ABOUT Casting Services
Casting Services are metal forming operations which use dies, molds, etc. to shape molten metal, alloys, and other materials into a variety of often complex geometrical forms called castings. In many instances a pattern is made which reflects the shape of the final part. Patterns can be made of wax, metal, etc. The pattern is then used to make an impression in another material into which the molten metal will be introduced. In some cases the mold is machined directly and reused, but in most instances the mold is destroyed in removing the finished casting.
Casting is an alternative to many other metal forming operations such as machining, welding fabrication, forging, stamping, etc. It is characterized as being very materials efficient because most castings are close to their final forms requiring only limited final machining--little scrap is produced. Because of the need to make patterns and molds, however, casting is generally limited to medium to high production runs.
Casting can be done with almost any metal though sometimes the melt temperature of the metal dictates which methods are most appropriate. Die casting, for example, use metal dies as the molds but is only used for low melting point metal such as zinc because the mold must remain solid during the process. For metals that melt at higher temperatures, often some version of sand casting is preferred, where sand is formed around a pattern and the resulting cavity receives the molten material.
Casting can be used to make small parts such as jewelry and dentures but it is equally fitted to manufacturing large items such as engine blocks and architectural items such as lampposts. With the exception of liquid resin casting, metals casting is performed at very high temperatures and demands stringent safety procedures to protect personnel.
Casting can be done as a strictly manual operation. Some casting methods, however, are very well suited to automation which can increase throughput rates substantially.
Centrifugal Casting is a rotational molding technique used to produce tubes, pipes, and other cylindrical castings.
Die Casting uses metal dies to mold castings in low melt metals such as zinc and bronze.
Investment Casting uses wax or foam patterns over which ceramic slurries are invested. The wax is burned out to make the mold.
Liquid Resin Casting is not a metal casting technique but one in which room temperature hardening resins are used to make molds for plaster, rubber, etc. objects and parts.
Sand Casting is the traditional casting technique in which sand is formed around a pattern and then serves as the cavity into which molten metal is poured.
Shell Mold Casting is a variant of sand casting in which sand and resin are used to create mold halves from the pattern.
Vacuum Casting is a specialized form of liquid resin casting which uses vacuum casting equipment to produce void-free prototypes.