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Technical Paper

The Lincoln Mark VIII Cast Aluminium Suspension Control Arm (Parallel Development)

An A356T61 cast aluminum lower suspension control arm has been put into production for the Lincoln Mark VIII. The mechanical requirements which drive the design for a critical part like this are discussed, together with some of the background knowledge needed to address the issues surrounding alloy and process selection. Particularly as it must be realized that the process impacts the degree to which the potential of the alloy can be realized. With this in mind, some of the research activities which have been spawned in parallel with the production activities are briefly covered. The sequence of events involved in the design and prototyping of the part itself are outlined, as is the implementation of a specialized low pressure casting line to produce the part. Part performance to date has been excellent and the quality controls and test methods which have been put in place to see that this remains so are also covered.