Smith Foundry began full production of
these ADI drive wheels in 2003 after an 18 month development cycle.
use of Austempered Ductile Iron for this drive wheel required detailed,
collaborative design work and process optimization. Major lessons learned
- Austempered ductile iron requires open
communication and collaborative engineering between the end-user, the
foundry engineers, the pattern shop, the machine shop, and the heat-treater
to produce a final design and process definition that will meet the
performance, schedule, and cost targets.
- 3D computer-aided design is essential to rapidly
optimize the design for mechanical performance and to reduce the
"first part" time. Finite element analysis is used to
optimize structural features for minimizing stress concentrations.
for machining and heat treatment is critical to ensure a casting that
meets tolerance, dimension, and mechanical strength