University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., successfully commissioned a vacuum investment melting and casting furnace, type ISP 0.5 DS/SX/LMC, from ALD Vacuum Technologies AG in Germany. The furnace is used for the research and development of the liquid metal cooling process as well as the conventional radiation cooling process. The maximum casting weight is approximately 12 lb into a maximum mold diameter of 6 in. x 12 in. high. For the liquid cooling process, tin is used as the cooling agent, which can be heated and cooled as required by closed loop control. Major tasks of the furnace are the investigation of liquid metal cooling process as well as the investigation of the thermal gradient at the solidification front and its influence on the microstructure of the components.