Los Alamos National Laboratory
Metallurgy (MST-6)


The Foundry Team of MST-6 has the equipment and highly trained personnel to produce components by casting, wrought processing, and machining. The team executes a wide range of activities including basic research, process development, producing unique one-off hardware, and small-lot production.

Classified and unclassified parts from both uranium and non-radioactive metals and alloys can be produced.

The foundry is capable of casting a variety of metals as ingots or cast shapes. Foundry personnel have expertise in mold design, molten-metal processing, solidification, and casting modeling. Modeling packages used include the commercial CFD code Flow3D, the ASC induction heating and casting code Truchas, and the vacuum arc remelt code BAR. The foundry excels in its capability to couple process modeling, highly instrumented castings, and casting characterization to further process understanding and optimization.

The machine shop has the graphite machining mission for Los Alamos National Laboratory. It produces a variety of graphite molds for uranium and plutonium casing and other machines graphite hardware. The shop also machines components and test samples for MST and other customers. The shop excels in its capability to produce complex hardware and in machining hard to machine metals and alloys.

Deformation processing personnel and equipment include the ability to do a wide variety of wrought processes including rolling, sheet metal forming, forging, swaging, and drawing. The fabrication area excels in its capability to form both conventional and unconventional metals.

Foundry, Machining, and Deformation Processing Team equipment includes the following:

  • Vacuum induction melting: 8 furnaces ranging in capacity from 2,500 to 2 kg
  • Vacuum arc remelter: up to 400 kg/215-mm diameter ingots
  • Non-consumable electrode vacuum arc melter (button melter)
  • Plasma arc melter: 100-mm diameter ingots


  • CNC multi-axis mills
  • CNC multi-axis turning centers
  • CNC wire electro-discharge machining; 3 three-axis units capable of machining with 25-300 micron wire and a maximum working volume of 60cm x 50cm x 40cm
  • Large manual lathes: stock up to 120 cm
  • Surface and cylindrical grinding

Deformation Processing

  • Rolling mills: 2 four-high mills and 2 two-high mills up to 50-cm wide for both hot and cold rolling
  • Sheet metal forming equipment: hydroforming, drawing, spin forming
  • Hydraulic presses and forging capabilities include 1,000 ton, 5,000 ton, and several smaller presses. The 5,000-ton hydraulic press with an approximately 3.5 meter stroke has been used for extrusion
  • Swaging and wire drawing


  • Coordinate measuring machine: touch probe and white-light
  • Numerous furnaces for heat treatment ranging from small tube furnaces up to a large vacuum furnace with working volume of 1 m cubed with integral oil quench.
  • Variety of solid modeling packages: SolidWorks, Pro/E, Esprit, Unigraphis, MasterCam

Robert Aikin, Team Leader

  • Lydia Apodaca
  • Amy Clarke
  • Jason Cooley
  • Isaac Cordova
  • Jeffrey Robison
  • Hunter Swenson
  • Victor Vargas
  • Chastity Vigil
Comparison of the mold filling and solidification simulation to the final Uranium Basic-Hemi cast part
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