Aluminum Casting Evaluation

alumcast.jpg (35637 bytes)Problem: General Motors (GM) Delphi Harrison Thermal Systems Division has found that current air-conditioning compressors, when tested after assembly, sometimes have leaks which are caused by faulty sealing of a porous aluminum casting, or by micro-cracks caused when the casting is machined. Since thousands of aluminum castings are machined and processed daily, there is a need to find an inexpensive, quick method that can be used on the shop floor, with no special equipment, to determine if each casting has been completely sealed.

The goal of the collaboration will be for the teachers to learn more about materials processing and assembly operation currently existing at General Motors Delphi Harrison Thermal Systems.

Solution: This CRADA, facilitated by WTN, advances the Air Force Research Laboratory Materials and Manfuacturing Directorate's (AFRL/ML) aerospace research and development, benefits local automotive manufacturing operations, and offers area high-school mathematics and science teachers real world, "hands-on" experience. The focus of the effort is the low-cost quick non-destructive evaluations of aluminum castings used in the assembly of automotive air conditioning compressors at GM Delphi Harrison Thermal Systems Division.

The purpose of this CRADA is to transfer and apply materials processing knowledge to improved operations in the fabrication and assembly of automotive air conditioning compressors, and to provide relevant experience, education and training to selected high school mathematics and science teachers.


  • All three CRADA partners, Delphi Harrison Thermal Systems, the Alliance for Education of the Dayton Foundation, and AFRL Materials Directorate benefit from applying Air Force technology to a real-world industrial process and training teachers.
  • Delphi expects to benefit from improved throughput, quality, and production cost for its automotive air conditioning compressors.
  • They also expect to benefit from the knowledge of materials processing technology acquired through this collaborative effort.
  • The Alliance for Education of The Dayton Foundation expects to benefit from the education of selected high school mathematics and science teachers in technology transfer, and the application of technical knowledge to a practical, industrial process.
  • The selected teachers expect to benefit from their education, and their students, in turn, from the enhanced knowledge of the teachers.

Current Status:

  • Teachers from Miamisburg (Ohio) High School and Greenville (Ohio) High School have participated thus far in this effort.
  • Additional validation effort is on-going.

If you have any questions about this Cooperative Research and Development Agreement or are interested in getting more information about technology transfer and CRADA projects, please contact Jim Singer at Wright Technology Network (937) 253-0217 or CRADA@wtn.org

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