Roshan George

Roshan George 2009UME407

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

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

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

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

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

which heats the mould between 870 °C and 1095 °C to remove any moisture and residual wax. Burnout & preheating: The mould is then subjected to a expand. vacuum cast.1 o ) to about 5 kg (11 lb).6 mm (0. D ETA S Investment casting is used with almost any castable metal. but if there are thin sections in the mould it may be filled by applying positive air pressure. A P P L I C AT I O NS Investment casting is used in the aerospace and power generation industries to produce turbine blades with complex shapes or cooling systems. and C A@ Excellent surface finish High dimensional accuracy Extremely intricate parts are castable Almost any metal can be cast No flash or parting lines .02 mm for the each additional centimeter (0. and steel are the most common. Any wax that runs out of the mould is usually recovered and reused. The metal may be gravity poured. Sometimes this heating is also as the preheat. vibrated. usually by grinding. Typical tolerances are 0. or conventional equiaxed blades.005 in for the first inch) and 0.1 mm for the first 25 mm (0. A standard surface finish is 1. directionally solidified (DS). Investment casting is also widely used by firearms manufacturers to fabricate firearm receivers. waterjeted. hammers. In certain situations holes may be drilled into the mould beforehand to help reduce these stresses. or chemically dissolved (sometimes with liquid nitrogen) to release the casting. because the mould and casting cool together. The sprue is cut off and recycled. copper alloys.024 in) to 75 mm (3. In industrial usage the si e limits are 3 g (0. The cross-sectional limits are 0. 10. costly refractories and binders. Pouring: The investment mould is then placed cup-upwards into a tub filled with sand.3 4 microns (50 125 in) RMS. media blasted. or centrifugal cast.0 in). a lot of labour is needed and occasional minute defects. The mould is preheated to allow the metal to stay liquid longer to fill any details and to increase dimensional accuracy. but other times the mould is allowed to cool so that it can be tested. The casting may then be cleaned up to remove signs of the casting process. however aluminium alloys. 11. many operations to make a mould. Blades produced by investment casting can include single-crystal (SX). pressure assisted pouring. If any cracks are found they can be repaired with ceramic slurry or special cements. The advantages of investment casting are: y y y y y B B The main disadvantage is the overall cost. triggers. tilt cast. 9. Removal: The shell is hammered. Some of the reasons for the high cost include speciali ed equipment.002 in for each additional inch). and to sinter the mould.

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

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

R QV SS S R T Q ` SR TTSR V T TST R S X T ` U V S a URS SR T TSR a YT b Q V Y T W VA C U U M Vacuum permanent mould casting retains all of the advantages of LPPM casting.LOW- Schematic of the low-pressure permanent mould casting process u p an n ou d LPPM) ca ng u a ga a lo p u u ually b n 3 and Lo -p 15 p g (20 to 100 kPag) to pu h th molten metal into the mould cavity. but some are copper alloys. plus the dissolved gases in the molten metal are minimized and molten metal cleanliness is even better.44 to 11 lb). No risers are required because the applied pressure forces molten metal in to compensate for shrinkage. which minimizes gas porosity and dross formation. Yields are usually greater than 85 because there is no riser and any metal in the pouring tube just falls back into the ladle for reuse. Mechanical properties are usually 10 to 15 better than gravity permanent mould castings. The p essu e is applied to the top o the pool o liquid which fo ces the molten metal up a refractory pouring tube and finally into the bottom of the mould. Advantages include very little turbulence when filling the mould because of the constant pressure. The process can handle thin-walled profiles and gives an excellent surface finish. The pouring tube extends to the bottom of the ladle so that the material being pushed into the mould is exceptionally clean. The disadvantage is that cycles times are longer than gravity permanent mould castings. The process is limited in weight to 0.2 to 5 kg (0. Mechanical properties are about 5 better than gravity permanent mould castings. The vast majority of LPPM casting are from aluminum and magnesium. b b PI ESS URE .

5 to 7. the mould temperature. c d c e DIE CASTING Die casting is the process of forcing molten metal under high pressure into mould cavities (which are machined into dies).000 cycles. For lower melting point metals the mould life is longer but thermal fatigue and erosion usually limit the life to 10.02 mm for each additional centimeter (0. A high pouring temperature can also induce shrinkage problems and create longer cycle times. This level of versatility has placed die castings among the highest volume products made in the metalworking industry e P ROC ESS There are four major steps in the die casting process.0098 in). hen the process is used to cast steel or iron the mould life is extremely short. The high tooling costs make this process uneconomical for small production runs. if the dimension crosses the parting line add an additional 0. the mould is sprayed with lubricant and closed. Other advantages include the ease of inducing directional solidification by changing the mould wall thickness or by heating or cooling portions of the mould. The mould life is dependent on four factors: the mould material. and the mould configuration. Typical part si es range from 100 g to 75 kg (several ounces to 150 lb). although ferrous metal die castings are possible.002 in per in. lead. The die casting method is especially suited for applications where a large quantity of small to medium si ed parts are needed.4 mm for the first 25 mm (0. specifically inc. First. Retractable metal cores can be used to create undercuts while maintaining a quick action mould. The lubricant both helps control the temperature of the die and it also assists in the removal .015 in for the first inch) and 0. but the higher the pouring temperature the shorter themould life. Most die castings are made from non-ferrous metals.12 to 2. good surface finish. The fast cooling rates created by using a metal mould results in a finer grain structure than sand casting.25 mm (0. If the mould temperature is too low misruns are produced. Typical tolerances are 0.0 in). There are three main disadvantages: high tooling cost. pewter and tin based alloys. and good dimensional accuracy. Typical surface finishes are 2. all thicknesses are limited to 3 to 50 mm (0. but if the mould temperature is too high then the cycle time is prolonged and mould erosion is increased.A DV ANT AG E S A ND DI S ADV A NT AG E S : The main advantages are the reusable mould. and short mould life. magnesium. ensuring precise surface quality and dimensional consistency. The pouring temperature is dependent on the casting metal. A draft of 2 to 3° is required. aluminium. Large differences in section thickness in the mould or casting can decrease mould life as well. limited to low-melting-point metals.5 m (100 250 in) RMS.000 to 120. copper. the pouring temperature.

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

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

for the first inch) and 0. Reduces or eliminates secondary machining operations.5 micrometres or 0.000 Die temperature [C° (F°)] Casting temperature [C° (F°)] 218 (425) 288 (550) 260 (500) 400 (760) 660 (1220) 760 (1400) 1090 (2000) Other failure modes for dies are: y Heat checking: surface cracks occur on the die due to a large temperature change on every cycle Thermal fatigue: surface cracks occur on the die due to a large number of cycles y A D V A N T A G E S A N D D I S A D V A NT A G E S : Advantages: y Excellent dimensional accuracy (dependent on casting material. v . and high strength bearing surfaces).10 thou rms).000 10.002 in. Smooth cast surfaces (1 2.5 cm (0. Inserts can be cast-in (such as threaded inserts.Typic die te pe tures and life for various cast materials u u qt s rq Zinc Aluminum Magn sium Brass (l aded yellow) 100. Rapid production rates.030 in).005 in. In magnesium y y y y y y y Disadvantages: y y y Casting weight must be between 30 grams (1 o ) and 10 kg (20 lb). Thinner walls can be cast as compared to sand and permanent mould casting (approximately 0.75 mm or 0.02 mm for each additional centimeter (0. Castings are made as large as an 8 feet across and 30Lbs in weight. for each additional inch).000 500 (950) Maximum die life [number of cycles] 1.1 mm for the first 2. High initial cost. but typically 0. heating elements. Casting tensile strength as high as 415 MPa (60 ksi). Limited to high-fluidity metals.000.04 0.000 100.

good mechanical properties. respectively. and AZ91D magnesium. The following is a summary of the advantages of each alloy: y w w Zinc: the easiest alloy to cast. Magnesium: the easiest alloy to machine. AA 386. AA 384.89 mm (0. AA 380. used for special forms of corrosion resistance. extremely close dimensional accuracy.025 in) 1:200 (0. easily plated. economical for small parts. Lead and Tin: high density. Specific dies casting alloys include: ZAMAK. high impact strength.6°) Zinc alloys 0. promotes long die life. lightest alloy commonly die cast. AA 390.050 in) 1:100 (0. excellent dimensional stability. inc aluminium. Aluminium: lightweight. high ductility. excellent wear resistance. and tin. excellent strength-to-weight ratio.035 in) 1:100 (0. A large production volume is needed to make this an economical alternative to other processes.3°) . 44 lb (20 kg). aluminium. and 75 lb (34 kg). Such alloys are not used in foodservice applications for public health reasons. high corrosion resistance. high thermal and electrical conductivity.7°) Magnesium alloys 1. lead. high dimensional stability for complex shapes and thin walls. Copper: high hardness. and inc castings are approximately 70 pounds (32 kg). x y y y y Maximum weight limits for aluminium.27 mm (0.27 mm (0. magnesium. The material used defines the minimum section thickness and minimum draft required for a casting as outlined in the table below. good corrosion resistance.5 in).y y A certain amount of porosity is common. highest mechanical properties of alloys die cast. 10 lb (5 kg). The thickest section should be less than 13 mm (0. D I E C AS T I NG MAT E R I ALS The main die casting alloys are: inc. retains strength at high temperatures. brass. copper.050 in) 1:80 (0. Metal Minimum section Minimum draft Aluminium alloys 0. but can be greater. strength approaching that of steel parts. magnesium.6°) Brass and bronze 1.63 mm (0.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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