Forgings & Castings Technical Assistance


The subject matter experts that are team members of AFCAT, and their AMC and FDMC co-workers, have significant technical breadth and depth to assist foundries and forge shops who are experiencing difficulty in producing castings and forged items to meet procurement requirements.  These are hand-on engineers who have production and metallurgical experience and are able to assist on the production floor.

Getting Help:  If you have a DLA contract, please contact your contracting officer and request assistance from the Aviation Forging & Casting Assistance Team ( AFCAT).

Case History — F-5 CROSSBLEED VALVE

“The new foundry tried several times to make good castings with no success.
I got a call from American Metalcasting Consortium and they told me that they
work for the Government . . . AMC and the new foundry solved the problems
with the castings and got them to pass x-ray.  The castings are now being
machined. The problem area for porosity has been machined and there have
been no defects or rejections.”

— John Stallbaumer, Triumph Accessory Service

The Problem
The F-5 adversary aircraft provides Active and Reserve Navy pilots with air-to-air combat training at significant savings to the taxpayer.  Recent estimates show that the F-5 can be operated at one third of what it costs to operate an F/A-18.  The problems involved in producing this component included an inefficiently designed casting and a foundry manufacturing problem, resulting in a DLA Backorder situation.  The foundry had previously attempted approximately six different variations of gating design to eliminate a shrinkage area in order to meet the x-ray requirements.  CAST-IT's ability to build a collaborative approach to present a design modification to address the gating requirements proved to be a win-win for all supply chain members

The Solution
The CAST-IT team suggested a few simple design changes that would not affect form, fit or function of the part, but would make it a much more casting-friendly design.  The CAST-IT team also recommended a modification to the gating design, which helped achieve the required directional solidification of the metal to make a sound casting.


Implementation of the proposed drawing changes were hand fabricated onto a wax part from the current tooling, gating was modified by the foundry

Implementation of the proposed drawing changes were hand fabricated onto a wax
part from the current tooling, gating was modified by the foundry and a sample
casting produced:

And, a sample casting produced:


The new design resolved the problem achieving successful x-ray and penetrate results.  Once the change approval was received, the hard tooling was modified, and wax patterns were shot, and a fully processed first article casting was produced.  Production castings have now been successfully machined for final delivery.

T-38 Fuel Tank Lug

NSN 1560-00-117-5199

•  Tech data specifies forging is required
•  NSN on the Rockpile oldest backorder list

F-5 Aircraft        Blueprint schematics for the T-38 Fuel Tank Lug


Procurement Assistance

  April 2002, contract award to "Supplier A";
  "Supplier A" machined part from bar – failed First Article Test;
  After CDD extension, "Supplier A" still unable to produce parts;
  July 2004, contract with "Supplier A" cancelled;
  AFCAT utilized FDMC National Forging Tooling Database to locate capable supplier, "Supplier B";
  November 2004, DLA Aviation issued contract to "Supplier B"; and,
  30 days after contract award, "Supplier B" delivers acceptable parts.

Time Savings: 100 to 150 days
The following time line indicates that only 9 days elapsed between finding the tool and placing an order. October 11, 2004 – Request from Becky Bigger at Prop Shaft Supply, Inc for a forge part with NSN 2520-00-796-3997 (part number 7962742) October 12, 2004 – Russell Beard, FORGE-IT Team Leader, checked the NFTD and found the forging company (IMT Forge - a Forging Industry Association Member Company) with the tooling and called the company to verify that the tooling was on-hand. October 20, 2004 - Received verification from IMT Forge that an order for the part had been received. Cost Savings: $15,000 to duplicate the tooling.

Forge Shop Customer
“This database in invaluable to companies like myself, that do work for the US military. This last forging I ordered is a 70 piece order. There is no way, we could afford the time and expense of creating new tooling, especially when there is existing tooling somewhere out there. We do the bulk of our contracts for the military, in small run, short lead-time replacement parts, for older equipment. We manufacture drive-shafts and components. If we cannot find tooling for some of these jobs, we are forced to rough machine bar stock, heat treat, and then comeback and finish machine. Sometimes 2 or 3 rough machining ops are required depending on the type of part. This process leads to increased expense, and lead-times for our military, sometimes the expense is 10 X the cost, due to excess material, and machining operations. Sometimes, the required material is not available, except in billet form, and the part cannot be made from bar stock. This requires a deviation from the Military, and you can imagine how difficult and sometimes impossible that is. Please continue your work on this project. It benefits, not only govt. contractors like myself, but also the military, and the forging houses, that are storing this old tooling instead of running jobs with it, while big run jobs are outsourced overseas. I see this project as a benefit for all involved."