Steps In Casting MetalsSteps In Casting Metals

Metal casting is the process of pouring liquid metal into a mold that has a hollow cavity but with a certain shape, something that you have chosen, and then leaving the material to solidify after a while. After the liquid material solidifies, this will then be taken out of the casting, which will complete the entire casting process. The main use of this process is the formation of hot liquid metals after being cooled. Aside from metals, there are other components including plaster, clay, concrete and epoxies all mixed together. Casting usually forms the liquid metals into complex shapes. This process was first created about 6,000 years ago. The most ancient method in casting, which is still used until now, is copper frog, which started in 3200 BC. There are two main types of casting - non-expendable mold casting and expendable mold casting.

Non-expendable Mold Casting
This casting technique is composed of four different methods including the following:

1. Continuous casting
This is the casting method used for high volume, continuous making of metal sections that also have constant cross-section. The liquid metal is poured into a mold that is cooled by water with an open-ended copper. This kind of mold will give a certain layer to the molten metal once it solidifies, with the layer forming on the semi-liquid centre. Continuous casting is popular for its cost effectiveness. It usually uses metals such as copper, aluminium and steel.

2. Centrifugal casting
Centrifugal casting neglects the presence of gravity and pressure. This is possible because the method has a force-feed that is created with a sand mold that is spinning at 900 N. The lead-time of the technique varies based on how it is supposed to be used. Full- and semi-centrifugal casting usually creates 30 to 50 pieces per hour. If centrifugal casting is used for batch processing, it usually processes about 9,000 kilograms. This is useful for applications such as for railway wheels. A company called Krupp, with German origins, created this method. Another common application of centrifugal casting is jewellery making.

3. Die casting
Die-casting is the method wherein the liquid metal is forced into the hollow cavity of the mold with the use of high pressure. This type of casting is usually done for non-ferrous metals and alloys such as copper, aluminium and zinc. Die-casting is ideally used for metals with finer parts involved in the process.

4. Permanent mold casting
This is the type of casting that is only done with non-ferrous metals. It is a bit time consuming because preparations alone will need a few weeks. Permanent mold casting produces only 5 to 50 pieces per hour. To remove the molded metal easily, the steel cavities are covered with acetylene soot. However, permanents molds do not last long. If the molds get worn out, they need to be refinished or replaced.

Expendable Mold Casting

1. Sand casting
This is the most popular casting method that has been used for a long time. It is usually used for small size operations. Sand is bonded using clay, chemical binders or polymerized oils.

2. Plaster casting
This is a similar process to sand casting though metals are used instead of sand.
by John Schofield
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