When a manufacturing company begins the production of a new product, they have a choice as to what kind of manufacturing process they’d like to use. Oftentimes, the process that is chosen will depend on the facility, staff, and the various information systems that are available. Converting raw materials into marketable and saleable products is the backbone of our industrialized nation, so it’s important to understand the differences between the various manufacturing processes that are available. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the casting process, and the various forms that are available.
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Types of Casting
Casting is a very popular manufacturing process across a variety of industries. It is generally used for mass production, where materials in a molten state are poured into a mold and they are left to solidify. There are a few different types of casting processes in the manufacturing industry, and choosing the best one for your product will depend on a few factors, including:
- The quantity of castings that you need
- The manufacturing costs that you can afford
- The materials you choose for your product
- And more
Now, let’s take a look at some popular types of casting below.
This type of casting process is often used for the production of large parts. It involves the filling of molten metal into a mold cavity that has been shaped from either synthetic or natural sand. The original cavity is made of wood or metal that is the same shape and dimensions of the actual part or product. The pattern is often prepared slightly oversized to compensate for the contraction of molten metal during the cooling process. Some advantages of this casting process include:
Sand casting is a very affordable manufacturing process for producing small quantities (usually less than 100 units?)
A great solution for manufacturing very large parts
During the die casting process, molten metal is poured or forced into steel molds. The molds, also known as tools or dies, are often created with steel, and they are specially designed for each project. When it comes to making die casting alloys, aluminum, zinc, and magnesium are the most commonly used metals. These metals are non-ferrous, and they can withstand high operating temperatures, not to mention they are fully recyclable. Die cast alloys also offer:
- Good corrosion resistance
- A high electrical conductivity
- Great strength and hardness
- A high electrical conductivity
- Great finishing characteristics
This manufacturing process can have significant advantages over the others, which can lead to a major cost in savings for your business. When you have a part casted, you can create complex net shapes and even combine multiple parts into a single part, eliminating assembly operations and lowering your cost of labor. Other benefits of this manufacturing process include:
- Quick production cycle times
- A reduction in material scrap
This is the manufacturing process of choice for applications related to military products and other high-reliability applications. During centrifugal casting, molten metal is poured into a spinning die. The die can spin on a vertical or horizontal axis, depending on the configuration of the desired product or part. By spinning a mold while molten metal is being poured into it, the centrifugal force works to distribute the molten metal in the mold at pressures that are 100 times stronger than the force of gravity. As the die starts to fill up, more dense molten metal is forced into the wall of the spinning die. Once the casting has solidified, the part is removed from the die and any residual exterior impurities are machined away.
Continuous casting is a manufacturing process that allows metals to be stretched, shaped, and solidified. This process is known to reduce waste while improving cost efficiency, yield, and the quality of the product. Using a unique series of rollers and water-cooling molds, this process is popular because it lessens the chance of impurities and can provide better thickness ratios. To better understand the continuous casting process, let’s review the process from start to finish.
- A liquid alloy is carefully poured into a tundish. This directs the flow of your molten metal material into the mold. The tundish then acts as a reservoir, continuing the flow of metal while the ladle continues to refill.
- The metal is then poured into a water-cooled mold. During this stage, it is partially solidified before it is given its grid shape.
- Next, the almost-solid grids will continue to be stretched and pulled into their desired thickness.
- The fully solidified grids are then sent through straighteners, where they achieve their final finished dimensions.
As you can see, there are many different kinds of metal casting from which to choose for your manufacturing and fabrication needs.
United Global Sourcing: Your Partner in Manufacturing and Fabrication
If you need assistance navigating the murky waters of manufacturing and fabrication, United Global Sourcing can help. We’ve developed professional relationships with some of the best overseas manufacturers, and we can help you find the best facility for your needs and budget. Whether you’re looking for a casting and forging facility or a plastic-injection molding company, our team will oversee the production of your product every step of the way. We’ll take the time to help streamline production of your product, and we’ll do everything we can to ensure the manufacturing process runs smoothly and efficiently. Contact our friendly team today to learn more!