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Design and manufacture of consumer products.

20/02/2012 Metal working Metal casting: Casting involves pouring molten metal into a mould. When it solidifies, it forms the shape of the mould. It can be used to produce a complex product in one piece, such as an engine block. First used around 4000B.C to make copper arrowheads and ornaments. Major categories of moulds include: Expendable moulds; made of sand/plaster/ceramic with additional binders. Can be single use or multiple use, but most likely single use in this category, expecially sand casting. Permanent moulds; made of metals that retain strength at high temperatures and do not posess much thermal expansion properties. Can be used repeatedly. Cast items are easily removed. Composite moulds; made of 2 or more different materials, e,g sand, graphite and metal. Can have a permanent and an expendable section to improve strenght, control cooling rates and make less work as the whole mould does not have to be used again. Casting can be used to manufacture many useful products. Processes such as die casting are used for a huge number of products. Defects in the mould can lead to defects in the finished product, therefore the cast must be made without imperfections to make sure the finished product is of a good quality. Casting is advantageous in situations where: Metal rods/blocks (Stock bars/billets) need to be transported Certain alloys cannot be hot or cold worked. Mechanical working would require heavy & expensive machinery The product has a complex internal shape A large item needs to be made in one piece A different material is needed to be inserted (a composite product) Solidification properties of metals: When a metal cools, it undergoes a solidification process. How quickly it cools determines the crystal structure of the metal internally. (see handout) Different rates of cooling produce different microstructures. A slow cooling will produce equiaxed crystals all over. Medium cooling rates produce an internal

equiaxed zone with a chill zone on outside and a comumnar boundry around the equiaxed zone. Fast cooling just produces a chill zone on outside and a coumnar zone running through the inside with no equiaxed zone. The microstructure affects the end properties of the metal. Complications The molten metal must be viscious enough to fill the mould fully and flow into the mould easily. The rate of solidification must be tailiored to the usage and type of material. 7 basic factors: The mould The energy to melt metals The mould filling The cooling rate Shrinkage allowances The removal of product from the mould Finishing operations 1: The mould must consider size, shrinkage allowance as it solidifies. Any complex parts must be present in the mould features. Whether it is a permanent or expendable mould. The mould must also withstand the heat of the molten metal. 2: The energy to melt Need to have a suitable way of melting metal. Must also have an adequate temperature, but also needs to be as environmentally friendly as possible. 3. Mould filling must design how the mould is to be filled. 4. Cooling rate Must optimise cooling process to make the best microstructure for the task needed. 5. Shrinkage Metals shrink when they solidify. Therefore, the metal will shrink in the mould and reduce its volume. Mould must accommodate this and not restrain the shrinkage. Cast may split or crack. Must design so mould will not split or crack. 6. Removal from mould must be able to remove, and design for this. Not a problem with expendable but problem with permanent 7. Finishing operations must be able to finish product e.g removing mould overflow.

Factors affecting casting Type of metals: Alloys can have different melt temps. This can cause problems. Mechanical properties: Different types of mould provide different cooling methods which affects microstructure. Casting alloy and proces may be dictated by required product strength. Production and economic factors. Sand/mineral grain moulds are cheap but need to be made at equal volumes to the product, metal moulds can be reused again and again. Casting defects ABCDEFG A- Metalic projections fins and burrs sticking out B- Cavity -rounded or rough internal or exposed cavities C- Discontinuties- cracks, cold or hot tearing and cold shuts D- Defective surface folds, laps scars, sand layers and oxide scale E- Incomplete casting- misruns due to premature solidification F- Incorrect dimensions or shape due to improper shrinkage allowance G- Inclusions ( voids/non metal areas formed during melting/solidification/moulding)