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One-Shift Shell: Speed up the Shell Room for Profit

Abstract
Cycle time reduction has a direct impact on profitability for several reasons. Quick response and delivery also makes it possible to get on the “Other” customer list: Most Improved Supplier. A unique shell system is presented that can take apart from assembly Monday morning, apply 6 coats in one shift, dewax the next morning, and have a metal casting by noon on Tuesday. The only special equipment needed is a low humidity final dry cabinet. A slurry consisting of a 35% silica sol and a fiber-enhanced dry blend of fused silica powder was found to be able to meet the requirement of wax to metal in less than two days. Using super absorbant polymer coated stucco techniques pioneered by the University of Birmingham (UK), this cycle time can be reduced to less than one day, but the shell may not be robust.

Introduction
In today’s business climate, the speed of manufacturing is important for many reasons. Customers expect and demand short times from order placement to order delivery. Some of the many advantages for the manufacturer, besides satisfying the customer, are:

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