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HNC Yr1 Manufacturing Processes Steve Goddard

Manufacturing Processes - Moulding & Shaping Assignment

Moulding Processes

Casting:

At AgustaWestland casting is bought in from companies one in particular is Cronite


Casting Limited that is based in Crewcerne. They specialize in +-the manufacture of
precision investment castings. In a complete range of ferrous and non ferrous alloys
to the Aerospace Defence, petrochemical and general engineering sectors of
industry.

Sand

Sand casting is used to make large parts (typically Iron, but also Bronze, Brass,
Aluminium). Molten metal is poured into a mold cavity formed out of sand (natural or
synthetic).

Some typical sand cast components can be seen in figure 1.1.

Patterns

The cavity in the sand is formed by using a


pattern (an approximate duplicate of the real
part), which are mostly made out of wood,
sometimes metal. The cavity is contained in a
box called the flask.

• Core is a sand shape inserted into the


mold to produce the internal features
of the part such as holes or internal
passages. Cores are placed in the
cavity to form holes of the desired
shapes.
• Core print is the region added to the
pattern, core, or mold that is used to
locate and support the core within the
mold.

• A riser is an extra void created in the mold to


Figure 1.1 - Sand Cast Components
contain excessive molten material. The
purpose of this is feed the molten metal to the mold cavity as the molten
metal solidifies and shrinks, and thereby prevents voids in the main casting.

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Figure 1.2 - Components of a Two-part Sand Casting Mold


In a two- part mold, which is
typical of sand castings, the upper half, including the top half of the pattern, flask,
and core is called cope and the lower half is called drag. The parting line or the
parting surface is line or surface that separates the cope and drag.
The drag is first filled partially with sand, and the core print, the cores, and the gating
system are placed near the parting line. The cope is then assembled to the drag, and
the sand is poured on the cope half, covering the pattern, core and the gating
system. The sand is compacted by vibration and mechanical means.
Next, the cope is removed from the drag, and the pattern is carefully removed. The
aim is to remove the pattern without breaking the mold cavity. This is done by
designing a draft, a slight angular offset from the vertical to the vertical surfaces of
the pattern. This is usually a minimum of 1° or 1.5 mm (0.060 in), whichever is
greater. The rougher the surface of the pattern, the more the draft to be provided.

Sprues and Runners

The molten material is poured in the pouring cup, which is part of the gating system
that supplies the molten material to the mold cavity. The vertical part of the gating
system connected to the pouring cup is the sprue, and the horizontal portion is called
the runners and finally to the multiple points where it is introduced to the mold cavity
called the gates. Additionally there are extensions to the gating system called vents
that provide the path for the built up gases and the displaced air to vent to the
atmosphere.

The cavity is usually made oversize to allow for the metal contraction as it cools
down to room temperature. This is achieved by making the pattern oversize. To
account for shrinking, the pattern must be made oversize by these factors, on the
average. These are linear factors and apply in each direction. These shrinkage
allowance are only approximate, because the exact allowance is determined the
shape and size of the casting. In addition, different parts of the casting might require
a different shrinkage allowance.

Sand castings generally have a rough surface sometimes with surface impurities, and
surface variations. A machining (finish) allowance is made for this type of defect.

Finish Allowance Min Wall


Pattern Oversize
Metal (smaller number for mm
Factor (each direction)
larger sizes) (inches)
4.75
Aluminium 1.08 - 1.12 0.5 to 1.0 %
(0.187)

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HNC Yr1 Manufacturing Processes Steve Goddard

2.3
Copper alloys 1.05 - 1.06 0.5 to 1.0 %
(0.094)
Gray Cast 3.0
1.10 0.4 to 1.6 %
Iron (0.125)
Nickel alloys 1.05 0.5 to 1.0 % N/A
Steel 1.05 - 1.10 0.5 to 2 % 5 (0.20)
Magnesium 4.0
1.07 - 1.10 0.5 to 1.0 %
alloys (0.157)
Malleable 3.0
1.06 - 1.19 0.6 to 1.6 %
Irons (0.125)

Design considerations

• Location of the parting line/plane. By properly locating the parting plane.

• The number of cores can be reduced.

• The material wasted can be reduced.

• The dimensional accuracy can be increased.

• Use of uniform thicknesses in a casting, where possible. Uniform thicknesses


lead to uniform cooling and solidification. This leads to stress free and
distortion free castings. Heavier sections cool more slowly, and may have
shrinkage cavities, porosities and large grain structures.

• When uniform cross-sections cannot be maintained, then changes in cross-


sections must be gradual.

• When two or more uniform sections intersect, they create a region of heavy
cross-section, resulting in the problems mentioned above.

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• When sections intersect to form continuous ribs, contraction occurs in


opposite directions as the material cools down. This leads to a high stress
area at the intersections, causing cracking immediately, or in service. The way
to avoid this is to stagger the ribs and thereby maintain uniform cross-
sections.

• Large unsupported areas tend to warp, so they should be avoided.

• In addition, a minimum wall thickness must be maintained to avoid voids and


non-fill areas.

Die

Die-casting is similar to permanent mold casting except that the metal is injected
into the mold under high pressure of 10-210Mpa. This results in a more uniform part,
generally good surface finish and good dimensional accuracy. For many parts, post-
machining can be totally eliminated, or very light machining may be required to bring
dimensions to size.

Die-casting can be done using a cold chamber or hot chamber process.

• In a cold chamber process, the molten metal is ladled into the cold chamber
for each shot. There is less time exposure of the melt to the plunger walls or
the plunger. This is particularly useful for metals such as Aluminium, and
Copper (and its alloys) that alloy easily with Iron at the higher temperatures.

• In a hot chamber process the pressure chamber is connected to the die cavity
is immersed permanently in the molten metal. The inlet port of the
pressurizing cylinder is uncovered as the plunger moves to the open
(unpressurized) position. This allows a new charge of molten metal to fill the
cavity and thus can fill the cavity faster than the cold chamber process. The
hot chamber process is used for metals of low melting point and high fluidity
such as tin, zinc, and lead that tend not to alloy easily with steel at their melt
temperatures

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Die casting molds which are called dies in the industry) tend to be expensive as
they are made from hardened steel-also the cycle time for building these tend to
be long. Also the stronger and harder metals such as iron and steel cannot be die-
cast

Common Alloys in Die Casting

Aluminium, Zinc and Copper alloys are the materials predominantly used in die-
casting. On the other hand, pure Aluminium is rarely cast due to high shrinkage, and
susceptibility to hot cracking. It is alloyed with Silicon, which increases melt fluidity,
reduces machinability. Copper is another alloying element, which increases hardness,
reduces ductility, and reduces corrosion resistance. Aluminium is cast at a
temperature of 650 ºC (1200 ºF). It is alloyed with Silicon 9% and Copper about 3.5%
to form the Aluminium Association 380 alloy (UNS A03800). Silicon increases the melt
fluidity, reduces machinability, Copper increases hardness and reduces the ductility.
By greatly reducing the amount of Copper (less than 0.6%) the chemical resistance is
improved; thus, AA 360 (UNS A03600) is formulated for use in marine environments.
A high silicon alloy is used in automotive engines for cylinder castings, AA 390 (UNS
A03900) with 17% Silicon for high wear resistance. Common aluminium alloys for die
casting are summarized as follows:

Tensile Strength
Material Silicon Copper Properties
MPa (ksi)
AA 380 324
8.5 % 3.5 % Fair easy to fill
(UNS A03800) (47)
AA 384 331
11 % 4% Easy to fill
(UNS A03840) (48)
AA 386 317
9.5 % 0.6 % Good corrosion resistance
(UNS A03860) (46)
AA 390 283
17 % 4.5 % Good wear resistance
(UNS A03900) (41)

Zinc can be made to close tolerances and with thinner walls than Aluminium, due to
its high melt fluidity. Zinc is alloyed with Aluminium (4%), which adds strength and
hardness. The casting is done at a fairly low temperature of 425 ºC (800 ºF) so the
part does not have to cool much before it can be ejected from the die. This, in
combination with the fact that Zinc can be run using a hot chamber process allows
for a fast fill, fast cooling (and ejection) and a short cycle time. Zinc alloys are used in
making precision parts such as sprockets, gears, and connector housings.

Copper alloys are used in plumbing, electrical and marine applications where
corrosion and wear resistance is important.

Minimum wall thicknesses and minimum draft angles for die casting are

Min. Thickness
Material Min. Draft Angle (º)
mm (in)
0.9 mm
Aluminium alloys 0.5
(0.035 in)
0.6 mm
Zinc alloys 0.25
(0.025 in)

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1.25 mm
Copper alloys (Brass) 0.7
(0.050 in)

Die-castings are typically limited from 20 kg (55 lb) max. for Magnesium, to 35 kg (77
lb) max. For Zinc. Large castings tend to have greater porosity problems, due to
entrapped air, and the melt solidifying before it gets to the furthest extremities of the
die-cast cavity. The porosity problem can be somewhat overcome by vacuum die
casting

From a design point of view, it is best to design parts with uniform wall thicknesses
and cores of simple shapes. Heavy sections cause cooling problems, trapped gases
causing porosity. All corners should be radiused generously to avoid stress
concentration. Draft allowance should be provided to all for releasing the parts-these
are typically 0.25º to 0.75º per side depending on the material.

Investment

Investment casting, also called lost-wax casting, is one of the oldest known metal-
forming techniques. From 5,000 years ago, when beeswax formed the pattern, to
today’s high-technology waxes, refractory materials and specialist alloys.
The process is generally used for small castings, but has produced complete aircraft
door frames, steel castings of up to 300 kg and aluminum castings of up to 30 kg. It
is generally more expensive than die casting or sand casting, but can produce
complicated shapes that require little rework or machining.

Investment casting offers high production


rates, particularly for small or highly
complex components and extremely good
surface finish (CT4-CT6 class accuracy and
Ra1.6-6.3 surface roughness) with very little
machining. The drawbacks include the
specialized equipment, costly refractories
and binders, many operations to make a
mould, and occasional minute defects.
Investment casting is used in the aerospace
and power generation industries to produce
single-crystal turbine blades, which have
more creep resistance than equiaxed
castings. It is also widely used by Sturm,
Ruger and other firearms manufacturers to fabricate firearm receivers, triggers and
other precision parts at low cost. Other industries that use standard investment-cast
parts include military, medical, Figure 1.3 – Ruger Handgun with Investment Cast Parts
commercial and automotive.

Continuous Casting

In continuous casting, the molten steel from the steelmaking operation or ladle
metallurgy step is cast directly into semi finished shapes (slabs, blooms, and billets).
Continuous casting represents a tremendous savings in time, labour, energy, and
capital. By casting the steel directly into semi finished shapes, the following steps are
eliminated: ingot teeming, stripping, and transfer; soaking pits; and primary rolling.
Continuous casting also increases yield and product quality.

Thin slab casting is the centrepiece of a new technology that could revolutionize the
competitive structure of steelmaking both in the U.S. and worldwide by making flat
rolling accessible to minimills. Unlike conventional casting that produces a slab with
up to a 10" section; thin slab casters produce a slab from 2"-3.5" thick that is
integrated with a strip mill. The technology eliminates the large roughing mills

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required to work the thick slabs, and integrates slab production and sheet and strip
rolling, greatly reducing reheating requirements.

Figure 1.4 – Continuous Casting Machine

The main components of a continuous casting system are shown in the figure. Liquid
metal is poured from the ladle into a reservoir and the casting is bent from a vertical
to a horizontal plane in straightening rolls and finally cut into the appropriate lengths
for secondary rolling.

Electromagnetic Stirring

Electric induction stirring is used in


many continuous casting machines to
stir the molten interior of the cast as it
leaves the mold. This stirring improves
the crystalline properties of the cast and
allows a faster casting speed by
speeding solidification.

Gas Cutting

Continuous cast sections are cut to


length using gas cutting torches. These
torches typically use acetylene, propane,
or MAPP fuel along with oxygen to cut
the metal. Pressurized natural gas can
also be used for cutting in steel mills and
in other steel fabrication operations,
resulting in operating savings and greater operational safety.
Figure 1.5 – Cross section of the
Continuous Casting Machine

Shaping Processes

Extrusion:

AgustaWestland buy in their extruded components to perform further work on if


required, some companies used to procure extrusions are DIA and front line
extrusions.

Extrusion is the process by which long straight metal parts can be produced. The
cross-sections that can be produced vary from solid round, rectangular, to L shapes,

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T shapes. Tubes and many other different types. Extrusion is done by squeezing
metal in a closed cavity through a tool, known as a die using either a mechanical or
hydraulic press.

Extrusion produces compressive


and shear forces in the stock. No
tensile is produced, which makes
high deformation possible without
tearing the metal. The cavity in
which the raw material is contained
and lined with a wear resistant
material. This can withstand the
high radial loads that are created
when the material is pushed the
die.

Figure 2.1 – Example of an extruded shape

Extrusions, often minimize the need for secondary machining, but are not of the
same dimensional accuracy or surface finish as machined parts. Surface finish for
steel is 3 µm; (125 µ in), and Aluminium and Magnesium is 0.8 µm (30 µ in).
However, this process can produce a wide variety of cross-sections that are hard to
produce cost-effectively using other methods. Minimum thickness of steel is about 3
mm (0.120 in), whereas Aluminium and Magnesium is about 1mm (0.040 in).
Minimum cross sections are 250 mm2 (0.4 in2) for steel and less than that for
Aluminium and Magnesium. Minimum corner and fillet radii are 0.4 mm (0.015 in) for
Aluminium and Magnesium, and for steel, the minimum corner radius is 0.8mm
(0.030 in) and 4 mm (0.120 in) fillet radius.

Cold Extrusion:

Cold extrusion is the process done at room temperature or slightly elevated


temperatures. This process can be used for most materials-subject to designing
robust enough tooling that can withstand the stresses created by extrusion.
Examples of the metals that can be extruded are lead, tin, aluminium alloys, copper,
titanium, molybdenum, vanadium, steel. Examples of parts that are cold extruded
are collapsible tubes, aluminium cans, cylinders, gear blanks. The advantages of cold
extrusion are

• No oxidation takes place.

• Good mechanical properties due to severe cold working as long as the


temperatures created are below the re-crystallization temperature.

• Good surface finish with the use of proper lubricants.

Hot Extrusion:

Hot extrusion is done at fairly high temperatures, approximately 50 to 75 % of the


melting point of the metal. The pressures can range from 35-700 MPa (5076 -
101,525 psi). Due to the high temperatures and pressures and its detrimental effect
on the die life as well as other components, good lubrication is necessary. Oil and
graphite work at lower temperatures, whereas at higher temperatures glass powder
is used.
Typical parts produced by extrusions are trim parts used in automotive and
construction applications, window frame members, railings, aircraft structural parts.

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There are many uses for Extrusion that vary


beyond just metal and engineering applications
for example the children’s toy play-doh (Figure
2.2) This machine is an example of direct
extrusion where a material is pushed through a
die.

Food such as pasta, breakfast cereal and cookie


dough and many other ready to eat snacks are
manufactured using extrusion. Softer foods
such as meringue and iced toppings are made
by a piping method where the icing is placed in
a bag with a small cut this is a very simple but
effective method of extrusion to control the flow
of the decoration
Figure 2.2 – Children’s Play-Doh Toy

Other examples of extrusion in metals are Metal


extrusion is used by industry for various
purposes such as:
• Copper pipe for plumbing
• Aluminum extrusion profiles for tracks,
frames, rails, and mullions
• Steel rods or track
• Titanium aircraft components including
seat tracks, engine rings, and other
structural parts
Figure 2.3 – Extruded Sections
Direct

Figure 2.4 – Direct Extrusion

Direct extrusion is where the material is pushed through by mechanical of pneumatic


means as shown above.

Indirect

Figure 2.5 – Indirect Extrusion

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Indirect Extrusion is where the die is pushed into the material causing it to escape in
the shape of the die as shown above.

Impact

Impact Extrusion is commonly used to make collapsible tubes such as toothpaste


tubes, cans usually using soft materials such as aluminium, lead, tin. Usually a small
shot of solid material is placed in the die and is impacted by a ram, which causes cold
flow in the material.

Hydrostatic extrusion is a form of impact extrusion, uses a fluid hydrostatic pressure


instead of a mechanical ram. This is useful for making parts out of materials such as
Molybdenum, Tungsten that are relatively hard to extrude using normal extrusion
methods.

Below are some products that are produced from impact extrusion.

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Figure 2.6 – Products Produced By Impact Extrusion


HNC Yr1 Manufacturing Processes Steve Goddard

Forging:

Forging in AgustaWestland is done by various outside companies for example Gould’s


the forgings are bought in and then worked by machinists to create a component
with a much higher accuracy for use in the aerospace applications. A few examples
of an un-worked forging can be seen in figure 3.1.

Figure 3.1 – Example of components from Westland


Transmissions Ltd

Products made using forging could be mainly gears and bearings as shown below

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Gears for Transmission Systems

Figure 3.2 – Gears for Transmissions


Figure 3.3 – Wheel Hub unit Bearings
Systems

I have also found that forging is used in Korea to make swords for use in martial arts
and bamboo cutting made of either SKS11 or SKS7 Japanese steel.
With correct treatment and working the swords achieve amazing physical properties
such as flexibility and strength enough to pierce a steel chair.

Figure 3.4 – Korean Sword Maker during Forging Process & Finished
Product

Description

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Forging is the process by which metal is heated and is shaped by plastic deformation
by suitably applying compressive force. Usually the compressive force is in the form
of hammer blows using a power hammer or a press.
Forging refines the grain structure and improves physical properties of the metal.
With proper design, the grain flow can be oriented in the direction of principal
stresses encountered in actual use. Physical properties (such as strength, ductility
and toughness) are much better in a forging than in the base metal, which has,
crystals randomly oriented.

Forgings are consistent from piece to piece, without any of the porosity, voids,
inclusions and other defects. Thus, finishing
operations such as machining do not expose Figure 3.5 – Forging Progression Chart
voids, because there aren't any. Also coating
operations such as plating or painting are straightforward due to a good surface,
which needs very little preparation.
Forgings yield parts that have high strength to weight ratio-thus are often used in the
design of aircraft frame members.

A Forged metal can result in the following

• Increase length, decrease cross-section, called drawing out the metal.

• Decrease length, increase cross-section, called upsetting the metal

• Change length, change cross-section, by squeezing in closed impression dies.


This results in favourable grain flow for strong parts (Figure 3.6)

Figure 3.6 – Grain Flow in Forgings

Common Forging Processes

The metal can be forged hot (above recrystallization temperatures) or cold.

Open Die Forgings / Hand Forgings: Open die forgings or hand forgings are made
with repeated blows in an open die, where the operator manipulates the work piece

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in the die. The finished product is a rough approximation of the die. This is what a
traditional blacksmith does, and is an old manufacturing process.

Impression Die Forgings / Precision Forgings: Impression die forgings and


precision forgings are further refinements of the blocker forgings. The finished part
more closely resembles the die impression.

Tolerances:

• Dimension tolerances are usually positive and are approximately 0.3 % of the
dimension, rounded off to the next higher 0.5 mm (0.020 in).

• Die wear tolerances are lateral tolerances (parallel to the parting plane) and
are roughly +0.2 % for Copper alloys to +0.5 % for Aluminium and Steel.

• Die closure tolerances are in the direction of opening and closing, and range
from 1 mm (0.040 inch) for small forgings, die projection area < 150 cm2 (23
in2), to 6.25 mm (0.25 inch) for large forgings, die projection area > 6500 cm2
(100 in2).

• Die match tolerances are to allow for shift in the upper die with respect to the
lower die. This is weight based and is shown in the following table.

Finished Forging Weight


Trimmed kg (lb)
< 10 < 50 > 500
Material
(< 22) (< 110) (> 1100)
Die Match Tolerance
mm (in)
Aluminium, 0.75 1.75 5
Copper Alloys, Steel (0.030) (0.070) (0.200)

Stainless Steel, 1.25 2.5 6.5


Titanium (0.050) (0.100) (0.260)

Press Forgings: Press forging use a slow squeezing action of a press, to transfer a
great amount of compressive force to the work piece. Unlike an open-die forging
where multiple blows transfer the compressive energy to the outside of the product,
press forging transfers the force uniformly to the bulk of the material. This results in
uniform material properties and is necessary for large weight forgings. Parts made
with this process can be quite large as much as 125 kg (260 lb) and 3m (10 feet)
long.

Upset Forgings: Upset forging increases cross-section by compressing the length,


this is used in making heads on bolts and fasteners, valves and other similar parts.

Roll Forgings: In roll forging, a bar stock, round or flat is placed between die rollers
which reduces the cross-section and increases the length to form parts such as axles,
leaf springs etc. This is essentially a form of draw forging.
Rolling:

Forming:

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Roll-forming is a continuous bending operation in which a long strip of metal


(typically coiled steel) is passed through consecutive sets of rolls, or stands, each
performing only an incremental part of the bend, until the desired cross-section
profile is obtained. Roll-forming is ideal for producing parts with long lengths or in
large quantities.

Roll-forming lines can be set up with multiple


configurations to punch and cut off parts in a
continuous operation. For cutting a part to length,
the lines can be set up to use a pre-cut die where
a single blank runs through the roll mill, or a post-
cut die where the profile is cutoff after the roll
forming process. Features may be added in a
hole, notch, embossment, or shear form by
punching in a roll-forming line. These part
features can be done in a pre-punch application
(before roll-forming starts), in a mid-line punching
application (in the middle of a roll-forming
line/process) or a post punching application (after
roll-forming is done). Some roll-forming lines
incorporate only one of the above punch or cutoff
Figure
applications others incorporate some or all of the applications in one 4.1 – Roll
line.
Forming

Bending:

Bending is a common manufacturing method to process sheet metal. It is usually


done on a bend press (or Press brake), but also swing-bending-machines are used.
Typical products that are made like this are electrical enclosures.

Figure 4.2 – Bending Process

Deep Drawing

Deep drawing is a compression-tension metal forming process in which a sheet metal


blank is radically drawn into a forming die by the mechanical action of a punch. It is
thus a shape transformation process with material retention. The flange region (sheet
metal in the die shoulder area) experiences a radial drawing stress and a tangential
compressive stress due to the material retention property. These compressive
stresses (hoop stresses) result in flange wrinkles (wrinkles of the first order). Wrinkles
can be prevented by using a blank holder, the function of which is to facilitate
controlled material flow into the die radius.

Metal Spinning

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Metal Spinning is a metal working


process by which a disc or tube of
metal is rotated at high speed and
formed into an axially symmetric
part using tools. Metal spinning is
often performed by hand to produce
decorative items, or using machine
tools, such as CNC lathe, when tight
tolerances are required. Metal may
be formed into a die to shape the
outside diameter or onto a mandrel
to size the inner diameter.

Metal Spinning is a process by which


circles of metal are shaped over
mandrels while mounted on a
spinning lathe by the application of
levered force with various tools. It is
performed rotating at high speeds on
a manual spinning lathe. The flat
metal disc is spun against the
mandrel and a series of sweeping
motions then evenly transforms the
disc around the mandrel into the
desired shape.

Metal spinning tools

The basic hand metal spinning tool is called a Spoon, though many other tools can be
used to effect varied results. Spinning tools can be made of hardened
steel for using with aluminum or solid brass for
spinning stainless steel/mild steel.
Figure 4.3 – Brass Vase from Metal
Mandrels Spinning

The mandrel/chuck can be made from wood, steel alloys, or synthetic materials. The
choice of material is dictated by the hardness of the material to be spun and by how
many times the tool is expected to be used.

Cut-off tools

Cutting of the metal is done by hand held cutters, often foot long hollow bars with
tool steel shaped/sharpened files attached. This is dangerous and should only be
done by skilled tradesmen.
In CNC applications, traditional carbide or tool steel cut-off tools are used.

Rotating tools

Some metal spinning tools are allowed to spin on bearings during the forming
process. This reduces friction and heating of the tool, extending tool life and
improving surface finish. Rotating tools may also be coated with thin film of ceramic
to prolong tool life. Rotating tools are commonly used during CNC metal spinning
operations.
Commercially, rollers mounted on the end of levers are generally used to form the
material down to the mandrel in both hand spinning and CNC metal spinning. Rollers
vary in diameter and thickness depending the intended use. The wider the roller the

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smoother the surface of the spinning; the thinner rollers can be used to form smaller
radii.

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Composites:

In general, the reinforcing and matrix materials are combined, compacted and
processed to undergo a melding event. After the melding event, the part shape is
essentially set, although it can deform under certain process conditions. For a
thermoset polymeric matrix material, the melding event is a curing reaction that is
initiated by the application of additional heat or chemical reactivity such as an
organic peroxide. For a thermoplastic polymeric matrix material, the melding event is
a solidification from the melted state. For a metal matrix material such as titanium
foil, the melding event is a fusing at high pressure and a temperature near the melt
point.
For many molding methods, it is convenient to refer to one mold piece as a "lower"
mold and another mold piece as an "upper" mold. Lower and upper refer to the
different faces of the molded panel, not the mold's configuration in space. In this
convention, there is always a lower mold, and sometimes an upper mold. Part
construction begins by applying materials to the lower mold. Lower mold and upper
mold are more generalized descriptors than more common and specific terms such
as male side, female side, a-side, b-side, tool side, bowl, hat, mandrel, etc.
Continuous manufacturing processes use a different nomenclature.

The molded product is often referred to as a panel. For certain geometries and
material combinations, it can be referred to as a casting. For certain continuous
processes, it can be referred to as a profile.

Open molding

A process using a rigid, one sided mold which shapes only one surface of the panel.
The opposite surface is determined by the amount of material placed upon the lower
mold. Reinforcement materials can be placed manually or robotically. They include
continuous fiber forms fashioned into textile constructions and chopped fiber. The
matrix is generally a resin, and can be applied with a pressure roller, a spray device
or manually. This process is generally done at ambient temperature and atmospheric
pressure. Two variations of open molding are Hand Layup and Spray-up.

Vacuum bag molding

A process using a two-sided mold set that shapes both surfaces of the panel. On the
lower side is a rigid mold and on the upper side is a flexible membrane or vacuum
bag. The flexible membrane can be a reusable silicone material or an extruded
polymer film. Then, vacuum is applied to the mold cavity. This process can be
performed at either ambient or elevated temperature with ambient atmospheric
pressure acting upon the vacuum bag. Most economical way is using a venturi
vacuum and air compressor or a vacuum pump.

Pressure bag molding

This process is related to vacuum bag molding in exactly the same way as it sounds.
A solid female mold is used along with a flexible male mold. The reinforcement is
place inside the female mold with just enough resin to allow the fabric to stick in
place. A measured amount of resin is then liberally brushed indiscriminately into the
mold and the mold is then clamped to a machine that contains the male flexible
mold. The flexible male membrane is then inflated with heated compressed air or
possibly steam. The female mold can also be heated. Excess resin is forced out along
with trapped air. This process is extensively used in the production of composite
helmets due to the lower cost of unskilled labor. Cycle times for a helmet bag
molding machine vary form 20 to 45 minutes, but the finished shells require no
further curing if the molds are heated.

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Autoclave molding

A process using a two-sided mold set that forms both surfaces of the panel. On the
lower side is a rigid mold and on the upper side is a flexible membrane made from
silicone or an extruded polymer film such as nylon. Reinforcement materials can be
placed manually or robotically. They include continuous fiber forms fashioned into
textile constructions. Most often, they are pre-impregnated with the resin in the form
of prepreg fabrics or unidirectional tapes. In some instances, a resin film is placed
upon the lower mold and dry reinforcement is placed above. The upper mold is
installed and vacuum is applied to the mold cavity. The assembly is placed into an
autoclave pressure vessel. This process is generally performed at both elevated
pressure and elevated temperature. The use of elevated pressure facilitates a high
fiber volume fraction and low void content for maximum structural efficiency.

Resin transfer molding (RTM)

A process using a two-sided mold set that forms both surfaces of the panel. The
lower side is a rigid mold. The upper side can be a rigid or flexible mold. Flexible
molds can be made from composite materials, silicone or extruded polymer films
such as nylon. The two sides fit together to produce a mold cavity. The distinguishing
feature of resin transfer molding is that the reinforcement materials are placed into
this cavity and the mold set is closed prior to the introduction of matrix material.
Resin transfer molding includes numerous varieties which differ in the mechanics of
how the resin is introduced to the reinforcement in the mold cavity. These variations
include everything from vacuum infusion (see also resin infusion) to vacuum assisted
resin transfer molding. This process can be performed at either ambient or elevated
temperature.

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HNC Yr1 Manufacturing Processes Steve Goddard

Bibliography

General Process Information -


http://www.efunda.com/processes/processes_home/process.cfm

Wikipedia Article - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casting


Firearm Manufacturer - http://www.ruger.com/Casting/
Sand Casting Products - http://www.castingservice.co.uk/castings.html
Continuous Casting -
http://www.energysolutionscenter.org/heattreat/metalsadvisor/index.htm
Continuous Casting -
http://www.energymanagertraining.com/iron_steel/cont_cast_steel.htm

Extrusion - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extrusion#Food
Impact Extrusion Products - www.impactintl.com.au

Forging products - http://www.agtindustries.com/d/prod.htm


Korean Sword Making - http://www.arscives.com/bladesign/koreanswordmaking.htm
Wikipedia Article - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forging
Forging Processes - http://www.prosna.com/forging-process.htm

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