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Impact on Society

Alfred Spada

We know metalcasting is a critical tool that helps advance our society.  From health care to space exploration to energy distribution to you name it, metal castings are a part of the machinery that allows us to reach new heights and make the world a better place.

Yes, this is flowery language and a bit grandiose. But it is true and makes me proud to be a part of this industry. Great examples of these successes include castings being used to replace human body parts (as read in the December 2015 Modern Casting) and castings used to make peanut butter accessible and affordable in the poorest areas of Africa (March 2014).

In this issue, we highlight a different segment of society in which metalcasting is trying to make a new impact. On p. 22 in the feature, “Casting a Solution for Football,” we examine a new design for the face masks of football helmets. These new designs utilize a metal casting instead of a weldment as the foundation of the face mask.  Based on preliminary tests, these new designs and manufacturing methods might help reduce concussions in our country’s most popular sport.

In initial testing, the cast face mask reportedly dissipates the energy from a collision better than a fabrication, resulting in a 25-30% reduction in the severity index, which means less energy being transferred to the head (and brain) of the player.  With the lifelong ramifications of concussions in sports becoming more understood, advancements such as this one are absolute necessities if our society continues to support playing sports like football, hockey and lacrosse.

While this advancement in sports face masks isn’t a giant leap forward, it is a success for the industry to hang its hat on. The incremental advancements are the foundation we must use to build our customer relationships. Can we thin the walls and design in a few holes to reduce the weight on that casting by 10%? Can we cast in that passageway to eliminate that extra machining step? Can we increase the strength of that aluminum component by 20% through metallurgical engineering to ensure it withstands a crash impact test?

Not every customer is going to accept the advancement metalcasting provides. Change is difficult for all of us.  But metalcasting provides you the power to make change happen every day.  Whether it is incremental or a giant leap forward, embrace the opportunity to impact society.

Click here to see this article as it appears in Modern Casting.