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Froehlich, F. R. (ed.) / The Wisconsin engineer
Volume 13, Number 4 (June 1909)

Aston, James
The foundry in its relation to chemical engineering,   pp. 262-264

Page 262

The Wisconsin Engineer.
                     By JAMES ASTON.
  Within the past few decades there has been a decided
awakening to a realization of the necessity of the injection
of modern methods into the managementof the foundry. The
oft-voiced sentiment that "anything will do for the foundry"
is today recognized as the expression of a penny wise, pound
foolish spirit which has happily given way to that better
policy of recognizing the foundry department as an integral
part of the well organized manufacturing industry.
  To a great extent the old feeling was a result of conditions.
The seeming crudity of the moulding operation, the sim-
plicity of the general equipment, the preponderance of hand
labor, threw over this department a mantle of conservatism
which for a long time resisted the injection of technical sci-
ence. The real awakening came with application of chemical
analysis to the control of iron mixtures; an advent met at
first with skepticism and scorn, then with toleration, and
finally with approval. It was all very well in the earlier days
to mix by fracture grading, when the brand name of a pig
iron was sufficient guarantee of its ore origin, its condition of
manufacture, and its impurity content. But these conditions
are of the past, and today practically all pig iron is graded
and sold upon the chemical basis.
  An example of this antagonism falls within the memory of
the writer, in the case of a very large and very well man-
aged plant. Long continued difficulty with unsatisfactory
iron in their castings, forced the adoption of mixing by chem-
ical analysis. The charging mixtureswere given to the fore-
man for execution, but the resulting iron was no better than
by the old method, and the casting analyses were not as cal-
culated. After a sufficient trial, and upon the verge of the

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