A new research project at Jönköping University receives over 11 MSEK from the Swedish Knowledge Foundation. The project is called LeanCast and involves four Swedish companies: Scania CV, Volvo Group Technology, SKF Mekan och SinterCast.
LeanCast is a synergy project consisting of four different subprojects, which together will answer the question “How to enable and control a lean and sustainable design and production of cast iron?”.
”A more scientific approach to this technical field is necessary to increase our knowledge and understanding,” says Jessica Elfsberg, development engineer at Scania CV AB. “The ultimate vision is to control and have knowledge of the properties of a cast iron part in every single point of it. To achieve this, we need an in-depth understanding of how different structures and defects are formed and how they influence the properties of the components,” she continues.
The research group and the participating companies have collaborated in several earlier projects and the new project is designed with the needs of the industry in focus and in close dialogue between the parties.
“This is an important research project for the continued competitiveness of Swedish foundry industry. Due to the research being conducted in co-production with the companies, the results will be of direct use as well as contributing to the companies’ long-term success," says Madelene Sandström, CEO at the Knowledge Foundation.
An overall purpose of the new research project is to develop a more sustainable casting process and more sustainable cast components. Amongst others, the knowledge generated from LeanCast will contribute to components with a longer lifetime and a resource efficient product realization and production, the latter resulting in decreased consumption of natural resources and energy consumption.
“LeanCast is a multidisciplinary project spanning over several different subject areas, such as mineralogy, metallurgy, material mechanics and numerical calculation methods,” says Attila Diószegi, project leader for the synergy project and professor in foundry technology at the School of Engineering, Jönköping University.
The project is part of the university’s research and educational environment SPARK, which focuses on knowledge intensive product realization. SPARK’s programme manager Mats Jackson welcomes the decision from the Knowledge Foundation:
“A project of this calibre is an important step forwards for SPARK and for Jönköping University. Since long, our university has strong research within materials and manufacturing, on which LeanCast can build.”
The project will go on for three and a half years, and it will be co-financed by the four partner companies in the form of working time and material corresponding to the amount provided by the Knowledge Foundation. The different subprojects will focus on form material, defect formation, material properties, and modelling and simulation of phenomena arising during casting.