory solutions for specialty steel melting. The next SAFTC meeting will be held on Wednesday, 6 February 2013 during the joint training seminar in Arizona.

The Specialty Alloy & Foundry Technology Committee (SAFTC) met on Tuesday, 8 May 2012 in Atlanta, Ga. The SAFTC officers for 2012–2013 are: Mark Rodney, chair; Andy Pinskey, vice chair; Mark Suer, papers chair; and Allen Chan, education chair. The 2012 Steel Industry Fatalities Report was reviewed. Discussions included recent incidents in India (blast furnace) and Europe (heating furnace). Chan reviewed the program outline for the 2013 joint EAF and Specialty Steelmaking Training Seminar on 4–8 February 2013 in Scottsdale, Ariz. The host plant will be CMC Steel Arizona.

The next SAFTC meeting is scheduled for 24–25 October 2012 near Grantville, Pa. Tour sites selected are McConway Foundry, Regal Cast, PA Precision and aluminum caster Boose. Mark Rodney has contacted Prof.Christoph Beckermann of the University of Iowa as a guest speaker, along with reaching out to American Foundry Society members to participate in this meeting. A potential joint session with the Refractory Systems Technology Committee for AISTech 2013 was discussed, with Raymond Monroe presenting a paper on Foundry Refractories.

The Specialty Alloy & Foundry Technology Committee (SAFTC) met in Charleston, S.C., during AIST’s 17th Modern Electric Furnace Steelmaking Specialty Training Seminar. There were 10 SAFTC members in attendance. A review of the 2011 Steel Industry Fatalities Report was followed by a safety roundtable discussion. Mark Suer, SAFTC papers chair, presented the two scheduled SAFTC paper sessions for AISTech 2012 in Atlanta. Allen Chan, SAFTC education chair, updated the committee on the first joint training seminar with the Electric Steelmaking Technology Committee. This joint effort had 182 attendees. The committee agreed to continue this new training seminar program outline for 2013. Mark Rodney, chair, and Andy Pinskey, vice chair, discussed possible plant tours for the committee’s fall meeting. Three plant tours will be scheduled for Wednesday, 24 October, followed by a committee meeting on Thursday, 25 October. The meeting location will be in the eastern Pennsylvania area. Raymond Monroe will approach Prof. Beckermann of the University of Iowa to make a presentation on solidification modeling. Mark Rodney will contact ASM and SFSA members for meeting participation. The next SAFTC meeting will be on Tuesday, 8 May at AISTech 2012 in Atlanta, Ga.

The Specialty Alloy & Foundry Technology Committee (SAFTC) met in Southpointe, Pa., on 27–28 October 2011. There were 28 in attendance, thanks to the efforts of the current SAFTC chair, Mark Rodney, of Latrobe Specialty Steel. The first day featured plant tours of Cartech Powder Products and Universal Stainless. The next day, the committee reviewed the Steel Industry Fatalities statistics from 2006 to 2011. A safety roundtable discussion followed. Allen Chan, SAFTC education chair, reviewed the upcoming joint training seminar with the Electric Steelmaking Technology Committee. The committee approved the program outline. This joint training seminar will be held on 6–10 February 2012 in Charleston, S.C. Nucor Steel–Berkeley will serve as the host plant. The call for papers for AISTech 2012 was presented by Mark Suer, SAFTC papers chair, who selected 11 paper abstracts to create two sessions at AISTech 2012. Andy Pinskey, SAFTC vice chair, recommended the committee consider the Philadelphia area for its fall 2012 committee meeting. Various plant tour sites are being considered.
The following presentations were made and are available for review on the SAFTC members-only website: Hilti Operations; GrafTech Electrode Performance; Kalumetals, “Recycled Alloys”; and SAFTC member Michael Sullivan of Ironmaster LLC presented “Metals Reclaiming and Upgrading, Turnings Crusher and a New Thermite Operation.” The next SAFTC meeting will be held during the joint training seminar in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday morning, 8 February 2012.

The Specialty Alloy & Foundry Technology Committee (SAFTC) met on 3 May 2011 in Indianapolis, Ind. Current SAFTC membership is at 35 members. Dennis Rodal, chair, requested active SAFTC members to encourage committee participation from their producer counterparts. A safety roundtable discussion followed a review of the 2011 Steel Industry Fatalities Statistics, which show 11 fatalities recorded in the first quarter of 2011. Rodal reviewed the two AISTech 2011 paper sessions, at which one paper was not presented. The SAFTC officer elections were confirmed: Mark Rodney, chair; Andy Pinskey, vice chair; Mark Suer, papers chair; Jim Korn, membership chair; and Allen Chan, education chair. Allen Chan updated everyone on the joint 2012 EAF and Specialty Steelmaking Seminar on 6–10 February 2012 in Charleston, S.C. This joint three-and-a-half-day seminar will include one and a half days for separate tracks to present specific process information. The plant tour of Nucor Steel–Berkley will be followed by a roundtable/panel discussion with panelists Eugene Pretorius, Harriet Dutka, Stewart Robinson, Jeremy Jones, Dennis Rodal and Kobus Geldenhuis. The next SAFTC meeting is scheduled for 27–28 October 2011 in Southpointe, Pa., with tours of Universal Stainless and Ametek on Thursday, 27 October. The SAFTC meeting will be on Friday, 28 October.

The Specialty Alloy & Foundry Technology Committee (SAFTC) met on 16–17 Feb 2011 in Birmingham, Ala. The current SAFTC membership is at 31 members, and 11 members were in attendance. A review of the 2010 and 2011 Steel Industries Fatalities was followed by a safety roundtable discussion. SAFTC members were encouraged to sign up and participate in the AISTech 2011 Technology Committee Pavilion in the Exhibit Hall. The AISTech 2012 Call for Papers was reviewed and approved. The two SAFTC paper sessions at AISTech 2011 were discussed.
The SAFTC was asked to join with the ESTC to present a combined Specialty Training Conference next year. The committee approved this motion. The 2012 EAF and Specialty Steelmaking Training Seminar will take place 6–10 Feb 2012 in Charleston, S.C. The host plant for this three-and-a-half-day seminar will be Nucor Steel–Berkeley. Allen Chan, SAFTC education chair, will work with Scott Swanson, ESTC education chair, in orchestrating this combined training seminar. Dennis Rodal, SAFTC chair, has been asked to join the roundtable discussion as a panelist, along with Eugene Pretorius of Nucor Berkeley, Harriet Dutka of Thyssenkrupp Steel USA, Stewart Robinson of Carbide Industries LLC and Jeremy Jones of WorleyParsons GCT. The following presentations were made during this meeting:

  • “Carmeuse Lime Quality for Specialty Steelmaking” by Larry Wolfe.

  • “Steel Founders’ Society of America Update” by Raymond Monroe.

  • “High-Conductivity Copper in Metallurgical Vessels” by Rick Walsh.

  • “Scrap Radiation and Detection” by Dennis Rodal.

The AIST Process Benchmarking program was presented to the committee. The next day, the committee toured the Carmeuse Lime – Longview plant and quarry in the morning, followed by an afternoon tour of Alabama Copper & Bronze. The fall meeting for the SAFTC will be scheduled near Pittsburgh, Pa. on 2–3 Nov 2011, with two sites to be determined. The next SAFTC meeting will be at AISTech 2011 on Tuesday, 3 May from noon to 1:30 p.m.

The Specialty Alloy & Foundry Technology Committee (SAFTC) met on 21–22 Sep at AIST headquarters in Warrendale, Pa. Dennis Rodal, chair, welcomed the 10 members in attendance and the two participating by conference call. Current SAFTC membership stands at 29 members, with little foundry operations involvement. The SAFTC will concentrate on the specialty steelmaking operations for new members located within a 6-hour radius from Pittsburgh. Mr. Rodal passed out a new OSHA mandate for safe clearances around overhead power lines, where a minimum 20-foot distance is now required. The SAFTC then discussed the 2010 Steel Industry Fatality Statistics and noted that safety attitudes need to extremely strict to ensure repeated success. The AISTech 2011 Call for Papers was discussed by Andy Pinskey, papers chair. A full, six-paper session for Monday afternoon, along with a session for Tuesday morning, was scheduled. The SAFTC will meet at AISTech 2011 on Tuesday, 3 May at noon. The 2011 Specialty Steelmaking Seminar agenda was discussed. Allen Chan, education chair, has been in contact with the VDEh in hopes of securing their participation. This seminar is scheduled for 31 Oct–3 Nov 2011, near the Pittsburgh airport. Mr. Rodal has secured a keynote speaker from Universal Stainless and Alloy Products and a plant tour of their facilities on Wednesday morning, 3 Nov. The VDEh has contacted this committee for participation in their 1st International Conference on Ingot Casting, Rolling and Forging (ICRF) in Aachen, Germany, on 3–7 Jun 2012. The SAFTC will discuss this possibility at its next meeting on 17–18 Feb 2011, in Birmingham, Ala., which will include a tour of the Carmeuse Lime Plant. Plant tours of Kalco Metals and ATI Powder Metals provided the SAFTC with insight into specialty steelmaking operations in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

The Specialty Alloy & Foundry Technology Committee (SAFTC) met on Wednesday, 5 May at AISTech 2010, with 15 members in attendance. Mark Suer reviewed the 2010 Steel Industry Fatalities Statistics. The SAFTC mission statement was reviewed and approved as is. Each committee member was challenged to enlist at least one AIST member to this committee during 2010. Elections of SAFTC officers for 2010–2011 resulted in Dennis Rodal being elected as chair, Mark Rodney as vice chair, Andy Pinskey as papers chair, Mark Suer as membership chair, and Allen Chan as education chair. The next Specialty Steelmaking Seminar will be in October 2011. Allen Chan will try to maintain the presenter format from 2009. Michael Strelbisky, AIST BOD representative, and Reinhard Fandrich, VDEh representative, discussed the possibility of participating in the next training seminar. Mr. Strelbisky and Mr. Fandrich will contact Mr. Chan regarding presentation topics. The next SAFTC meeting will be at AIST headquarters on 21 Sep. Two tours are scheduled for Wednesday, 22 Sep at Kalco Metals and ATI Powder Metals.

The Specialty Alloy & Foundry Technology Committee (SAFTC) met in Franklin, Pa., on 24 Mar. There were eight committee members in attendance. Safety round table discussions involved a review of the Steel Industry Fatality Statistics for 2009 and 2010, along with three-year graphs highlighting the “reason” and “type” of fatalities that occurred. An article from the Association of American Railroads (AAR) was distributed that noted 2009 was the safest year ever for the nation’s freight railroads. SAFTC members discussed work practices and safety procedures that have worked. The committee reviewed the full paper session that was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at AISTech 2010. John Middleton and Mark Rodney are active members of the SAFTC who were making a presentation. Mike Sullivan suggested all SAFTC members contact specialty steelmaking producers, asking them to submit papers for AISTech 2011 detailing existing projects being completed. Dennis Rodal revised the SAFTC’s topics for the 2011 Call for Papers, to encourage both producer and supplier/vendor companies to submit papers.

The SAFTC officer rotation for the 2010–2011 term will be as follows: Dennis Rodal, chair; Mark Rodney, vice chair; Andy Pinskey, papers chair; Mark Suer, membership chair; and Allen Chan, education chair. The 2011 Specialty Steelmaking Training Seminar is scheduled for 17–20 Oct 2011, in Pittsburgh, Pa. Allen Chan will confirm the successful presenter lineup that was offered in 2009. The committee toured Electralloy and Greenville Metals on Thursday, 25 Mar.
The fall 2010 SAFTC meeting will be held 21–22 Sep at AIST headquarters, with two plant tours the second day. The SAFTC believes that providing two tour sites each meeting will generate member participation. Plans are to tour Kalco Metals and ATI Powder Metals on 22 Sep.

The Specialty Alloy & Foundry Technology Committee (SAFTC) met in Pittsburgh, Pa., on 19 Oct 2009, before the Specialty Steelmaking Seminar. Mark Suer, SAFTC chair, welcomed the 11 committee members in attendance. Allen Chan, education chair, volunteered to take meeting minutes. MS&T’09 and the AIST Leadership Development Conference were discussed. The SAFTC was represented at the Leadership Development Conference in November by Danielle Baird from Latrobe Specialty Steel. A safety round table discussion began with a review of the 2009 Steel Industry Fatality Statistics prepared by the Safety & Health Technology Committee. RFID technology, in which tags are used to identify an employee’s location to help warn or even interlock moving equipment in a high-traffic area, is being investigated by the Material Handling Technology Committee as well as the Packaging, Shipping & Transportation Methods Technology Committee. Many of the accidents listed are crushing/striking accidents that can happen anywhere. Idled operations and reduced capacity schedules have created a stronger need for retraining programs and cross-training, as employees are doing work they have never have done before. A Latrobe Specialty Steel employee was burned while arcing. Corrective action now calls for CarbonX undergarments to be part of the individual’s PPE to help avoid another burn accident. A near-miss at Special Metals involved a drop crane block incident. No one was injured, but crane preventive maintenance has increased to eliminate a future incident of this kind. Praxair discussed a fatality in which an experienced manager did not follow the proper safety procedures. Safety guidelines or standard operating procedures must be followed each and every time, without exception. Mike Sullivan stressed that employees need to believe management cares about their safety (not going through the motions) and that an accident could happen to them at any time. Andy Pinskey, SAFTC past chair, mentioned that most plants do not offer a location for a vendor/supplier to change into proper PPE. Jim Korn stated that any vendor/supplier must be aware of the environment they’re about to enter and follow every rule cited. Mark Rodney, SAFTC papers chair, discussed abstracts submitted for AISTech 2010. The SAFTC has scheduled six papers for Tuesday afternoon’s session. Additional papers could complete the Tuesday morning session. The next SAFTC meeting will be held 24–25 Mar 2010, at AIST headquarters with two tours in the Pittsburgh area.

The Specialty Alloy & Foundry Technology Committee (SAFTC) met on Tuesday, May 5 at AISTech 2009. There were eight SAFTC members in attendance. Andy Pinskey, chair, reviewed the AISTech sessions and encouraged committee members to solicit papers for AISTech 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pa. Mr. Pinskey provided an update for the Specialty Steelmaking Training Conference scheduled for 19–22 Oct 2009, at the Hyatt Pittsburgh International Airport, with Latrobe Specialty Steel as the host plant. A conference call was scheduled for June 10, where Allen Chan, education chair, reviewed the committee’s training seminar agenda. The following individuals were elected as SAFTC officers for 2009–2010: Mark Suer, chair; Dennis Rodal, vice chair; Mark Rodney, papers chair; and Jim Korn, membership chair. The SAFTC mission statement was reviewed and revised to read as follows: “To serve and provide members producing Stainless Steel, Specialty Alloy Steel, and Foundry Operations a forum for technical information exchange between Producers and Suppliers involved in these specialty markets. Technical presentations, plant tours, and member networking will promote process advancements, cost-effective practices, and Safe Operating Procedures.” Collaborative efforts will be made with the Steel Founder’s Society of America and Management Science Associates Inc. (MSA) to increase committee participation. Mr. Pinskey was presented with a plaque for his dedication and involvement with the SAFTC.

The Specialty Alloy and Foundry Technology Committee (SAFTC) held a conference call on 5 Mar. Andy Pinskey, committee chair, welcomed the 11 members participating in this call. Current SAFTC membership stands at 76 members. AISTech 2009 registration was discussed, along with the SAFTC technical sessions being reduced from two sessions to one. The SAFTC technical session will take place Tuesday morning, 5 May, followed by the SAFTC meeting at noon. Session chairs Ian Masterson, Jim Korn and Mark Suer were confirmed. Raymond Monroe discussed the current status of the foundry market. U.S. foundry capacity has been reduced by 30%. Stainless steel producers have seen a reduction of 15–20% in operations. Current low commodity pricing has hurt future bookings in the specialty steelmaking markets. Mr. Munroe volunteered to contact the American Foundry Association in hopes of increasing their participation in the SAFTC. Allen Chan, SAFTC education chair, reviewed the 2009 Specialty Steelmaking Training Conference, scheduled for 19–22 Oct 2009, in Pittsburgh, Pa. Latrobe Spe-cialty Steel Co. will serve as the host plant, offering a tour of their facilities on 22 Oct 22. Confirmed training conference presenters are: Allen Chan, Praxair Inc.; Fred Rine, FDR Safety; Dennis Rodal, ELG Metals; Jeremy Jones, Worley Parsons; David Kundrat, SGL Carbon; Larry Wolfe, Carmeuse Lime; Ruth Engel, consultant; and Mark Suer, Special Metals Corp. Training conference topics will be specialty steelmaking melting, scrap recoveries and segregation, lime practices, slag influences, foundry applications, and alloy specifics. SAFTC officer nominations were accepted for 2009–2010. Steve Lukes was nominated to become chair, Dennis Rodal was nominated as vice chair, Mark Suer as papers chair and Jim Korn as membership Chair. Allen Chan was nominated to retain his education chair position. These nominations will be voted on at the SAFTC meeting during AISTech 2009 in St. Louis, Mo.