Metal casting is a process that has some ancient roots. This process involves metal shapes being formed. The shapes are formed when the molten metal being poured into a mold cavity.
The molten metal is then cooled before being removed from the mold. Metal casting is thought to be one of history’s most influential of all industrial processes.
What is Metal Casting Used For?
Metal casting is used for to make some incredibly useful metal objects. These include:
- Train wheels
- Car parts
- Lamp posts
- Bus pedals
- and much more
As you can imagine, metal casting services are in high demand. They help to create objects that we use every single day.
Metal Casting’s History
The history of metal casting is quite an interesting one. This method is first to have been used in around 3,200 BC. However, it was not until 700 BC when cast iron was first produced.
When it comes to using the crucible process, it appeared sometime during the first millennium.
This is a process that is used to produce tools or fine steel. This method was used in Central Asia and India before it appeared in Northern Europe in 800 CE.
Over a period of thousands of years, metals have been cast into useful objects. While casting has become a lot more automated than it used to be, the process remains the same.
The Metal Casting Process
The metal casting process is made up of 5 steps. These steps are:
1 – Pattern making
A replica of the casting is made. This replica is known as a “Pattern”. Patterns are usually made of plastic, metal, plastic, or wood. When a pattern is made it has to be incredibly accurate so that pieces work and fit together. Should a pattern be wrong, even by a few millimeters, the object or objects could be completely unusable.
2 – Coremaking
If a casting needs to be hollow, an extra piece of metal or sand known as the “Core” is added. This is used to shape the cast so it is made hollow. Casts tend to be very strong so that they can help to keep the pattern in the required shape. However, they are also collapsible so it’s easy to remove them.
3 – Molding
Molding is a process that forms a cast that forms around a pattern. This process uses molding sand that works to help the cast form.
A mold that is contained within a frame is known as a “Flask”. Molding sand or green sand is packed tightly into the flask this process is known as “Metal sand casting”. The pattern can be removed as soon as the sand has been tightly packed.
4 – Melting and pouring
As soon as the metal is melted, it will be poured into the mold’s cavity and left to cool. During the cooling process, the metal will become solid. As soon as the metal is solid and cool, it will be removed. This processed is achieved by using vibration to remove the sand. The process is a very effective one and 99% of the sand tends to be removed.
5 – Cleaning
The final step of the metal casting process involves the cast object being cleaned. This procedure is known as “Fettling”. This results in the object being cleaned of molding material. Any rough edges will also be removed to the object can be used as required.
As you can see, the metal casting process involves quite a few steps. Each of these steps is crucial as they help to create a strong, durable product. There is a little more to each of the steps than is noted above. However, it’s clear that a lot of work is put into creating objects that could be used in a number of industries.
Metal Castings In A Modern World
Most mechanical devices found in the home contain metal parts that were cast. Washing machines, for example, are just one of the appliances that contain such parts. These days, however, metal casting is more precise than they were a century ago. They are also a lot more tolerant than ever before.
Metal castings need to be strong but light. They need to resist high pressures and corrosion.. Many different parts can be created these days that ensure tolerance is precise even when the metal contracts and expands.
Metal castings have proven to be very useful for thousands and thousands of years. It looks as though they will still prove to be useful for many years to come. While the metal casting process is more efficient than it was centuries ago, the process remains the same.
Producing durable products that last for years is a result of this ancient process being harnessed today. It’s no wonder then, that many industries around the globe are more than happy to use metal casting products daily.