Roshan George

Roshan George 2009UME407

Casting is a manufacturing process by which a liquid material is usually poured into a mould, which contains a hollow cavity of the desired shape, and then allowed to solidify. The solidified part is also known as a casting, which is ejected or broken out of the mould to complete the process. Casting materials are usually metals or various cold setting materials that cure after mixing two or more components together; examples are epoxy, concrete, plaster and clay. Casting is most often used for making complex shapes that would be otherwise difficult or uneconomical to make by other methods. Sand Casting processes are not suitable and economical in many applications. In such situations special casting processes would be more appropriate...

Shell moulding, also known as shell-mould casting, is an expendable mould casting process that uses a resin covered sand to form the mould. As compared to sand casting, this process has better dimensional accuracy, a higher productivity rate, and lower labour requirements. It is used for small to medium parts that require high precision. Examples of shell moulded items include gear housings, cylinder heads and connecting rods. It is also used to make high-precision moulding cores.

P R O C E S S:
The process of creating a shell mould consists of six steps: Fine silica sand that is covered in a thin (3 6%) thermosetting phenolic resin and liquid catalyst is dumped, blown, or shot onto a hot pattern. The pattern is usually made from cast iron and is heated to 230 to 315 °C (450 to 600 °F). The sand is allowed to sit on the pattern for a few minutes to allow the sand to partially cure. The pattern and sand are then inverted so the excess sand drops free of the pattern, leaving just the "shell". Depending on the time and temperature of the pattern the thickness of the shell is 10 to 20 mm (0.4 to 0.8 in). The pattern and shell together are placed in an oven to finish curing the sand. The shell now has a tensile strength of 350 to 450 psi (2.4 to 3.1 MPa). The hardened shell is then stripped from the pattern. Two or more shells are then combined, via clamping or gluing using a thermoset adhesive, to form a mould. This finished mould can then be used immediately or stored almost indefinitely.

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The following steps are for the indirect process which can take two days to one week to complete. It can produce complicated shapes that would be difficult or impossible with die casting.000 years ago. INVESTMENT CASTING Investment casting is an industrial process based on and also called lost-wax casting. the mould is turned upside down and the wax layer is left to cool and harden. covers the inner surface of the mould. This is repeated until the desired thickness is reached. there are two options: soluble wax or ceramic. versatility and integrity in a variety of metals and high-performance alloys. or wood. but has produced complete aircraft door frames. Lost foam casting is a modern form of investment casting that eliminates certain steps in the process. steel castings of up to 300 kg and aluminium castings of up to 30 kg. Another is the resin for the sand is expensive. which can be expensive. Soluble wax cores are 7 7 6 . however not much is required because only a shell is being formed. known as the master die. one of the oldest known metal-forming techniques. 2. ax patterns may be produced in one of two ways. to today s high-technology waxes. If a steel pattern was created then a low-melting-point metal may be cast directly from the master pattern. repeatability. P ROC ESS : Casts can be made of the wax model itself. or of a wax copy of a model that need not be of wax. the direct method. The first step may also be skipped if the master die is machined directly into steel. the castings allow the production of components with accuracy.12 in) thick. The master pattern may be made from a low-melting-point metal. and let it cool. 1. Rubber moulds can also be cast directly from the master pattern. Produce the wax patterns: Although called a wax pattern pattern materials also include plastic and fro en mercury. ith this method it is more difficult to control the overall thickness of the wax layer. it requires little surface finishing and only minor machining. clay. 3. or another material. In one process the wax is poured into the mould and swished around until an even coating. usually about 3 mm (0. wood. steel. Mouldmaking: A mould. steel. It is generally more expensive per unit than die casting or sand casting but with lower equipment cost. The process is generally used for small castings. Another method is filling the entire mould with molten wax. From 5. plastic. the indirect method. Produce a master pattern: An artist or mould-maker creates an original pattern from wax. when beeswax formed the pattern. After this the rest of the wax is poured out again. is made of the master pattern. until a desired thickness has set on the surface of the mould.One disadvantage is that the gating system must be part of the pattern because the entire mould is formed from the pattern. refractory materials and specialist alloys. yet like that process. If a core is required.

ircon-based refractories are commonly used. known as the investment. Common refractory materials used to create the investments are: silica. which means any other imperfections are addressed so that the wax now looks like the finished piece. Note that the first coatings are known as prime coats. In other applications. with the result known as a pattern cluster. In the first case the multiple patterns are attached to a wax sprue. ircon. placing it in a rainfall-sander. various aluminium silicates. but sometimes quart is used because it is less expensive. or by applying by hand. Dewax: The investment is then allowed to completely dry. multiple different wax patterns may be created and then assembled into one complex pattern.[citation needed] Prior to silica. 6. the cluster is stuccoed with a coarse ceramic particle. so a uniform surface is produced. which is usually 5 to 15 mm (0. Drying can be enhanced by applying a vacuum or minimi ing the environmental humidity. Investment: The ceramic mould. or tree. 5. Depending on the application multiple wax patterns may be created so that they can all be cast at once. It is then turned upside-down and placed in a furnace or autoclave to melt out and or vapori e the wax. set by drying). which makes room for the rest of the wax 8 9 8 8 8 8 8 8 . the coating is allowed to harden. stuccoing. The wax pattern may also be chased. 8.designed to melt out of the investment coating with the rest of the wax pattern. In order to minimi e these stresses the wax is heated as rapidly as possible so that the surface of the wax can melt into the surface of the investment or run out of the mould. Aluminium silicates are a mixture of alumina and silica. because irconium is less likely to react with the molten metal. The binders used to hold the refractory material in place include: ethyl silicate (alcohol-based and chemically set). Chamotte is another refractory material that has been used. The first step involves dipping the cluster into a slurry of fine refractory material and then letting any excess drain off. The flask is then vibrated to allow entrapped air to escape and help the investment material fill in all of the details. which can take 16 to 48 hours. as many as several hundred patterns may be assembled into a tree. An alternative to multiple dips is to place the cluster upside-down in a flask and then liquid investment material is poured into the flask. During the primary coat(s). a mixture of plaster and ground up old moulds (chamotte) was used. and hardening. colloidal silica (water-based. 4. Finally it is dressed. so as the wax is heated it expands and induces great stresses. at 72% alumina the compound is known as mullite. This fine material is used first to give a smooth surface finish and reproduce fine details. The wax patterns are attached to the sprue or each other by means of a heated metal tool. which means the parting line or flashing are rubbed out using the heated metal tool. sodium silicate. Assemble the wax patterns: The wax pattern is then removed from the mould. Most shell failures occur at this point because the waxes used have a thermal expansion coefficient that is much greater than the investment material surrounding it. where commonly used mixtures have an alumina content from 42 to 72%.2 to 0.6 in). These steps are repeated until the investment is the required thickness. whereas ceramic cores remain part of the wax pattern and are removed after the workpiece is cast. Silica is usually used in the fused silica form. Finally. also known as silica sol. by dipping it into a fluidised bed. and alumina.Foundries often use registration marks to indicate exactly where they go. is produced by three repeating steps: coating. In the second step. and a hybrid of these controlled for pH and viscosity. 7.

to expand. The sprue is cut off and recycled. In certain situations holes may be drilled into the mould beforehand to help reduce these stresses. usually by grinding. or chemically dissolved (sometimes with liquid nitrogen) to release the casting. In industrial usage the si e limits are 3 g (0. tilt cast.6 mm (0. many operations to make a mould. pressure assisted pouring. Any wax that runs out of the mould is usually recovered and reused. A P P L I C AT I O NS Investment casting is used in the aerospace and power generation industries to produce turbine blades with complex shapes or cooling systems. media blasted. a lot of labour is needed and occasional minute defects. The metal may be gravity poured. D ETA S Investment casting is used with almost any castable metal.02 mm for the each additional centimeter (0.1 mm for the first 25 mm (0. If any cracks are found they can be repaired with ceramic slurry or special cements. 10. but if there are thin sections in the mould it may be filled by applying positive air pressure. but other times the mould is allowed to cool so that it can be tested. A standard surface finish is 1.024 in) to 75 mm (3. triggers. copper alloys. Pouring: The investment mould is then placed cup-upwards into a tub filled with sand.005 in for the first inch) and 0. and steel are the most common. vibrated. The mould is preheated to allow the metal to stay liquid longer to fill any details and to increase dimensional accuracy. vacuum cast. however aluminium alloys. Sometimes this heating is also as the preheat. 11. hammers. Investment casting is also widely used by firearms manufacturers to fabricate firearm receivers. Some of the reasons for the high cost include speciali ed equipment.3 4 microns (50 125 in) RMS. because the mould and casting cool together. costly refractories and binders. and to sinter the mould.0 in).002 in for each additional inch). Typical tolerances are 0.1 o ) to about 5 kg (11 lb). The casting may then be cleaned up to remove signs of the casting process. directionally solidified (DS). and C A@ Excellent surface finish High dimensional accuracy Extremely intricate parts are castable Almost any metal can be cast No flash or parting lines . waterjeted. Blades produced by investment casting can include single-crystal (SX). Removal: The shell is hammered. which heats the mould between 870 °C and 1095 °C to remove any moisture and residual wax. The cross-sectional limits are 0. Burnout & preheating: The mould is then subjected to a burnout. or conventional equiaxed blades. 9. The advantages of investment casting are: y y y y y B B The main disadvantage is the overall cost. or centrifugal cast.

but preheating is not required because the heat from the previous casting is adequate and the refractory coating should last several castings. Common casting metals are aluminum. The process is then started all over again. called slush casting. A variation on the typical gravity casting process. PERMANENT MOULD CASTING Permanent mould casting is metal casting process that employs reusable moulds ("permanent moulds"). wheels. low-pressure. Other materials include tin.370 °C). and automotive engine pistons. slush. produces hollow castings. magnesium. gear housings. Any sand or metal cores are then installed and the mould is clamped shut. Because this process is usually carried out on large production run workpieces automated equipment is used to coat the mould. inc. F F E . for instance inc alloys are poured at approximately 700 °F (371 °C). splines. and lead alloys and iron and steel are also cast in graphite moulds. and copper alloys. pipe fittings. however gas pressure or a vacuum are also used. and remove the casting. fuel injection housings. medical. while gray iron is poured at approximately 2. The pouring temperature can range greatly depending on the casting material. commercial and automotive. The most common process uses gravity to fill the mould. which prevents the casting from sticking to the mould and prolongs the mould life.other precision parts at low cost. Soon after solidification the mould is opened and the casting removed to reduce chances of hot tears. The metal is poured at the lowest practical temperature in order to minimi e cracks and porosity. usually made from metal. Molten metal is then poured into the mould. Typical parts include gears. D P ROC ESS There are four main types of permanent mould casting: gravity. and vacuum. Other industries that use standard investment-cast parts include military. The mould cavity is then coated with a refractory material or a mould wash. G R A I T Y P R OC E S S The gravity process begins by preheating the mould to 150-200 °C (300-400 °F) to ease the flow and reduce thermal damage to the casting.500 °F (1. pour the metal.

This decreases thermal fatigue. They are small enough to let the air escape but not the molten metal. H . bron e. Casting moulds are usually formed from gray cast iron because it has about the best thermal fatigue resistance. Cores can be used and are usually made from sand or metal. facilitates metal flow. but other materials include steel. A riser must also be included to compensate for shrinkage. from low-melting-point materials. They are usually not very complex because the mould offers no collapsibility to compensate for shrinkage. and graphite. Venting usually occurs through the slight crack between the two mould halves. The method was developed by illiam Britain in 1893 for the production of lead toy soldiers. lamp bases. such as sinks. The process is usually used to cast ornamental products. The remaining liquid is then poured out to leave a hollow shell. Hollow cast figures generally have a small hole where the excess liquid was poured out. and toilets.M OUL D Moles for the casting process consist of two halves. such as candlesticks. and results in a lighter and less expensive product. In the process the material is poured into the mould and allowed to cool until a shell of material forms in the mould. the mould is heated prior to the first casting cycle and then used continuously in order to maintain as uniform a temperature as possible during the cycles. The resulting casting has good surface detail but the wall thickness can vary. This usually limits the yield to less than 60%. but if this is not enough then very small vent holes are used. urinals. Mechanical ejectors in the form of pins are used when coatings are not enough to remove casts from the moulds. and statuary. A similar technique is used to make hollow chocolate figures for Easter and Christmas. G S LU S H Slush casting is a variant of permanent moulding casting to create a hollow casting or hollow cast. Instead the mould is opened as soon as the casting is solidified. and helps control the cooling rate of the casting metal. As stated above. which prevents hot tears. Hollow casting is also used extensively for vitreous china products. These pins are placed throughout the mould and usually leave small round impressions on the casting. These metals are chosen because of their resistance to erosion and thermal fatigue. It uses less material than solid casting.

Yields are usually greater than 85 because there is no riser and any metal in the pouring tube just falls back into the ladle for reuse.LOW- Schematic of the low-pressure permanent mould casting process u p an n ou d LPPM) ca ng u a ga a lo p u u ually b n 3 and Lo -p 15 p g (20 to 100 kPag) to pu h th molten metal into the mould cavity. Mechanical properties are about 5 better than gravity permanent mould castings. No risers are required because the applied pressure forces molten metal in to compensate for shrinkage. which minimizes gas porosity and dross formation. The pouring tube extends to the bottom of the ladle so that the material being pushed into the mould is exceptionally clean. Advantages include very little turbulence when filling the mould because of the constant pressure. b b PI ESS URE .2 to 5 kg (0. The process is limited in weight to 0. R QV SS S R T Q ` SR TTSR V T TST R S X T ` U V S a URS SR T TSR a YT b Q V Y T W VA C U U M Vacuum permanent mould casting retains all of the advantages of LPPM casting. The vast majority of LPPM casting are from aluminum and magnesium. Mechanical properties are usually 10 to 15 better than gravity permanent mould castings.44 to 11 lb). but some are copper alloys. plus the dissolved gases in the molten metal are minimized and molten metal cleanliness is even better. The p essu e is applied to the top o the pool o liquid which fo ces the molten metal up a refractory pouring tube and finally into the bottom of the mould. The disadvantage is that cycles times are longer than gravity permanent mould castings. The process can handle thin-walled profiles and gives an excellent surface finish.

A draft of 2 to 3° is required. specifically inc. A high pouring temperature can also induce shrinkage problems and create longer cycle times. Large differences in section thickness in the mould or casting can decrease mould life as well. and good dimensional accuracy. the mould temperature. and the mould configuration. the pouring temperature.015 in for the first inch) and 0.02 mm for each additional centimeter (0. This level of versatility has placed die castings among the highest volume products made in the metalworking industry e P ROC ESS There are four major steps in the die casting process. First.5 m (100 250 in) RMS. Typical part si es range from 100 g to 75 kg (several ounces to 150 lb).5 to 7.0098 in). aluminium. all thicknesses are limited to 3 to 50 mm (0. pewter and tin based alloys.000 cycles. The mould life is dependent on four factors: the mould material. ensuring precise surface quality and dimensional consistency. good surface finish.0 in). but the higher the pouring temperature the shorter themould life. lead. There are three main disadvantages: high tooling cost. Other advantages include the ease of inducing directional solidification by changing the mould wall thickness or by heating or cooling portions of the mould. For lower melting point metals the mould life is longer but thermal fatigue and erosion usually limit the life to 10. Typical surface finishes are 2. and short mould life. Most die castings are made from non-ferrous metals. c d c e DIE CASTING Die casting is the process of forcing molten metal under high pressure into mould cavities (which are machined into dies). if the dimension crosses the parting line add an additional 0. although ferrous metal die castings are possible. The pouring temperature is dependent on the casting metal. If the mould temperature is too low misruns are produced. copper.000 to 120.25 mm (0. but if the mould temperature is too high then the cycle time is prolonged and mould erosion is increased. the mould is sprayed with lubricant and closed. The lubricant both helps control the temperature of the die and it also assists in the removal . limited to low-melting-point metals. The fast cooling rates created by using a metal mould results in a finer grain structure than sand casting. Retractable metal cores can be used to create undercuts while maintaining a quick action mould.002 in per in. The high tooling costs make this process uneconomical for small production runs.4 mm for the first 25 mm (0. Typical tolerances are 0. hen the process is used to cast steel or iron the mould life is extremely short. The die casting method is especially suited for applications where a large quantity of small to medium si ed parts are needed. magnesium.12 to 2.A DV ANT AG E S A ND DI S ADV A NT AG E S : The main advantages are the reusable mould.

which allows the molten metal to fill the "gooseneck".000 short tons. Most die casters perform other secondary operations to produce features not readily castable. This process has the advantages of lower cost per part. These castings can still be heat treated and welded.of the casting. In this way. or painting. An added advantage to this is greater strength. An older method is separating by hand or by sawing. This process can be performed on aluminium. This causes small dispersed oxides to form when the molten metal fills the dies. runners. between 10 175 MPa (1. A less labour-intensive method is to tumble shots if gates are thin and easily broken. The disadvantages of this system are that high-melting point f ff . polishing. Typical ratings are between 400 and 4. sprues and flash.I N J E C T I O N DI E C A S T I N G Heated-manifold direct-injection die casting. such as tapping a hole. the scrap. f f E Q U I P ME N T : There are two basic types of die casting machines: hot-chamber machines (a. and better surface quality through slower cooling cycles. This problem is minimi ed by including vents along the parting lines. is a inc die casting process where molten inc is forced through a heated manifold and then through heated mini-no les. buffing. The die is then opened and the shot (shots are different from castings because there can be multiple cavities in a die. The high-pressure injection leads to a quick fill of the die. and lead alloys. gates and runners) and energy conservation. This creates the problem of air entrapment. through the reduction of scrap (by the elimination of sprues. also known as direct-injection die casting or runnerless die casting.M A N I F O L D D I R E C T . plating. separation of gates from finished parts must follow. These are rated by how much clamping force they can apply. It is identical to the standard process except oxygen is injected into the die before each shot.000 psi). At the beginning of the cycle the piston of the machine is retracted.k. which lead into the moulding cavity. f P O RE F RE E C AST I NG P RO C E S S hen no porosity is required for a casting then the pore-free casting process is used. This scrap is recycled by remelting it.500 25. however. Hot-chamber machines rely upon a pool of molten metal to feed the die. Molten metal is then shot into the die under high pressure. This is often done using a special trim die in a power press or hydraulic press.a. yielding multiple castings per shot) is ejected by the ejector pins. gooseneck machines) and cold-chamber machines. in which case grinding may be necessary to smooth the scrap marks. Once the die is filled the pressure is maintained until the casting has solidified. The yield is approximately 67%. even in a highly refined process there will still be some porosity in the center of the casting. which includes the gate. g g h H E A T E D . inc. must be separated from the casting(s). discontinuities are avoided even if the shape requires difficult-to-fill thin sections. because when the mould is filled quickly there is little time for the air to escape. The gas or oil powered piston then forces this metal out of the gooseneck into the die. which is required so the entire cavity fills before any part of the casting solidifies. The advantages of this system include fast cycle times (approximately 15 cycles a minute) and the convenience of melting the metal in the casting machine. which virtually eliminates gas porosity. Finally.

Dies for inc are often made of H13 and only hardened to 29-34 HRC. and vents along the parting lines. there's been a trend to incorporate larger gates in the die and to use lower injection pressures to fill the mould. these cores must have very little clearance between the die and the core to prevent the molten metal from escaping. however its not uncommon for there to be more sections that open and close in different directions. Then a precise amount of molten metal is transported to the cold-chamber machine where it is fed into an unheated shot chamber (or injection cylinder). tin. The core then must be removed by hand.metals cannot be utili ed and aluminium cannot be used because it picks up some of the iron while in the molten pool. Cold-chamber machines are used when the casting alloy cannot be used in hot-chamber machines. This biggest disadvantage of this system is the slower cycle time due to the need to transfer the molten metal from the furnace to the cold-chamber machine. There must be at least two dies to allow for separation and ejection of the finished workpiece. and lead based alloys. Moreover. theref re o metal cores are used. Due to this. The dies used in die casting are usually made out of hardened tool steels because cast iron cannot withstand the high pressures involved. ejector pins. Recently. Cores are either made of H13 or 440B. retractable cores. Due to this the dies are very expensive. This machine works by melting the material. Sand cores cannot be used because they disintegrate from the high pressures involved with die casting.005 in) so that when the molten metal starts filling them the metal quickly solidifies and minimi es scrap. magnesium and copper. If a retractable core is used then provisions must be made for it to be removed either in a straight line or circular arc. Dies may contain only one mould cavity or multiple cavities of the same or different parts. Dies also often contain water-cooling passages. first. so that the wearing parts can be selectively nitrided for hardness. A die's life is most prominently limited by wear or erosion. In addition to the dies there may be cores involved to cast features such as undercuts. which is strongly dependent on the temperature of the molten metal. p p p . No risers are used because the high pressure ensures a continuous feed of metal from the gate. and then increase the pressure after its filled. i i injection moulding machine. hot-chamber machines are primarily used with inc. This shot is then driven into the die by a hydraulic or mechanical piston. Loose cores may also be used to cast more intricate features (such as threaded holes). leaving the exposed part soft to resist heat checking.13 mm or tooling and injection nozzle.Complete working cell. These loose cores are inserted into the die by hand before each cycle and then ejected with the part at the end of the cycle. Loose cores are more expensive due to the extra labour and time involved. in a separate furnace. These vents are usually wide and thin (approximately 0. these include aluminium. inc alloys with a large composition of aluminium. This system helps reduce porosity and inclusions. resulting in high startup costs.

5 cm (0.000 100. Castings are made as large as an 8 feet across and 30Lbs in weight. In magnesium y y y y y y y Disadvantages: y y y Casting weight must be between 30 grams (1 o ) and 10 kg (20 lb).1 mm for the first 2. Casting tensile strength as high as 415 MPa (60 ksi). High initial cost.04 0. for the first inch) and 0.5 micrometres or 0. heating elements.002 in.02 mm for each additional centimeter (0.030 in).000 500 (950) Maximum die life [number of cycles] 1.000 Die temperature [C° (F°)] Casting temperature [C° (F°)] 218 (425) 288 (550) 260 (500) 400 (760) 660 (1220) 760 (1400) 1090 (2000) Other failure modes for dies are: y Heat checking: surface cracks occur on the die due to a large temperature change on every cycle Thermal fatigue: surface cracks occur on the die due to a large number of cycles y A D V A N T A G E S A N D D I S A D V A NT A G E S : Advantages: y Excellent dimensional accuracy (dependent on casting material.000. and high strength bearing surfaces). Thinner walls can be cast as compared to sand and permanent mould casting (approximately 0. but typically 0.005 in. v . Smooth cast surfaces (1 2.Typic die te pe tures and life for various cast materials u u qt s rq Zinc Aluminum Magn sium Brass (l aded yellow) 100.000 10. Rapid production rates. Inserts can be cast-in (such as threaded inserts. Reduces or eliminates secondary machining operations. for each additional inch).75 mm or 0. Limited to high-fluidity metals.10 thou rms).

27 mm (0. Such alloys are not used in foodservice applications for public health reasons.050 in) 1:80 (0.7°) Magnesium alloys 1.5 in). but can be greater.63 mm (0. AA 380. excellent strength-to-weight ratio. copper. high corrosion resistance. x y y y y Maximum weight limits for aluminium. Aluminium: lightweight. high thermal and electrical conductivity. used for special forms of corrosion resistance. good corrosion resistance. good mechanical properties. lightest alloy commonly die cast.27 mm (0. retains strength at high temperatures. A large production volume is needed to make this an economical alternative to other processes. magnesium. AA 390. AA 384. high dimensional stability for complex shapes and thin walls. extremely close dimensional accuracy. high ductility. and tin. excellent dimensional stability. 44 lb (20 kg).6°) Zinc alloys 0. excellent wear resistance. The following is a summary of the advantages of each alloy: y w w Zinc: the easiest alloy to cast. Metal Minimum section Minimum draft Aluminium alloys 0. respectively. Magnesium: the easiest alloy to machine.y y A certain amount of porosity is common. Lead and Tin: high density. inc aluminium. aluminium. Specific dies casting alloys include: ZAMAK. and 75 lb (34 kg). promotes long die life. 10 lb (5 kg). magnesium. high impact strength.3°) . AA 386. and AZ91D magnesium.035 in) 1:100 (0. and inc castings are approximately 70 pounds (32 kg).6°) Brass and bronze 1. Copper: high hardness. highest mechanical properties of alloys die cast.89 mm (0. brass. lead.025 in) 1:200 (0. The thickest section should be less than 13 mm (0. D I E C AS T I NG MAT E R I ALS The main die casting alloys are: inc. economical for small parts. The material used defines the minimum section thickness and minimum draft required for a casting as outlined in the table below. easily plated.050 in) 1:100 (0. strength approaching that of steel parts.

Unlike most other casting techniques. vertical machines for rings. The casting is usually a fine-grained casting with a very fine-grained outer diameter. y P ROC ESS In centrifugal casting. It is noted for the high quality of the results attainable. owing to chilling against the mould surface. The molten metal is centrifugally thrown towards the inside mould wall.CENTRIFUGAL CASTING Centrifugal casting or rotocasting is a casting technique that is typically used to cast thin-walled cylinders. € € B E N E FI T S Cylinders and shapes with rotational symmetry are most commonly cast by this technique. This may be used to encourage directional solidification of the casting. flow. In the centrifugal casting technique the radius of the rotation. where it solidifies after cooling. Providing that the shape is relatively constant in radius. but centrifugal casting is particularly suited to them. Thin-walled cylinders are difficult to cast by other means. relative to gravity's vertical. simply to place the casting's longest dimension conveniently hori ontal. Hori ontal axis machines are preferred for long. and thus give useful metallurgical properties to it. Most castings are solidified from the outside first. a permanent mould is rotated continuously about its axis at high speeds (300 to 3000 rpm) as the molten metal is poured. usually gravity) are always more difficult than short castings. The casting machine may be rotated to place this in any convenient orientation. along which the centrifugal force acts. replaces the vertical axis. € € € . particularly for precise control of their metallurgy and crystal structure. which can be machined away. rather than shaped parts tailored to a particular end-use. Often the inner and outer layers are discarded and only the intermediary columnar one is used. thin cylinders. Casting machines may be either hori ontal or vertical-axis. centrifugal casting is chiefly used to manufacture stock materials in standard si es for further machining. "Tall" castings (in the direction of the settling force acting. Centrifugal casting is also applied to the casting of disk and cylindrical shaped objects such as railway carriage wheels or machine fittings where the grain. Impurities and inclusions are thrown to the surface of the inside diameter. Hori ontal and vertical axis machines are both used. these are effectively shallow flat castings and are thus simple. and balance are important to the durability and utility of the finished product. non circular shapes may also be cast. To the rotation radius.

A P P L I C AT I O NS Typical parts made by this process are pipes. cylinder liners and other parts that are axi-symmetric. Two materials can be cast together by introducing a second material during the process. pressure vessels (see autofrettage). It allows lower-cost production of metal sections with better quality.M A T E R I ALS Typical materials that can be cast with this process are iron. boilers. bloom. standardised production of a product. Since then. flywheels. due to the inherently lower costs of continuous. also called strand casting. steel. steel was poured into stationary moulds to form ingots. This process is used most frequently to cast steel (in terms of tonnage cast). quality. CONTINUOUS CASTING Continuous casting. productivity and cost efficiency. or slab for subsequent rolling in the finishing mills. as well as providing increased control over the process through automation. glass. It is notably used to cast cylinder liners and sleeve valves for piston engines. "continuous casting" has evolved to achieve improved yield. parts which could not be reliably manufactured otherwise. copper and nickel. Aluminium and copper are also continuously cast. is the process whereby molten metal is solidified into a "semifinished" billet. stainless steels. . Prior to the introduction of continuous casting in the 1950s. and alloys of aluminum.

Liquid metal B. Slag D. Solidified metal C. and arriving at the correct temperature. such as alloying and degassing. the ladle is transported to the top of the casting machine. After undergoing any ladle treatments. Water-cooled copper plates E. the ladle sits in a slot . Refractory material             A 3D schematic Molten metal (known as hot metal in industry) is tapped into the ladle from furnaces.EQ U IP ME NT A ND P R O C E SS : 1 Ladle 2 Stopper 3 Tundish 4 Shroud 5 Mould 6 Roll support 7 Turning zone 8 Shroud 9 Bath level 10 Meniscus 11 Withdrawal unit 12 Slab A. Usually.

now called a strand. ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚‚ ‚‚ ‚ . the shroud is set so the hot metal exits it below the surface of the slag layer in the mould and is thus called a submerged entry no le (SEN). water cooled rollers. The mould is water-cooled to solidify the hot metal directly in contact with it. and to trap any slag particles including oxide particles or scale that may still be present in the metal and bring them to the top of the pool to form a floating layer of slag. After exiting the spray-chamber. these act to support the walls of the strand against the ferrostatic pressure (compare hydrostatic pressure) of the still-solidifying liquid within the strand. the mould axis is hori ontal and the flow of steel is hori ontal from liquid to thin shell to solid (no bending). Some continuous casting layouts feed several moulds from the same tundish. in order to take advantage of the metal's hot condition to pre-shape the final strand. the rollers gradually curve the strand towards the hori ontal. vertical configurations are also used. To increase the rate of solidification. the strand is cut into predetermined lengths by mechanical shears or by travelling oxyacetylene torches. either strand oscillation or mould oscillation is used to prevent sticking in the mould. It is here that the design of continuous casting machines may vary. exits the base of the mould into a spray-chamber. in this case. Moulds in a curved apron casting machine can be straight or curved. In the mould. the strand is also sprayed with large amounts of water as it passes through the spraychamber. the strand passes through straightening rolls (if cast on other than a vertical machine) and withdrawal rolls. the strand stays vertical as it passes through the spray-chamber. interchangeable metering no les in the base of the tundish direct the metal into the moulds. a thin shell of metal next to the mould walls solidifies before the middle section. this is the secondary cooling process. Final solidification of the strand may take place after the strand has exited the spray-chamber. as well as smoothing out flow. From the ladle. shrouds may not be used between tundish and mould.5 to 2 metres (20 to 79 in). thus acting as a buffer of hot metal. In a true "Hori ontal Casting Machine". regulating metal feed to the molds and cleaning the metal (see below). the strand exits the mould vertically (or on a near vertical curved path) and as it travels through the spraychamber. Often. There may be a hot rolling stand after withdrawal. depending on the basic design of the machine.on a rotating turret at the casting machine. The strand is immediately supported by closely spaced. and is switched to the casting position once the first ladle is empty. Metal is drained from the tundish through another shroud into the top of an open-base copper mould. This describes a 'curved apron' casting machine. is marked for identification and either taken to a stockpile or the next forming process. In this type of machine. A lubricant can also be added to the metal in the mould to prevent sticking. one ladle is 'on cast' (feeding the casting machine) while the other is made ready. Finally. In a vertical casting machine. In a curved apron casting machine. the bulk of metal within the walls of the strand is still molten. The depth of the mould can range from 0. depending on the casting speed and section si e. It also oscillates vertically (or in a near vertical curved path) to prevent the metal sticking to the mould walls. the hot metal is transferred via a refractory shroud (pipe) to a holding bath called a tundish. In some cases. The tundish allows a reservoir of metal to feed the casting machine while ladles are switched. this is the primary cooling process.

Wider slabs are available up to 3250×150 mm. such as below 200 mm square. especially strip. the Aldwarke Bloom caster in Rotherham. R A NG E O F C O NT I NU O U S LY C AS T S E C T I O NS : y y Casting machines are designated to be billet.4 m minute. The bloom length can vary from 4 to 10 m Billet casters cast smaller section si es. Rounds: either 500 mm or 140 mm in diameter Conventional beam blanks: look similar to I-beams in cross-section. bloom or slab casters. for example at Nanjing Iron & Steel in China. Cast speeds can reach up to 4 m minute. Thin slabs: 1680×50 mm „ o o y Conventional bloom casters cast sections above 200×200 mm e. casts sections of 560×400 mm. with lengths up to 12 m long. roll or extrude the metal into its final shape.g.In many cases the strand may continue through additional rollers and other mechanisms which might flatten. Slab casters tend to cast sections with an aspect ratio that is much wider than it is thick: o Conventional slabs lie in the range 100 1600 mm wide by 180 250 mm thick and up to 12 m long with conventional casting speeds of up to 1. (however slab widths and casting speeds are currently increasing). 1048×450 mm or 438×381 mm overall Near net shape beam blanks: 850×250 mm overall Strip: 2 5 mm thick by 760 1330 mm wide † … y y y y y . due to their lower melting temperatures. UK. C A S T I NG MAC H I NE S F O R A LU MI NI U M A ND C O P P E R continuous hot vertical molten aluminum pours bottom end of casting in process into this casting die (top casting die (aluminum) view of die) ƒ the resulting Aluminum blanks (after cutting to size) Aluminium and copper can be cast hori ontally and can be more easily cast into near net shape.

Metal is poured into the mould and withdrawn with the dummy bar once it solidifies. one or more strands may be shut down to accommodate upstream delays.S T A R T U P . One of the main methods through which hot metal may become dirty is by oxidation. tundish and mould. and the preheating of the ladle before it accepts metal. However. or in the case of the ladle. It is extremely important that the metal supply afterwards be guaranteed to avoid unnecessary shutdowns and restarts. C O N T R O L O F T H E P R O C E S S A N D P R O B L E MS Starting a continuous casting machine involves placing a dummy bar (essentially a curved metal beam) up through the spray chamber to close off the base of the mould. inclusions of gas. A major problem that may occur in continuous casting is breakout. Each time the caster stops and restarts. via the ladle slide gate. then the metal flow into the moulds is controlled solely by the internal diameter of the metering no les. flow rate and temperature of the hot metal. or if the caster has multiple strands. Avoiding turnarounds requires the meltshop. which means that final . tundish and mould sense the metal level or weight. including ladle furnaces (if any) to keep tight control on the temperature of the metal. known as 'turnarounds'. In the tundish. ˆˆ ˆˆ Overall casting speed can be adjusted by altering the amount of metal in the tundish. continuous casting is of no use if the metal is not clean beforehand. among other parameters. breakout is due to too high a withdrawal rate. Computer control also allows vital casting data to be repeated to other manufacturing centres (particularly the steelmaking furnaces). allowing their work rates to be adjusted to avoid 'overflow' or 'underrun' of product. allowing the still-molten metal inside the strand to spill out and foul the machine. the cast rate may be lowered by reducing the amount of metal in the tundish (although this can increase wear on the tundish). Many continuous casting operations are now fully computer-controlled. the metal is isolated from the atmosphere as much as possible. or the metal is too hot. While the large amount of automation helps produce castings with no shrinkage and little segregation. To prevent oxidation. and the programmable logic controller (PLC) can set the rate of strand withdrawal via speed control of the withdrawal rolls. These no les are usually interchangeable. The PLC can also set the mould oscillation rate and the rate of mould powder feed. slag or undissolved alloys may also be present. requiring a turnaround. This is when the thin shell of the strand breaks. or undissolved alloys may also be trapped in the slag layer. Often. exposed metal surfaces are covered by the shrouds. as the shell has not had the time to solidify to the required thickness. other slag or oxides. To achieve this. slag cover and deslagging. Turnarounds may be scheduled into a production sequence if the tundish temperature becomes too high after a certain number of heats. which can vary dramatically with alloying additions. any inclusions gas bubbles. Several electromagnetic and thermal sensors in the ladle shroud. which occurs rapidly at molten metal temperatures (up to 1700 °C). as well as the spray water flow. a new tundish is required. or becomes 'dirty' during the casting process. as any uncast metal in the tundish cannot be drained and instead free es into a 'skull'. The flow of metal into the moulds can be controlled via two methods: y y ‡ By slide gates or stopper rods at the top of the mould shrouds If the metal is open-poured. by synthetic slag.

this reaction is extremely fast and violent. generating large amounts of hot gas. especially in the tundish. Slight adjustments to the flow conditions within the tundish or the mould can mean the difference between high and low rejection rates of the product. A storage ramp is provided to support the flexible end in the stored position.solidification takes place well below the straightening rolls and the strand breaks due to stresses applied during straightening. causing a tear in the shell of the strand. Oxygen can be removed through the addition of silicon or aluminium to the steel. However. A breakout can also occur if solidifying steel sticks to the mould surface. . If the incoming metal is overheated. D I R E C T S T R I P C A S TI N G : Direct strip casting is a continuous casting process for producing metallic sheet directly from the molten state that minimises the need for substantial secondary processing. A more flexible spine in the end portion of the starter bar allows the starter bar to be curved to a tighter radius than that of the casting path while the blocks fan out in an unsupported configuration. lead contamination of the metal (caused by counterweights or lead-acid batteries in the initial steel charge) can form a thin film between the mould wall and the steel. which reacts to form silicon oxide (silica) or aluminium oxide (alumina). to ensure that inclusions and turbulence are removed from the hot metal. ‰‰ S T ART ER B AR: The starter bar has a free end portion which is flexible for storage and a substantially rigid portion at the end which plugs the mould. inhibiting heat removal and shell growth and increasing the risk of breakouts. Additionally. yet ensure that all the metal reaches the mould before it cools too much. Computational fluid dynamics and other fluid flow techniques are being used extensively in the design of new continuous casting operations. it is preferable to stop the caster than to risk a breakout. Adjustable spacers in the form of tapered blocks are disposed between the blocks of the bar to allow the starter bar to be selfsupporting in a curved configuration corresponding to the casting path. and is especially dangerous if it occurs in the confined spaces of a casting machine. As the term boil suggests. too much alumina in the steel will clog the casting no les and cause the steel to 'choke off'. Another problem that may occur is a carbon boil oxygen dissolved in the steel reacts with alsopresent carbon to generate bubbles of carbon monoxide. The starter bar is constructed in discrete blocks secured to one side of a planar spine provided in segments and arranged end to end.