Austempering, a Technology for Substitution

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Sustainable, durable and noiseless vehicles with ADI from Zanardi Fonderie.

Zanardi Fonderie, an Italian company specialized in the production of Austempered Ductile Iron castings, organized “ADI Days” in Italy. These two days were dedicated to austempering as a substitution technology.

The Verona-based company is a world leader in production and research related to this material – defined by the acronym ADI (Austempered Ductile Iron) – offered as an alternative to cast and forged steel components used in the suspension mechanisms for commercial vehicles, agricultural machinery, railway cars and for mechanical transmission parts.

In Verona Italy, on October 6th and 7th of 2016, Zanardi Fonderie – in collaboration with EIT Raw Materials (www.eitrawmaterials.eu) – dedicated two days to expanding knowledge regarding this technology, with contributions from industry experts such as CNH Industrial, Magneti Marelli suspension systems, Bonfiglioli Mechatronics, Industrie Cometto, and researchers at the University of Padua, the University of Cassino and RWTH Aachen.

Major industrial players such as Fiat, Iveco, Berco, Caterpillar and Bonfiglioli have been using ADI castings from Zanardi Fonderie for years to enhance their competitive performance. Thanks to cast iron’s characteristic ease of casting, ADI expresses its maximum potential in creating complex shapes that allow the material to be applied only where needed, therefore reducing waste.
With ADI, components that are usually made by welding several steel elements together can be made as a single, durable and sustainable piece. This allows the customer to save on production costs, increase quality and solve problems related to the limitations of steel.

“The research we’ve carried out in our company over the course of many years is focused on the development and characterization of materials obtained with the Austempering process. But developing a good technology isn’t enough to create value if this technology isn’t geared towards the real needs of the market: we have to listen to our customers’ needs in order to be innovative partners,” explains Fabio Zanardi, President of Zanardi Fonderie. “All phases of ADI production are integrated in our factory at Minerbe” – adds Fabio Zanardi. “Daily production and controls regarding the related processes are ‘founded’ on study, research, engineering and innovative development: this is the way we ensure quality, competitiveness and innovation.”

Thanks to the use of ADI components vehicles are lighter, because the specific gravity of Austempered Ductile Iron is 10% less than that of steel. In addition, ADI is also a wear-resistant material that doesn’t require surface treatments and promotes noise reduction thanks to the “damping” effect of the graphite and its “ausferritic” structure. Finally, Zanardi Foundrie’s Austempered Ductile Iron, like all cast iron, is completely reusable when a component reaches the end of its lifecycle.

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