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Cast irons are basically alloys of Iron, Carbon and Silicon. Cast Iron is so called because of its high cast ability due to low melting temperature and high fluidity as compared to steel. Its ductility is very low due to its high Carbon content (2-6.7%) and its micro structure; hence it cannot be rolled, drawn or worked. However, they melt readily and can be cast into complicated shapes which are usually machined to final dimensions. Since casting is the only suitable process applied to these alloys, these are known as Cast Iron.


Pure iron, upon heating, experiences two changes in crystal structure before it melts. At room temperature the stable form, called ferrite, or iron, has a BCC crystal structure. Ferrite experiences a polymorphic transformation to FCC austenite, or iron, at 912C. This austenite persists to 1394C, at which

temperature the FCC austenite reverts back to a BCC phase known as ferrite, which finally melts at 1538C. The temperatures at which the allotropic changes take place in iron, is influenced by alloying elements, the most important of which is Carbon. The portion of Iron-Carbon alloy system shown is the part between pure Iron and interstitial compound orthorhombic Iron carbide or cementite ( ), containing 6.67% Carbon by weight. The horizontal line at 1147C shown in the figure represents the isothermal eutectic reaction. The eutectic point is at 4.3% carbon and the same temperature. Whenever an alloy crosses this line the reaction must take place. Any liquid that is present when this line is reached must now solidify into the very fine intimate mixture of two phases that are at either end of the horizontal line, namely austenite and cementite. This eutectic mixture has been given the name ledeburite and the equation may be written as

The eutectic mixture is not usually seen in the microstructure, since austenite is not stable at room temperature and must undergo another isothermal reaction, i.e. the eutectoid reaction at 727C. Any austenite present must now transform into the very fine eutectoid mixture of ferrite and cementite, called pearlite. The equation may be written as

TRUE EQUILIBRIUM IRON-CARBON PHASE DIAGRAM:Cementite is only metastable; i.e. it will remain as a compound indefinitely at room temperature. But if heated to between 650 and 700C for several years, it will gradually change or transform into iron and carbon, in the form of graphite, which will remain upon subsequent cooling to room temperature. The reaction can be written as

( )

Thus, the phase diagram in the above figure is not a true equilibrium one because cementite is not an equilibrium compound. The true equilibrium ironcarbon phase diagram is gives below where the eutectic point is shifted to 4.2% carbon.

However, as the decomposition rate of cementite is extremely sluggish, virtually all the carbon in steel will be as instead of graphite, and the ironiron carbide phase diagram is, for all practical purposes, valid. COMMERCIAL RANGE OF CAST IRONS:The alloys containing more than 2 percent carbon in the phase diagram are known as cast irons. The cast iron range may again be subdivided by eutectic carbon content (4.3%). Cast irons that contain less than 4.3% carbon are known as hypoeutectic cast irons, whereas those that contain more than 4.3% carbon are called hypereutectic cast irons. The commercial range of cast irons lies between 2-4.3% C.

COMPOSITION OF GRAY CAST IRON:The range of compositions in gray iron castings is as follows: total carbon, 2.75 to 4.00 percent; silicon, 0.75 to 3.00 percent; manganese, 0.25 to 1.50 percent; sulfur, 0.02 to 0.20 percent; phosphorus, 0.02 to 0.75 percent. One or more of the following alloying elements may be present in varying amounts: molybdenum, copper, nickel, vanadium, titanium, tin, antimony, and chromium. Nitrogen is generally present in the range of 20 to 92 ppm. The concentration of some elements may exceed the limits shown above, but generally the ranges are less than shown. With the exception of the carbon in the pearlite of the matrix, the carbon is present as graphite as shown in the microscopic view of GCI. The graphite is present in flake form and as such greatly reduces the tensile strength of the matrix. It is possible to produce all grades of iron of ASTM Specification for Gray Iron Castings (A 48-64) by merely adjusting the carbon and silicon content of the iron. It would be impossible to produce gray iron without an appropriate amount of silicon being present. The addition of silicon reduces the solubility of carbon in iron and also decreases the carbon content of the eutectic. The eutectic of iron and carbon is about 4.3 percent. The addition of each 1 percent silicon reduces the amount of carbon in the eutectic by 0.33 percent. Since carbon and silicon are the two principal elements in gray iron, the combined effect of these elements in the form of percent carbon plus 1/3 percent silicon is termed carbon equivalent (CE). Gray irons having a carbon equivalent value of less than 4.3 percent are designated hypoeutectic irons, and those with more than 4.3 percent carbon equivalent are called hypereutectic irons. For hypoeutectic irons in the automotive and allied industries, each 0.10 percent increase in carbon equivalent value decreases the tensile strength by about 2700 psi. If the cooling or solidification rate is too great for the carbon equivalent value selected. the iron may freeze in the iron-iron carbide metastable system rather than the stable iron-graphite system, which results in hard or chilled edges on castings. The carbon equivalent value may be varied by changing either or both the carbon and silicon content. Increasing the silicon content has a greater effect on reduction of hard edges than increasing the carbon content to the same carbon equivalent value. Silicon has other effects than changing the carbon content of the eutectic. Increasing the silicon content decreases the carbon content of the pearlite and raises the transformation temperature of ferrite plus pearlite to austenite.

The most common range for manganese in gray iron is from 0.55 to 0.75 percent. Increasing the manganese content tends to promote the formation of pearlite while cooling through the critical range. It is necessary to recognize that only that portion of the manganese not combined with sulfur is effective. Virtually, all of the sulfur in gray iron is present as manganese sulfide, and the manganese necessary for this purpose is 1.7 times the sulfur content. Manganese is often raised beyond 1.00 percent, but in some types of green sand castings pinholes may be encountered. Sulfur is seldom intentionally added to gray iron and usually comes from the coke in the cupola melting process. Up to 0.15 percent, sulfur tends to promote the formation of Type A graphite. Somewhere beyond about 0.17 percent, sulfur may lead to the formation of blowholes in green sand castings. The majority of foundries maintain sulfur content below 0.15 percent with 0.09 to 0.12 percent being a common range for cupola melted irons. The phosphorus content of most high-production gray iron castings is less than 0.15 percent with the current trend toward more steel in the furnace charge; phosphorus contents below 0.10 percent are common. Phosphorus generally occurs as an iron iron-phosphide eutectic, although in some of the higher- carbon irons, the ternary eutectic of iron iron-phosphide iron-carbide may form. This eutectic will be found in the eutectic cell boundaries, and beyond 0.20 percent phosphorus a decrease in machineability may be encountered. Phosphorus contents over 0.10 percent are undesirable in the lower-carbon equivalent irons used for engine heads and blocks and other applications requiring pressure tightness. For increased resistance to wear, phosphorus is often increased to 0.50 percent and above as in automotive piston rings. At this level, phosphorus also improves the fluidity of the iron and increases the stiffness of the final casting. Copper and nickel behave in a similar manner in cast iron. They strengthen the matrix and decrease the tendency to form hard edges on castings. Since they are mild graphitizers, they are often substituted for some of the silicon in gray iron. Chromium is generally present in amounts below 0.10 percent as a residual element carried over from the charge materials. Chromium is often added to improve hardness and strength of gray iron, and for this purpose the chromium level is raised to 0.20 to 0.35 percent. Beyond this range, it is necessary to add a graphitizer to avoid the formation of carbides and hard edges. Chromium improves the elevated temperature properties of gray iron. One of the most widely used alloying elements for the purpose of increasing the strength is molybdenum. It is added in amounts of 0.20 to 0.75 percent, although the most common range is 0.35 to 0.55 percent. Best results are obtained when the phosphorus content is below 0.10 percent, since molybdenum forms a complex eutectic with phosphorus and thus reduces its alloying effect. Molybdenum is widely

used for improving the elevated temperature properties of gray iron. Since the modulus of elasticity of molybdenum is quite high, molybdenum additions to gray iron increase its modulus of elasticity. Vanadium has an effect on gray iron similar to molybdenum, but the concentration must be limited to less than 0.15 percent if carbides are to be avoided. Even in such small amounts, vanadium has a beneficial effect on the elevated temperature properties of gray iron. The effect of relatively small additions of tin (less than 0.10 percent) on the stability of pearlite in gray iron is beneficial. Tin is extensively used in automotive engines. Its use is particularly helpful in complex castings wherein some sections cool slowly. It has been found that additions of up to 0.05 percent antimony have a similar effect. In larger amounts, these elements tend to reduce the toughness and impact strength of gray iron. Although most gray irons contain some titanium and the effect of titanium on the mechanical properties has been investigated many times, it is only recently reported the effect of titanium reduced from a titanium containing slag in an electric arc furnace. With titanium contents of 0.15 to 0.20 percent, the graphite flakes tend to occur as Type D graphite rather than predominantly Type A, which is generally considered desirable. It is found that for irons with carbon equivalent of less than about 3.9 percent, the addition of titanium tends to lower tensile strength, but for the higher carbon equivalent irons, tensile strength is improved. Normally, nitrogen is not considered as an alloying element and generally occurs in gray iron as a result of having been in the charge materials. At higher nitrogen levels the graphite flakes become shorter and the strength of the iron is improved. Gray irons usually contain between 20 and 92 ppm (0.002 to 0.008 percent) nitrogen. If the nitrogen approaches or exceeds 100 ppm, unsoundness may be experienced if the titanium content is insufficient to combine with the nitrogen.

PROPERTIES OF GRAY CAST IRON:1. Casting properties: High fluidity and ability to make sound castings. Relatively low melting temperature (1150-1300C) as compared to that of steels. During final stages of solidification, it has very low and, in some cases, no liquid to solid shrinkage so that sound castings are readily obtainable.

2. Mechanical properties: High compressive strength. Low tensile strength. Low impact strength. High torsional shear strength. Low notch sensitivity. High hardness and rigidity. Variation in graphite size and distribution will cause wide variations in hardness. High wear resistance High stability after weathering.

3. Special properties: It is self lubricating due to the presence of free graphite flakes. Good antifriction properties. Prevents chatter when used for machine frames. It is self-damping, does not vibrate or ring.

4. Machineability: Easily machined to a good finish once the skin is removed. Forms discontinuous chip.

APPLICATIONS OF GRAY CAST IRON: Machine tool structures (bed, frame etc.) Cylinder blocks and heads for I.C. engines. Piston rings. Different Automobile parts such as brake shoe. Frames for electric motors, many types of gear housings, pump and turbine housings etc. Counterweights for elevators and industrial furnace doors. Guards and frames around hazardous machinery. Rolling mill and general machinery parts. Fire hydrants. Ingot moulds. Gas or water pipes for underground purposes. Sanitary wares. Tunnel segment. Sewer covers. Household appliances, etc.

Metal Casting Process

Casting is the earliest metal shaping method known to human being, which means pouring molten metal into a refractory mould with a cavity of the shape to be made. When solidified, the desired metal object is taken out from the refractory which is called casting and the process is called foundry.

The whole process of producing castings may be classified into five stages: Pattern and core box making Moulding and core making Melting and casting Fettling and heat treatment Testing and inspection


A pattern is a replica of the object to be made by casting process, with some modifications. The quality of the casting produced depends largely on the material of the pattern. So, when only few castings are needed, a loose pattern made from a soft variety of wood serves the purpose. But, where a large number of castings are required and are to be repeatedly produced, pattern should be made in metal or epoxy resin and mounted on pattern plates for use on moulding machines.

The following decisions should be taken before patternmaking: a. b. c. d. e. f. g. The type and form of material to be used The type of pattern to suit the method of moulding to be adopted The provision of core boxes Constructional details, including the provision of loose pieces, core prints etc. Considerations as regards the values of allowances to be used The method of gating and feeding to be followed The provision of various foundry aids

SELECTION OF PATTERN MATERIALS:To be suitable for use the pattern material should be, Easily worked, shaped and joined Light in weight for facility in handling and working Strong, hard and durable, i.e. high strength to weight ratio Resistant to wear and abrasion, to corrosion and to chemical reaction Dimensionally stable and unaffected by variations in temperature and humidity Available at low cost It can be repaired or even reused Able to take good surface finish

TYPES OF MATERIALS USED FOR PATTERN MAKING: Wood and wood products Metals and alloys Plasters Plastics and rubbers Waxes


WOOD AND WOOD PRODUCTS:Advantages: It can easily worked, shaped and joined to form any complex shape It is light in weight It is easily, plentily as well as cheaply available

Disadvantages: It has got low strength It is susceptible to moisture causing it to swell or shrink It is less resistant to wear

Types of timber for pattern work:The woods commonly used for pattern work are pine, mahogany, teak, walnut and deodar. Besides these natural woods, compressed wood laminates, laminated wood impregnates (Plastic wood) and sometimes wooden patterns with metallic coatings (where metallic patterns cannot be economically employed and wooden pattern are not found satisfactory due to low strength and lack of high finish) are also used. Teak is a hard and strong variety of wood, unaffected by fungus and easily available in India. Pine, though weak, is often favoured for its extreme lightness, stability, ease of working and ability to take good surface finish. Mahogany is a hard, strong and very durable type of wood with negligible shrinkage or swelling after seasoning. It takes a very fine natural polish, stains well and glues excellently. So it is the best choice for pattern work amongst natural woods. Deodar is a soft variety, slightly harder than Pine but easily machinable and takes good polish.


TYPES OF PATTERNS:Patterns are classified as follows, each satisfying certain casting requirements:1. Loose patterns: Single piece pattern: It is the most inexpensive of all patterns and best suited for limited production or in prototype development. Moulding with this pattern requires manual operation. This pattern is expected to be entirely in the drag with one of the surfaces flat which is used as parting plane. The pattern is similar to the casting required except the necessary allowance and core prints are provided. Split or two piece pattern: This is used when the castings are of intricate design or are required in bulk. It is split along the parting surface, one half of which is moulded in drag and the other half in core. Loose piece pattern: This is used when the contour of the part is such that withdrawing the single piece or split pattern from the mould is not possible. After moulding is over, first the main pattern is removed and then the loose pieces are recovered through the gap generated by the main pattern. Follow board pattern: This is adopted for those castings where there are some portions which are structurally weak and if not supported properly are likely to break under the force of ramming. The bottom board is modified as a follow board to closely fit the contour of the weak pattern and thus support it during the ramming of the drag. It is not necessary during preparation of cope. 2. Gated pattern: - This is an improvement over the simple pattern where the gating and runner system are integral with the pattern eliminating the hand cutting of runners and gates. 3. Cope and drag pattern: - These are similar to split patterns, used for castings which are heavy and inconvenient for handling. In addition to splitting the pattern, the cope and drag halves of the pattern along with the gating and riser systems are attached separately to the metal or wooden plates along with the alignment pins. 4. Special patterns: Sweep pattern: It is used for generating large shapes which are axisymmetrical or prismatic in nature such as bell shaped or cylindrical by means of a plane sweep. Skeleton pattern: A skeleton of pattern made of strips of wood is used for building the final pattern by packing sang around the skeleton and the final form is obtained with the help of a stickle. It is useful for large size of castings, required in small numbers.


5. Match-plate or plate-mounted pattern: - Here the cope and drag patterns along with the gating and risers are mounted on a single matching metal or wooden plate on either side. After moulding when the match plate is removed, a complete mould with gating is obtained by joining the cope and drag together. These are generally used for small castings with higher dimensional accuracy and large production.

CORE PRINTS:Castings are often required to have holes, recesses etc., of various sizes and shapes which are obtained by using cores. Cores are separately made by pressing sand in boxes known as core boxes. The cavity in the core box must be of the exact shape and size of the core required. For supporting the cores in the mould cavity, an impression in the form of a recess is made in the mould with the help of a projection suitably placed on the pattern which is known as core print.

Types of core prints:1. Horizontal core print: - This is provided in a horizontal axis, along the joint line on the pattern, so that the core is laid horizontally in the mould. 2. Vertical or cope-and-drag core print: - It forms a seat for a core that will stand vertically in the mould with a generous tape, especially on the cope side. 3. Balanced core print: - When the shape of the casting is such that it is not possible to support the core from both sides, the core and the core prints are then so designed that the part of the core in the mould cavity balances the part that rests in the core seat. Chaplets may be used to aid in the support of the core in the cavity. 4. Cover or hanging core print: - It is favoured when the entire pattern is rammed in the drag part and the core is to be suspended from the cope side. 5. Wing or drop or chair or tail core print: - A wing type of core print is used when a hole or recess is required to be cored above or below the parting line.


Following table gives the length of core prints when core is supported on both sides.
Core length (in mm) Up to 50 51-100 101-200 201-400 401-700 701-1200 1201-2000 Green sand Green sand Green sand Green sand Green sand Green sand Green sand Type of mould 0-50 20 30 35 40 Length of core print (in mm) for diameters (in mm) 51-100 25 35 40 50 80/60 101-160 30 40 45 70/60 125/75 135/90 161-250 35 45 60 110/65 190/90 220/110 -/130 251-400 50 90/75 180/90 -/110 -/130 -/155

Cores can be supported on one end only if the length of core is equal to less than 1.2 times its diameter. Following table gives the height of top prints when both top and bottom prints are used. Bottom print can be half the top print in length.
Core length (in mm) Length of core print (in mm) at the top for diameters(D) (in mm) or (L+B)/2 (in mm) 0-50 Up to 50 51-100 101-200 201-400 401-700 701-1200 1201-2000 30 30 40 50 60 30 30 50 60 70 90 51-100 30 40 50 60 70 100 130 101-160 30 40 60 70 80 100 130 161-250 30 50 60 70 80 110 140 251-400

Type of core boxes:1. Half core box: - It is used when the shape of core required is such that it can be prepared in identical halves. 2. Dump or slab core box: - It is used when the core produced by the core box does not require any pasting and is complete in itself. 3. Split core box: - When the core box is in two parts and a complete core results from a single ramming, the box is called a split core box. 4. Strickle type core box: - This is used when the core is required to have an irregular surface which cannot be easily rammed by other methods. The desired irregular shape is achieved by striking off the core sand from the top of the core box with a piece of wood called a strickle board, which is cut to correspond exactly to the contour of the required core.


5. Right and left handed core box: - When the core is required in two parts that are not identical, two different core boxes of half-core type have to be provided for each part of the core. 6. Loose piece core box: - Where two parts of the core are not identical, they can be prepared from a single core box with the help of loose pieces. The cavity in the box is made in the form of a cross, and in one of the two recesses, loose pieces are used. One part of the core is processed by placing the loose piece in the left-hand recess and the other part by shifting the loose piece to the right-hand recess.

PATTERN AND CORE BOX ALLOWANCES:The dimensions of pattern are different from the final dimensions of the casting required due to various reasons. The selection of correct allowances greatly helps to produce the casting with particular specifications, reduce machining costs and avoid rejections. The allowances usually considered on patterns and core boxes are detailed as follows.

Shrinkage or contraction allowance:All the metals shrink when cooled except Bismuth because of the inner atomic vibrations which are amplified by an increase in temperature. Shrinkage is of two types. Liquid shrinkage refers to the reduction in volume when the metal changes from liquid to solid at solidus temperature. To account for this risers are provided in the mould. Solid shrinkage is the reduction in volume when the metal loses temperature in solid state. The shrinkage allowance is provided to take care of this reduction.

The average rate of shrinkage for gray cast iron is given in the following table.
Material Gray cast iron Pattern dimension (in mm) Up to 600 600 to 1200 Over 1200 Shrinkage Allowance (in mm/m) 10.5 8.5 7.0


The value of contraction as obtained from the table is only a guideline because the actual contraction taking place while the metal solidifies depends on several factors such as Composition of metal, and impurities and constituents present. Method of moulding used, mould design, mould material and resistance offered by the mould to shrinkage Pouring temperature Design and intricacy of the casting, its bulk and size

The shrinkage may even vary within the same casting from one dimension to other. Therefore in such cases it is necessary to calculate the actual dimensions of the pattern considering the shrinkage that is going to occur. In gray cast iron, the amount of graphitization controls the actual shrinkage. When graphitization is more, the shrinkage would be less and vice versa.

Draft allowance:Draft or taper is provided on all vertical surfaces of the pattern from the parting line so that it can be removed from the sand without tearing away the sides of the mould and without excessive rapping by the moulder. A draft is thus given to provide light clearance for the pattern as it is lifted up. The amount of draft depends upon, The length of the vertical side of the pattern to be extracted The intricacy of the pattern; it varies with the complexity of the job The method of moulding; less for machine moulding and more for hand moulding Pattern material; less for metal, plastic etc. and more for wood Less for external surfaces and more for internal surfaces.

The following table is a general guide to provision of draft using machine moulding.
Pattern material Wood Height of the given surface (in mm) Up to 20 21 to 50 51 to 100 101 to 200 201 to 300 301 to 800 801 to 2000 Over 2000 Draft angle of surfaces(in degrees) External surface 3.00 1.50 1.00 0.75 0.50 0.50 0.35 Internal surface 3.00 2.50 1.50 1.00 1.00 0.75 0.50 0.25


Machining or finishing allowance:It is the extra material added to certain parts of the casting to enable their machining to the required size and surface finish and for cleaning surface to remove scales in case of ferrous materials. The amount of machining allowance to be provided for is affected by, The method of moulding and casting used, viz., hand moulding or machine moulding, sand casting or metal-mould casting Size and shape of the casting The casting orientation: greater allowance is required on the surface at the top in the mould The characteristics of the metal The functional requirements of the casting, and the degree of accuracy and finish required

The following table gives the general guidelines for machining allowances on patterns for sand castings.
Material Dimension (in mm) Bore 3.0 5.0 6.0 Allowance(in mm) Surface 3.0 4.0 5.0 Cope side 5.5 6.0 6.0

Cast iron

Up to 300 301 to 500 501 to 900

Rapping and shake allowance:When the pattern is rapped for easy withdrawal, the mould cavity gets slightly larger in size which causes the casting size to increase. To compensate for this growth, the pattern should initially be made slightly smaller than the required size. Its value is decided by experience or by trial as no guidelines can be made for this allowance. One way of reducing this allowance is to increase the draft which can be removed during the subsequent machining. This allowance cannot be ignored for large size castings or where high precision is desired.

Distortion allowance:A metal when it has just solidified is very weak and therefore is likely to be distortion prone at the weaker sections such as long flat portions, V, U sections or in a complicated casting which may have thin and long sections which are connected to thick sections. The distortion in casting may occur due to internal stresses in casting, which in turn may be caused on account of unequal cooling rates of different sections of the casting, hindered contraction from cores and unequal heat transfer rates.


Measures taken to prevent distortion include, Modification of casting design so as to avoid abrupt changes in sections, areas of heat and stress concentration, intersecting ribs etc. Improving foundry practice and reducing casting strain by selecting metal that will be subjected to minimum contraction, controlling pouring temperature, using proper moulding procedures, such as the use of chills for uniform cooling rates and avoiding the use of rigid cores and restrictions Providing sufficient machining allowance to cover the distortion effect Providing suitable allowance on the pattern, called camber or distortion allowance (inverse deflection) in the opposite direction of the likely distortion direction.

The amount of distortion that may occur is extremely difficult to work out because it depends on several parameters which differ in nature and have effects that cannot be easily correlated. Hence the trial and error method can be followed. The following table gives the approximate values of distortion allowance in case of cast iron castings.
Length(in mm) Wall thickness (in mm) Camber value for depth (in mm) Camber value for width (in mm) 12 12 7.5 25 8 5 3 37 5 3.5 50 3 2 67 1.5 0.8 12 27 18 25 20 12.5 6 37 14 8 50 9 5 67 4.5 2.5 12 50 35 25 37 25 9 37 25 17 50 15 10 67 7 4


1. Use of loose pieces: - Loose pieces are used on patterns to facilitate withdrawal of the later from the mould where there are projections, bosses or other configurations which will not otherwise allow drawing of the pattern. The part liable to cause obstruction in withdrawal is prepared as a loose portion on the pattern so that it need not be withdrawn from the mould simultaneously with the pattern. 2. Drawback core: - This is a block of sand which is pulled away after the cope is removed to allow the pattern to be withdrawn. This may thus substitute for a regular core and a loose piece where those cannot be used such as when an old casting serves as pattern.


3. Stop-off: - If thin, plate-like, flimsy casting, without any ribs, is required, its pattern will normally tend to wrap and get distorted and produce a deshaped casting. In such case, stop-off pieces may be inserted on the pattern to prevent it from bending. This is also used to enable production of a shorter length of casting when the pattern already available is longer than necessary. 4. Fillet: - Whenever a sharp corner occurs, a smooth fillet should be provided to enable metal to flow easily into the mould, cooling to be uniform and without stress concentration, allowing a more sound casting to be produced and facilitate withdrawal of the pattern from the mould. 5. Finishing of pattern: - After the patterns are prepared, they should be finished by sanding so that tool marks and other irregularities are erased. Then they should be applied with two or three coats of shellac to fill up the pores and impart a smooth surface finish.


The term moulding process refers to the method of making the mould and the materials used. The various molding processes differ primarily in the method of forming the mould and in the granular refractory and the method of bonding it. Processes of moulding are classified as follows: 1. Sand Moulding Green sand moulding Dry sand moulding Core sand moulding Shell moulding Miscellaneous sand moulding 2. Investment Moulding 3. Ceramic Moulding 4. Plaster Moulding 5. Graphite Moulding SAND MOULDING:The moulding process, where a sand aggregate is used to make the mould, produces by far the largest quantity of casting. Sand is the principal moulding material in the foundry shop where it is used for all types of castings, irrespective of whether the cast is ferrous or non-ferrous, iron or steel. IMPORTANT CHARACTERISTICS OF SAND: It is refractory in nature due to which it can easily withstand the high temperature of the molten metal and does not get fused. It has high chemical resistivity thats why it does not react chemically react or combine with molten metal and can therefore used again and again. It has a high degree of permeability; this allows gases and air to escape from the mould when the mould is poured without interfering with the rigidity and the strength of the mould.

PRINICIPAL INGREDIENTS OF MOULDING SANDS:The principal ingredients of moulding sands are 1. Silica sand grains 2. Clay 3. Moisture


1. Silica Silica sand grains are of paramount importance in moulding and because they impart refractoriness, chemical resistivity, and permeability to the sand. 2. Clay Clay imparts the necessary bonding strength to the moulding sand so that after ramming, the mould does not lose its shape. 3. Moisture Clay acquires its bonding action only in the presence of the requisite amount of moisture. When water is added to clay, it penetrates the mixture and forms a microfilm which coats the surface of each flake. If water is added in exact quantity required to form the film, the bonding action is best.

CLASSIFICATION OF MOULDING SAND:Moulding sands may be classified into four different types Natural moulding sand High silica sands Special sands Bonding clays

1. Natural Moulding Sand Natural sands possess an appreciable amount of clay which acts as a bond between the grains. The quantity and type of clay minerals present affect the strength, toughness and refractoriness of the sand. The clay may belong to different mineralogical groups such as kaolinite, montmorillonite, halloysite, deckle and nacrite. Natural moulding sand are obtained by crushing and milling soft yellow sandstone, carboniferous rocks, etc. 2. High Silica Sand These sands contain less than 2% of clay, alkalies and minerals. They occur as loose or poorly consolidated deposits of sedimentary origin.They are industrially prepared by first crushing quartzite sandstone of open texture, and then washing and grading these to yield a sand grade of requisite shape and grain distribution.


3. Special Sand These sands are ideal for achieving special characteristics, which are not otherwise possible in ordinary silica sands. Zicron, olivine, chamotte, chromite, and chrome-magnesite are often used as special sands.

4. Bonding Clays Bentonite is the most common type of bonding clay, is used with silica sands as a green sand additive to increase the bonding action and impart plasticity. It belongs to montmorillonite group of minerals and possesses typical characteristic properties. It enhances the strength without requiring drying. It resists erosion of moulds and its volumetric contraction helps in compensating the expansion of silica grains.

ADDITIVES TO MOULDING AND CORE MAKING SANDS:In order to obtain specific characteristics in moulding and core making sands according to the requirement of molten metal and base sand, suitable additives are mixed during sand preparation. The additives may be of reducing or fibrous nature, or may act as binding agents. They improves high temperature plasticity, hot strength, produce anti-metal penetration properties and impart good surface finish to the castings. The commonly used additives used additives are of the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Coal dust Iron oxide Dextrin Molasses Sulphite Lye Linseed oil(core oils) Sodium Silicate Fibrous Materials

PARTING AGENTS Parting agents are used in foundries for easy release of moulds and cores from patterns and core boxes. Depending upon the process of moulding, parting agents may be in powder or liquid form. The commonly used parting agents in powder form are graphite, soapstone and fine silica sand. And the liquid parting agents are mineral oil or water based silicone solutions are commonly used in case of case of shell and hot-box moulding.


MOULDING PROCESSES:1. Floor Moulding Floor moulds may be either the open sand type or the one box type. In the open sand moulding, the mould cavity is prepared in the floor and the molten metal is poured directly in the cavity, no passage is provided in the sand for te molten metal to reach the mould cavity. One box moulding is used in which one part of the flask is placed at top the floor mould. The flasks acts as a cope and carries sprue and riser. 2. Bench Moulding It is favoured for small sized castings, which are light in weight and can be easily handled. The various techniques applied for preparing the mould in bench moulding are, Two-box Moulding Three-box Moulding Moulding with a False Cheek Plate Moulding Stack Moulding Odd Side Moulding

TYPES OF SAND MOULDING:Sand moulding methods may also classified according to the type of sand used and the moisture content of the sample. Different types are, 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Green Sand Moulding Dry Sand Moulding Skin Dried Moulding Loam Moulding Oil Sand Moulding

Green Sand Moulding When the mould is filled with molten metal while the sand is still moist, the method is called green sand moulding. Due to presence of moisture, the mould lacks permeability and strength which results in defects such as blow holes and pinholes in the casting. But with use of a synthetic sand mixture this defects can be overcome.


Cores are the materials used for making cavities and hollow projections which cannot normally be produced by the pattern alone. These are generally made of sand and are even used in permanent moulds.

CHARACTERISTICS OF CORES:1. Green Strength: A core made of green sand should be strong enough to retain the shape till it goes for baking. 2. Dry strength: it should have adequate dry strength so that when the core is placed in the mould, it should be able to resist metal pressure acting on it. 3. Refractoriness: Core material should have higher refractoriness. 4. Permeability: Cores should have higher permeability. 5. Collapsibility: As the casting cools, it shrinks and unless the core has good collapsibility (ability to decrease in size) it is likely to provide resistance against shrinkage and thus can cause hot tears. 6. Friability: The friability (the ability to crumble) should also be a very important consideration. 7. Smoothness: The surface of the core should be smooth so as to provide a good finish to the casting. 8. Low gas emission: Core should allow only a minimal amount of gases to be evolved such as that voids in the castings can be eliminated. CORE SANDS:The core sand should contain the sand grains, binders and other additives to provide specific properties. SAND: The silica sand which is completely devoid of clay is generally used for making sand cores. Coarse silica is used in steel foundries are the finer silica are used for cast irons and non-ferrous alloys. BINDERS: The binders generally used are linseed oil, core oil, resins, dextrin, and molasses. Core oil is mixture of linseed, soy, fish, petroleum oils and coal tar.


CHAPLETS Chaplets are often required to be placed between the mould wall or base and core, in order to avoid deflection of the core and achieve the exact section thickness of the casting. Chaplets are of same composition as that of the pouring metal so that the metal would provide enough heat to completely melt them and thus fuse with it during solidification. IS: 5904-1978 gives dimensions of 11 types of chaplets as follows: Type 1:Single-column chaplets, round headed, with or without collars, with or without groove in the columns. Type 2:Single-column chaplets, with round or rectangle column and square heads. Type 3:Two-column chaplets, with rectangular heads, round or rectangular column, round head, round column and rectangular bottom plate. Type 4:Three-column chaplets with flat rectangular or flat radial heads. Type 5:Four-column chaplets with round or rectangle columns and rectangular heads. Type 6:Stem chaplets with flat plate or curved plate heads, stem being plain or grooved. Type 7:Two-column chaplets with flat, rectangular, stamped heads. Type 8:Bridge type chaplets made from steel plates by pressing in one peice. Type 9:Spring back chaplet, made in C shape in one piece by pressing. Type 10:Box type chaplet, rectangular or radial, with inserting end or central rib. Type 11: Wire chaplets with single or double supporting spiral.



The gating system refers to all the passageways through which metal enters a mould cavity. It thus mainly includes parts such as a pouring basin, sprue, runner, and gates. The chief requisites of a gating design are of the following: i. Metal should be able to flow through the gating system with a minimum of turbulence and the aspiration of mould gases so as to prevent sand erosion and gas pick-up. The metal should be so introduced in the mould cavity that all the temperature gradients established on the mould surfaces and within the metal facilitate directional solidification towards the riser. The gating system should be so designed that the rate of entry of metal into the mould cavity is well regulated. The casting should be produced with a minimum of excess metal in gates and riser. Loose sand, oxides, and slag should be prevented from entering the mould cavity by providing a proper skimming action on the metal as it flows through the gating system.


iii. iv. v.


POURING BASIN:The main function of the pouring basin is to reduce the momentum of the liquid flowing into the mould by setting first into it. In order that the metal enters into the sprue without any turbulence it is necessary that the pouring basin be deep enough, and also the entrance into the sprue be a smooth radius. Pouring basin is kept full in order to prevent vortex flow. The basin should be substantially large and should be placed near enough to the edge of the flask for the pourer to fill the mould quickly, keep it full during the entire pouring operation and the ladle tip at all times close to the pouring basin. If the pouring basin is designed to regulate the rate of metal entry, the metal flows smoothly into the sprue and turbulence is avoided. Good results are obtained using a dam or a strainer core or both in the pouring basin.

SPRUE:The vertical passage through the cope and the connecting the pouring basin to the runner or gate is called the sprue. The sprue size should satisfy certain conditions, the sprue must be small enough for (i). the pourer to keep it full during entire pouring operation and (ii). the metal to enter the mould cavity at a velocity that avoids spluttering and turbulence. At the same time, the sprue must be large enough for (i). the mould cavity to fill completely without laps, seams, or misruns and (ii). a metal head to build up quickly enough to prevent mould gases from being aspirated into the metal. The cross section of a sprue may be square, rectangular or circular. The sprues are generally tapered downwards to avoid aspiration of air and metal damage. If a sprue of uniform cross-section is used, severe aspiration occurs because the metal velocity increases as it descends the vertical sprue. If the sprue is tapered to a degree so that the metal lies firmly against the mould, aspiration and turbulence are minimised. RUNNER:In large castings, molten metal is usually carried from the sprue base to several gates around the cavity through a passageway called the runner. When a mould has more than one cavity, the common gate supplying metal to a number of cavities is also called a runner, and the branches from the runner to the respective mould cavities are referred as in-gates. The runner should be streamlined to avoid aspiration and turbulence. In order to obtain a flow of approximately equal volume through each gate, the path of the runner is reduced in area after each successive in-gate by an amount equal to in-gate area.


GATES:The gate is the passage that finally leads the molten metal from the runner into the mould cavity. The location and size of the gates are so arranged that the mould can be filled in quickly with a minimum amount of cutting of the mould surfaces by the flowing metal. The gates should be so placed that cracks do not develop when the metal cools. The gate connections should be located where they can be readily removed without damaging the castings. According to their position in the mould cavity, gates may be broadly classified as; Top Gates Parting Gates Bottom Gates Gating Ratio:The gating ratio refers to the proportion of the cross-sectional areas between the sprue, runner and the ingates and is generally denoted as; Sprue area: Runner area: Ingate area. Depending on the choke area there can be two types of gating systems; Non-pressurized Pressurized In non-pressurized gating system, total runner area and ingates area are higher than the sprue area. In this system there is no pressure existing in the metal flow system and thus it helps to reduce turbulence. In case of a pressurized gating system, the ingate area is the smallest, thus maintaining a back pressure throughout the gating system. Due to back pressure in the gating system, the metal is more turbulent and generally flows full and thereby, can minimize the air aspiration even when a straight sprue is used. This is mainly used for ferrous castings.


CALCULATION OF GATING SYSTEM DESIGN:The dimensions of the gating system may be calculated as follows; 1. Determination of casting weight ( ).

2. Determination of pouring weight, W=

.assuming yield to be 70% .

3. Estimation of critical thickness (t) of the casting from the drawing. The thinnest section through which metal has to flow is the critical thickness. 4. Determination of pouring rate (R) of the molten metal. It is given by,

where, W = weight of the casting, in kg. t = critical thickness of the casting, in mm. P = constant whose value depends on the weight the casting. Weight of the casting Up to 500 kg 500-5000 kg 5000-15000kg Value of p 0.50 0.67 0.70

5. Determination of metal fluidity(K). Metal fluidity is estimated from composition factor. And composition factor (C.F) is given as, C.F = ( ) ( ) Metal fluidity 0.50 - 0.70 0.60 0.90 0.75 1.00 0.90 1.20

Composition Factor 3.2 3.6 4.0 4.2


6. Calculation of pouring time (T). For gray cast iron of mass less than 450kg, pouring time is given as, ( )

7. Calculation of adjusted pouring rate ( ). The pouring rate is adjusted for metal fluidity and the effect of friction in the gating system. It is given as, Where, c = friction factor, = 0.85-0.90 for tapered sprue. = 0.70-0.75 for straight sprue. 8. Determination of effective sprue height (H). It is given as, .... for top gate. .... for bottom gate. .... for parting gate. Where, h = total height of the sprue. b = total height of the mould cavity. a = height of the mould cavity in the cope.

9. Determination the choke area ( It is given as,


Where, c = efficiency factor which is a function of gating system used. = density of the molten metal, in kg/


10. Determination of sprue top area ( ). Pouring cup height in relation to sprue height also affects the sprue diameter. It is ensured that,

From Ac and At , the sprue diameter at the bottom and top of the sprue can be found out, respectively. 11. The gating ratio for typical pressurized system is taken as 1 : 2 : 1 12. Determination of ingate area ( ). The total cross-section area of ingates is given as,

13. Runner area, Let, = width of the runner= 1.5H H = height of the runner Assuming runner to be rectangular, B and H can be determined from the following equation.

14. Ingate area, Assuming there are two gates, area of each gate = From the above equation, the diameters of both the gates can be found out.


rISER design
A riser is a hole cut or moulded in the cope to feed the casting during solidification so that no shrinkage cavities are formed. The main requisites of an effective riser are the following: It must have sufficient volume as it should be the last part of the casting to freeze. It must completely cover the sectional thickness that requires feeding. The fluidity of the molten metal must be adequately maintained so that the metal can penetrate the portions of the mould cavity freezing towards the end. It should be so designed that it establishes and affects the temperature gradients within the casting so that the later solidifies directionally towards the riser.

DESIGN OF RISER (CAINES METHOD):Since the riser and casting have the similar solidification behaviour, both of their characteristics can be specified by the ratio of surface area to volume. Solidification time,

( )

Where, V= volume of the casting A= surface area of the casting K= mould constant Freezing ratio, X= Again, X= Where, For GCI, = 0.33 0.03 = 1.00

In case of gray cast iron, it sometimes may have a negative shrinkage. This happens because, with higher carbon and silicon contents, graphitisation occurs which increases the volume and therefore would counteract the metal shrinkage and as such risering may not be very critical in this situation.


CHILLS:When the casting consists of both thick and thin sections, the thinner sections tend to solidify earlier than the thicker ones. This differential cooling rate produces uneven contraction of parts and gives rise to internal strains in the metal. It may even produce cracks if the cooling of thinner parts is too severe. For rapid solidification of heavy sections and achievement of directional solidification, which ensures controlled freezing towards the riser, chills are commonly used. Chills also help in making the metal dense, thereby avoiding internal flaws. External chills:These are placed in the mould wall facing the cavity and become part of the same. Internal chills:These are placed within the mould cavity and go into the casting when the metal is poured.


Melting and Casting

In foundry practice, melting and casting ranks second in importance only to mould operation of the equipment, but he must also have a thorough knowledge of the making. The melter shouldnt only understand the nature and metallurgy of various cast metals and alloys, their behaviour during solidification and cooling and their physical and mechanical properties in order to have a good quality product.

MELTING EQUIPMENT FOR FOUNDRIES:Generally, the metals obtained from the blast furnace, steel-making furnace, or from other smelting furnaces in case of non-ferrous metals are not cast directly because of two reasons. First, the metal so obtained is not always in a refined state to be directly cast; secondly, it is difficult from a practical viewpoint to pour a huge quantity of molten metal in moulds of different sizes. Therefore, iron obtained from the smelting furnace first cast into some regular form, such as pigs and ingots and these forms are re-melted in foundries for casting the required object. For re-melting purpose, there is a wide range of equipment such as crucible furnace, open-hearth furnace, air or refractory furnace, cupola furnace and electric furnace. Out of all the above type of furnace electric furnace are mostly used because of several reasons such as good- quality metal as they attain high melting efficiency with minimum loss. Unlike cupola or air furnace, electric furnaces possess greater adaptability, flexibility and provide precise control over the temperature of molten metal.

ELECTRIC FURNACE:Electric furnace are now being used for melting and refining all kinds of steel, including stainless steel, tool steel and other alloy steels. At times, they are also used for melting plain and alloy cast irons.

ELECTRIC ARC FURNACES ARE OF THREE TYPES: Direct arc furnace Indirect arc furnace Electric induction furnace

But now-a-days electric induction furnaces are mostly used.


ELECTRIC INDUCTION FURNACE:Melting of metal in electric induction furnace differs from that in the arc furnace in that, instead of bulk of the heat being generated in an arc and radiated to the charge, all the heat is generated in the charge itself. Induction heating is a noncontact form of heating.

PHYSICAL PRINCIPLE OF ELECTRIC INDUCTION FURNACE:The principle of electric induction furnace is mainly based on two well-known physical phenomena Electromagnetic induction The joule effect

ELECTROMAGNETIC INDUCTION:The energy transfer to the object to be heated occurs by means of electromagnetic induction. It is known that in a loop of conductive material an alternating voltage is induced, when this loop is placed in an alternating magnetic field as shown in fig (a) below.


The formula is the following:

Where, E= voltage [V] = magnetic flux [Wb] t= time When the loop is short-circuited, the induced voltage E will cause a current to flow that opposes its cause the alternating magnetic field. This is Faraday - Lenzs law as shown in fig (b). If a massive conductor (e.g. a cylinder) is placed in the alternating magnetic field instead of the short-circuited loop, than eddy currents will be induced in here (Figure 2). The eddy currents heat up the conductor according to the Joule effect.

Induction of eddy current

JOULE-EFFECT:When a current I [A] flows through a conductor with resistance R [ ], the power is dissipated in the conductor resulting in generation of heat.

P= R


The heating system in an induction furnace includes: Induction heating power supply, Induction heating coil, Water-cooling source, which cools the coil and several internal components inside the power supply.


The induction heating power supply sends alternating current through the induction coil, which generates a magnetic field. An alternative electromagnetic field induces eddy currents in the metal which converts the electric energy to heat without any physical contact between the induction coil and the work piece. A schematic diagram of induction furnace is shown below. The furnace contains a crucible surrounded by a water cooled copper coil. The coil is called primary coil to which a high frequency current is supplied. By induction secondary currents, called eddy currents are produced in the crucible. High temperature can be obtained by this method.


The cored furnace carries an induction coil, which is immersed within the metal bath and acts as a core for the eddy currents flow. The electromagnetic induction effect causes the liquid metal to move through the channels around the coil and, simultaneously, secondary currents, which cause heating are induced in the liquid metal around the core. This type of furnace, though most efficient, requires liquid metal charge while starting and therefore cannot be used for intermittent operation. On the other hand coreless induction furnace does not have any induction coil or core and the secondary currents or eddy current are induced in the charge itself by electromagnetic induction. Such furnaces are designed particularly for ferrous metals. Induction furnace are built in capacity varying from 100kg to 30 tonnes, though for foundry use, a capacity range of 1 tonne to 5 tonne is found suitable. The approximate power consumption of these furnaces is about 650kWh-750 kWh per tonne of metal. Induction furnaces have largely been of high frequency type, the frequency of current ranging as high as 100,000 cycles per second.


ADVANTAGES OF INDUCTION FURNACE:(i) (ii) Induction furnaces have high flexibility in that even small quantity of metal of any composition can be melted. The melting process is also quite simple. The induction furnaces have an extremely high rate of melting. Though the actual time depends on power input and size, the melting time is generally about an hour. The unit can therefore deliver metal at regular intervals. The control of temperature is very easily and quickly obtained within a wide range, the upper limit being higher than that in any other established commercial method. Highly alloyed steel can be melted without appreciable loss of alloying elements, and can therefore effect large economies. The actual metallic yield of liquid steel from scrap is also exceptionally good. High quality metal and alloys free of hydrogen and nitrogen can be produced by this method.




DISADVANTAGE OF INDUCTION FURNACES:(i) (ii) (iii) The initial cost is high. There can be no refining process due to difficulties in maintaining hot fluid, and reactive slag on the metal surface. Sampling cannot be carried out owing to high speed of melting.

REFRACTORIES FOR MELTING UNITS:Refractory are materials that can withstand high temperature and resist the action of slag. These materials should not show any sign of fusion below 1580C because they are used to serve as receptacles for molten metal. Refractory form a vital part of all melting furnaces in foundry. Characteristic of good refractory materials (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) Do not fuse and soften at the temperature at which they are used; Are able to withstand thermal shock due to sudden change in temperature; Resist abrasion Do not get crushed under the heavy pressure of the charge when used at high temperature; (v) Have a low thermal coefficient; (vi) Are chemically inert and resist corrosion; (vii) Do not allow gases to permeate through them; and (viii) Have high electrical resistance if used for electric furnaces. In actual practice, no refractory fulfil all these requisites, but there are some materials that satisfy many of the conditions.


CLASSIFICATION:Refractory materials are classified as acid, basic, or neutral, according to their reactivity with acidic or basic slag formed in furnaces. Acid Refractory: - Acid refractory are those that are not attacked by acid slags. The common materials are silica and fire clay. Basic Refractory: - Basic refractory are those that do not react with basic slags. They are suitable for lining furnaces operating on the basic slag practice. Common basic refractories are magnesite, chrome-magnesite and dolomite. Neutral Refractory: - Neutral refractory neither react with acid nor with basic slags and they permit the use of both acid and basic process on the same lining. Common neutral refractory materials are carbon, graphite, chromite and sillimanite.



All metals, whether in pure or alloyed form are crystalline in nature. When the metal starts solidifying metal crystallites called nuclei first form. The growth of nuclei takes the shape of a pine tree often described as dendritic. The growing arms keep impinging on each other and increasing in size until the metal becomes completely solid.

Dendrites are called crystals or grains. Within each grain, atoms of the metal are aligned in certain definite form, called lattices. There are different types of lattice structure such as face-centered, body-centered and hexagonal close-packed. These different arrangements of atoms impart varying peculiar properties to the metal.


Types of lattice formation

From the foundry point of view, pure metals presents difficulty in casting as they freeze at one finite temperature and solidify quickly. Therefore most of the pure metals are alloyed with other elements to modify or improve the existing properties. In alloyed form they are stronger, melt at lower temperature, solidify slowly and hence better fluidity and castability.


For a given alloy, there is a particular temperature (liquidus temperature) above which all is liquid, and there is another(solidus temperature) below which all is solid. The portion lying in between solidus and liquidus is called the mushy zone.


% alloying element

Effect of alloying on solidification of an alloy


When a metal alloy cools from liquid state to solid state, it contracts in three distinct stages: (i) liquid contraction, which takes place when the alloy cools from the pouring temperature to the solidification temperature, (ii) solidification contraction, which occurs when the metal passes through the stage of solidification and (iii) solid contraction, which spans the period when it cools from solidification temperature to room temperature. Figure below shows the relation between temperature and the specific volume of steel.

Liquid contraction 1.6% per 100

Specific Volume

Solidification contraction 3% 1 Solid contraction 7.2%

Temperature ( ) Change in specific volume of steel with temperature Out of these three contractions, the first two, i.e. liquid and solidification contraction are taken care by a proper risering system. The void created by these two shrinkages in the casting is filled up by the molten metal supplied by the riser. The solid contraction of the casting is accounted by making the pattern dimensions larger than that of the casting by the amount of contraction. Pure metal or nearly pure metals solidify by first forming a thin skin at the metal mould interface where cooling is maximum. The skin then grows progressively in size inwards into the casting. It is also seen that solidification in the casting depends on its shape and configuration. For examples, heat is more easily dissipated and solidification is more rapid at external angles than at internal angles as shown in fig below.

Directional solidification


It is found that when the mould wall is plain and flat the thickness of the skin formed is proportional to the square root of time. Thus t where t is the skin thickness and T is the time after the pouring of the metal into the mould. Or t=k

Where, k is a constant whose value depends on the mould material and its thermal conductivity.

Relation between skin thickness and time for different mould material

The time taken for the complete solidification of the casting can be approximately expressed, as per Chvorinovs rule, as proportional to the square of the ratio of volume by the surface area. Thu solidification time =

The grain structure created in solidification depends largely on the rate at which the heat is extracted from it by the mould. When the molten metal pours into the mould cavity the molten metal which first reaches the mould wall first cools at a very faster rate thus forming a skin of solid metal, this region is known as chill region. The grains forms in the chill region are small equi-axed and as the growth directed towards the centre the shape of the grains becomes columnar and finally at the centre they formed as large equi-axed grains.



When the casting is extracted from the mould, it is not fit for use as such, as it has sprue, risers, etc., attached to it. Besides, it is not completely free of the sand particles. This operation of cutting of unwanted parts, cleaning and finishing the casting is termed as fettling.

SHAKING OF MOULDS:After the metal has solidified and cooled in the sand mould, the casting is knocked out by breaking the mould. It is essential to ensure that the casting is removed from the mould. It is essential to ensure that the castings are removed from the mould as early as possible for economic reasons. Premature withdrawal may, however, give rise to distortion, cracks and a chilling effect and cause rejections. It is therefore advisable to establish temperatures at which castings of each type, alloy composition or complexity are to be withdrawn from moulds and sent for shake-out. The moulds may either be broken manually on the pouring floor or transferred to a separate shake-out station. Shaking may be done either manually or mechanically, but, generally, mechanical shake-outs are used for large-scale work. In manual type a, stationary grating is mounted and the mould breaks when dropped over the grating. The mechanical unit consists of a perforated plate or heavy mesh screen fixed to a vibrating frame. The screen is vibrated mechanically, producing a jarring action and causing quick separation of sand from other parts. CLEANING OF CASTINGS:After the extraction of the casting from the mould it is not in the usable form due to the attached risers, sprue, etc., which need to be removed. Besides we need to conduct the cleaning procedure to completely remove the sand particles stuck to the casting. The operation of cutting of unwanted parts, cleaning and finishing the casting is termed as fettling. The fettling operation may be divided into different stages: Knocking out of dry sand cores; Removal of gates and risers; Extractions of fins and unwanted projections at places where the gates and risers have been removed and also elsewhere; Cleaning and smoothening the surface; and Repairing castings to fill up blowholes, straightening the wrapped or deformed castings.


1. KNOCKING OUT OF DRY SAND CORES:Dry sand may be removed by rapping or knocking with an iron bar. For quick knocking, hydraulic or pneumatic devices may be employed. These devices besides knocking the core also help in cleaning and smoothening the casting. 2. REMOVAL OF GATES AND RISERS:The choice of method for removing gates and risers from the castings depends upon the size and shape of the casting and the type of the metal. The options for such work are: Knocking off or breaking with a hammer, which is particularly suited in case of gray iron castings and other brittle materials. Sawing with a metal cutting saw, which may be a band saw, a circular saw, or a power hacksaw. Flame cutting with oxy-acetylene gas, generally adopted for ferrous metals, especially for large sized castings where the risers and gates are very heavy. Using a sprue cutter for shearing of the gates. Employing abrasive cut-off machines, which can work with all metals but are specially designed for hard metals, which are difficult to saw or shear. Plasma arc cutting, now being increasingly used to cut sprue and risers.

3. REMOVAL OF FINS AND UNWANTED PROJECTIONS:The operation of removing unwanted metal fins, projections, etc. , from the surface of the casting is called snagging. While snagging, care must be exercised to see that a proper casting contour is followed and too much metal is not removed. The methods for snagging include: Using grinders of pedestal, bench, flexible shaft, or swing-frame type; Chipping with hand or pneumatic tools; Gouging and flame-cutting; Removing metal by arc-air equipment; and Filing.

4. CLEANING AND SMOOTHENING CASTINGS :In the as-cast state, castings often have sand particles adhering to their surface in a fused form. When the castings are heat-treated, a scale is also formed on the surface. In order that the casting surface be clean and smooth, the adhering sand particles and the scales have to be removed. The various methods available for this purpose are described below briefly.



The castings to be cleaned are put in large steel shell or barrel, which is closed at its end by cast iron lids. The barrel is supported on horizontal trunnions and is rotated at a speed varying from 25-50 rpm. Along with the castings, small pieces of white iron called stars are also charged to help complete the cleaning and polishing operations. When the barrel is rotated, it causes the casting to tumble over and over again, rubbing against each other. Thus by a continuous preening action, not only do the castings get cleaned and polished but also the sharp edges and fins get eliminated and the initial internal stresses in the castings are relieved. Cleaning with compressed air impact(Sand blasting) :-

A high-velocity stream of compressed air along with abrasive particles is directed by means of a blast gun against the casting surface. The blast gun is designed to convey air at high velocity into a mixing chamber. The abrasive is fed into this chamber through a side tube by suction feed, gravity feed or direct pressure. The abrasive used is either sand or steel grit. Form the air chamber, air-borne sand particles are directed towards the casting. This method is more efficient and ensures good polish. Cleaning with mechanical impact(Shot blasting):-

Instead of using air pressure for hurling the abrasive grit towards the casting, centrifugal force may be exerted by means of an impeller wheel. The abrasive applied in this case is steel shots. As the shots move from the hub of the impeller towards the periphery, their velocity gets accelerated and they finally leave the impeller at a very high velocity, hitting the casting surface with enormous impact. Large cleaning units may be equipped with one or more impellers strategically positioned at different positions all around the casting. The casting may also be mounted on a rotating table. In some units, the castings are tumbled and at the same time the abrasive is hurled towards them. Pickling :-

It essentially involves cleaning of the casting surface by dilute acid treatment. The castings are suspended by means of nickel-plated steel or monel metal hooks, into a pickling tank containing equal parts of hydrofluoric acid and sulphuric acid, for about four hours. The tank is made of mild steel plates but is lined with lead sheets on the inner walls. The castings are then washed with plain water in a washing tank and they are further immersed in a neutralizing tank, containing 10% solution of washing soda, preferably maintained at about 75C. The castings are once again rinsed in plain water and dried. The pickling treatment is a cheap and yet effective method of removing sand, scales or tentacles of metal and producing a clean and bright surface.


5. REPAIRING THE CASTINGS:Defects such as blowholes, gas holes, cracks, etc., may often occur in castings. Sometimes the castings get broken, bent, or deformed during shake-out or because of rough handling. Often the castings, get wrapped during the heat treatment or while they cool down in the mould. Such defective castings cannot be rejected outright because reasons of economy. They are therefore repaired by suitable means and put to use unless the defects are such that they cannot be remedied. The common methods of repairing are: Metal-Arc welding:-

Large sized cracks, blowholes, and other imperfections can be rectified by metal-arc welding. The area to be welded must be first cleaned by chipping, filing, gouging, or grinding. Then the joint must be accurately prepared, and if necessary, widened before welding is commenced. Metals that can be welded by this method include almost all cast metals, except magnesium. A proper selection of welding electrode is vital. DC arc welding is preferred for welding cast irons and non-ferrous metals as polarity can be changed and more heat can be obtained on either the electrode or the work piece, as desired. Oxy-acetylene gas welding:-

This method, which is the least expensive and easily portable, is suited where sections are not too heavy and where slower cooling rates are required. Gas welding can easily allow the use of broad flame, which can pre-heat the area around the area ahead of the section being welded. The flame temperatures are lower than that of arc hence cooling rates are slow. The flame can be adjusted to make it oxidising, reducing or neutral. Braze welding:-

This process is applied to such parts which tend to get distorted or cracked when other means of welding are employed. A lower heat input is required as base metal is not actually melted and bond is attained only by diffusion. A non-ferrous copper base or silver based alloy which melts at 430 is employed as filler material. It is introduced in liquid state in between the pieces that are to be joined. This method may be used to make castings watertight and to repair pipes and pipe fittings and other thin plate type castings for filling fine cracks, cervices, porosity, etc. Resin impregnation:-

Where welding or brazing cannot efficiently fill the porous areas of the casting, resin impregnation often admirably serves the purpose. The process entails forcing a resin to enter the pores under pressure while the casting is kept under vacuum. Resin impregnation equipment is expensive but works out worthwhile for foundries where pressure tight castings, either ferrous or non-ferrous are regular products.


Epoxy fillers:-

Certain epoxy plastic fillers can be used to fill up pinholes, blowholes and cracks, and to impart enough strength to the casting. For good mechanical properties, fillers are also duly charged with metal powders to suit different cast metals. These fillers are of two types, viz. general purpose and fast-curing. The latter takes hardly two hours to harden whereas the former takes longer. Smooth-on cement, which is a pasty mixture of iron fillings in a hardening agent, is also widely used to repair iron castings. Metal spraying:-

When the casting becomes undersized, it can be built up by providing a coat of metal in the desired thickness by a metal-spraying process. This is a simple and relatively inexpensive way of forming a layer of metal on the cast surface. The sprayed metal may be either the same as the base metal or a dissimilar one. The deposited metal is taken in form of a wire. The spray gun uses oxygen and acetylene to melt the wire and compressed air to atomize the molten metal in the form of spray. All types of metals and alloys can be sprayed. The bond obtained is of the mechanical type with negligible diffusion. The joint between the parent metal and the sprayed metal is not as strong as in case of welding or brazing. This technique is also used for providing an anticorrosive metal layer on iron castings.

HEAT TREATMENT OF CASTINGS:Heat treatment involves the improvement of the properties of material by bringing about certain permanent structural changes. Modern demands for highquality castings have heat treatment an indispensable step between the casting process and the finished product for engineering applications. Gray cast iron:Castings of gray cast iron do not generally require heat treatment, because the desired strength and hardness are achieved by adjusting their composition. However, for casting of various sections or close machining tolerances, stress relieving is sometimes essential. The machinability of grey cast iron is usually improved by soft annealing at about 700 to convert any pearlite present into graphite. If massive carbide structures occur on the cast structure, annealing at 900-950 dissolves them. For significant improvement in hardness and wear resistance, the grey iron is subjected first to hardening and then to tempering. Surface hardening treatments are quite often used. In the case, the surface of the casting is hardened by heating through a gas torch or an induction coil and then quenched before tempering, while the interior region of the casting essentially retains its as-cast structure.



After casting, it is essential to inspect and test them to check the quality of the casting. The objectives of inspection are: To reject casting that fail to meet the customers requirements. To serve as means of maintaining the quality of workmanship and materials used in foundry.

There are several methods and techniques used and are classified into five categories: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Visual inspection. Dimensional inspection. Mechanical and chemical testing. Flaw direction by non-destructive methods. Metallurgical inspection.

1. VISUAL INSPECTION:Castings are subjected to a visual inspection to ensure that the surfaces fulfill the requirements of both customer and the producer. Visible defects that can be detected provide a means for discovering errors in the casting process. But visual inspection may prove inadequate only in the detection of subsurface or internal defects. 2. DIMENSIONAL INSPECTION:Initially when the casting are made from a new pattern, a few sample casting are first made which are carefully checked with the drawing to ensure that the sizes obtained conform to those specified and will be maintained within the prescribed tolerances in the lot of production. On testing of the sample lot, deviation from the blueprint are rectified on the pattern equipment when the castings are found to be consistently within the tolerances, spot checks, together with a regular check of the patterns and dies being used, may be sufficient. Dimensional inspection of casting may be conducted by various methods i) Standard measuring instruments to check the sizes:

Instruments such as rule, vernier calipers, vernier height gauge, vernier depth gauge, micrometers, scribing block, combination set, straight edge, squares, spirit level, and dial indicator are commonly used. For high precision casting or after machining, more advanced measuring instruments such as auto-collimator, comparator, ultrasonic instruments for measuring wall thickness and projection instruments are also required.



Templates and contour gauges for the checking of profiles, curves and intricate shapes:

Templates acts as time-saving aids in measurement and facilitate the entire job. These can be easily prepared in mild steel or brass sheet by marking out, and cutting and finishing the profile that is required to be checked on the casting.


Limit gauges:

For tolerance dimensions on casting produced on a repetitive basis, limit gauges are usually used. The type of limit gauges- plug, ring, snap, plate depends on the shape of the parameter to be checked. Periodical checking and maintenance of limit gauges is very important.


Special fixtures:

If dimensions cannot be conventionally checked by using instrument, special fixtures are required to be designed, for instance during the checking of locations, relative dimensions, centre-to-centre distance, angularity of surface etc.


Coordinate measuring and marking machine(CMM):

This machine is useful for measurement and inspection of uneven, undulated, irregular or curved surfaces which cannot be conveniently or accurately checked by other measuring tools or instruments. The accuracy of measurement of these machine ranges from 0.001mm to 0.05mm. Besides measuring, it can be used for making purposes also in all three dimensions on metallic or non-metallic surfaces. Measurements and marking are accomplished easily without errors in reading in all three dimensions. Once the machine is set, all measurement can be carried out in a programmed sequence automatically. The machine is a multi-axial device providing measurement of output of position and displacement sequentially without a need for changing tool.



Hardness test is done to understand the metallic microstructure, or the structure and arrangement of the atoms at the atomic level. In fact, most important metallic properties critical to the manufacturing of todays goods are determined by the microstructure of a material. At the atomic level, the atoms in a metal are arranged in an orderly three-dimensional array called a crystal lattice. In reality, however, a given specimen of a metal likely never contains a consistent single crystal lattice. A given sample of metal will contain many grains, with each grain having a fairly consistent array pattern. At an even smaller scale, each grain contains irregularities.

Brinel Hardness Test: In this testing machine, hardness of materials is measured through the scale of penetration of an indenter, loaded on a material test-piece. The Brinell hardness test is used with soft to medium hard metals (DIN EN ISO 6506) like unalloyed structural steel or aluminum alloys, with wood (ISO 3350) and with materials with uneven structure, like cast irons. A hard metal ball is pressed into the surface of the tested work piece with a fixed test load. In former times beside the balls made of hard metal also steel balls where used as penetrator. After the last conditions of the standardization a steel ball is however no longer permissible. Now the standard prescribes for all materials, that balls made of sintered hard metal have to be used. The used balls have diameters of 10 mm, 5 mm, 2.5 mm and 1 mm.


Tensile testing, also known as tension testing, is a fundamental materials science test in which a sample is subjected to uniaxial tension until failure. The results from the test are commonly used to select a material for an application, for quality control, and to predict how a material will react under other types of forces. Properties that are directly measured via a tensile test are ultimate tensile strength, maximum elongation and reduction in area. From these measurements the following properties can also be determined: Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio, yield strength, and strain-hardening characteristics. This can be done by Universal Testing Machine (UTM).



A material's strength is dependent on its microstructure. The engineering processes to which a material is subjected can alter this microstructure. The variety of strengthening mechanisms that alter the strength of a material includes work hardening, solid solution strengthening, precipitation hardening and grain boundary strengthening and can be quantified and qualitatively explained. However, strengthening mechanisms are accompanied by the caveat that some mechanical properties of the material may degenerate in an attempt to make the material stronger. For example, in grain boundary strengthening, although yield strength is maximized with decreasing grain size, ultimately, very small grain sizes make the material brittle. In general, the yield strength of a material is an adequate indicator of the material's mechanical strength. Considered in tandem with the fact that the yield strength is the parameter that predicts plastic deformation in the material, one can make informed decisions on how to increase the strength of a material depending its microstructural properties and the desired end effect. Strength is considered in terms of compressive strength, tensile strength, and shear strength, namely the limit states of compressive stress, tensile stress and shear stress, respectively. The effects of dynamic loading are probably the most important practical part of the strength of materials, especially the problem of fatigue. Repeated loading often initiates brittle cracks, which grow slowly until failure occurs.

Procedure: The sample for examination is first cut to about 12 mm diameter and 9 mm thickness, and field and ground to erase any deep grooves or marks. The piece should not get overheated at any time as this may alter its structure. The specimen is then polished on series of emery papers of various grit sizes. Sample polishing machines are available for the purpose. It may sometimes be desired to mount the sample in Bakelite, epoxy resin or some plastic material before it is polished so as to keep edges from getting rounded off. For final polishing, the specimen is rubbed on the special cloth, which is already being impregnated with a polishing medium. It is being thoroughly cleaned and degreased, by washing in hot water and sprayed with acetone or spirit. In the next step the specimen in etched by etching reagent. The etching reagents are nital, picral, alkaline sodium picrate for gray cast iron. After the specimen is etched and washed, it is ready for examination under the metallurgical microscope.


Use of Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) is done to study of fracture, grain size and grain growth, phase transformation, impurities and trace elements, characteristic of powders and their compaction. The resolution of SEM is being as high as and depth of field being nearly 300 times that of an optical microscope. A fine beam of electron is allowed to interact with the sample. The low energy secondary electron is made to strike a scintillator. The photon image is then fed to the photon multiplier through a light guide. The signal from the photomultiplier is used to influence the scanning in a cathode ray tube in synchronism with the scanning of the specimen by the original electron beam. The image on the tube is a magnified view of the specimen surface with excellent fidelity to topographic details.


REFERENCES: Principles of metal casting: Richard W. Heine, Carl R. Loper, Philip C. Rosenthal Principles of foundry technology: P.L. Jain Manufacturing technology: P.N. Rao Material science and Engineering, W.D. Callister, Jr. Introduction to physical metallurgy, S.H. Avner