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Metal Casting

A large sand casting weighing 680 kg for

an air compressor frame

Basic Features

and Mould

A pattern is made of wood or metal, is a replica of the

final product and is used for preparing mould cavity
Mould cavity which contains molten metal is essentially a
negative of the final product
Mould material should posses refractory characteristics
and with stand the pouring temperature
When the mold is used for single casting, it made of sand
and known as expendable mold
When the mold is used repeatedly for number of castings
and is made of metal or graphite are called permanent
For making holes or hollow cavities inside a casting, cores
made of either sand or metal are used.


and Pouring

Several types of furnaces are available for

melting metals and their selection depends
on the type of metal, the maximum
temperature required and the rate and the
mode of molten metal delivery.
Before pouring provisions are made for the
escape of dissolved gases. The gating
system should be designed to minimize the
turbulent flow and erosion of mould
cavity.The other important factors are the
pouring temperature and the pouring rate.

Solidification and Cooling

The properties of the casting significantly
depends on the solidification time cooing rate.
Shrinkage of casting, during cooling of
solidified metal should not be restrained by the
mould material, otherwise internal stresses
may develop and form cracks in casting.
Proper care should be taken at the design
stage of casting so that shrinkage can occur
without casting defects.

Removal, Cleaning, Finishing and

After the casting is removed from the mould it
is thoroughly cleaned and the excess material
usually along the parting line and the place
where the molten metal was poured, is removed
using a potable grinder.
White light inspection, pressure test, magnetic
particle inspection, radiographic test, ultrasonic
inspection etc. are used

Classification of casting processes

Open and Closed Mould

Sand Casting

Permanent-pattern Casting)

Pattern geometry

Use of chaplets to avoid shifting of


Possible chaplet design

and casting with core

Production steps in sand casting

including pattern making and mold


Variety of patters are used in casting and

the choice depends on the configuration of
casting and number of casting required

Single-piece pattern
Split pattern
Follow board pattern
Cope and drag pattern
Match plate pattern
Loose-piece pattern
Sweep pattern
Skeleton pattern

(a)Split pattern
(b) Follow-board
(c) Match Plate
(d) Loose-piece
(e) Sweep
(f) Skeleton

Pattern allowances

Draft allowance
Machining allowance
Distortion allowance

Moulding Materials
Major part of Moulding material in sand
casting are

70-85% silica sand (SiO2)

10-12% bonding material e.g., clay cereal etc.
3-6% water

Requirements of molding sand are:



The performance of mould depends on

following factors:

Green strength
Dry strength

Effect of moisture, grain size and

shape on mould quality

Melting and Pouring

The quality of casting depends on the method of melting.

The melting technique should provide molten metal at
required temperature, but should also provide the material
of good quality and in the required quantity.

Pouring vessels

Molten metal is prevented from oxidation by covering the molten metal

with fluxes or by carrying out melting and pouring in vacuum
Ladles which pour the molten metal from beneath the surface are used
The two main consideration during pouring are the temperature and
pouring rate
Fluidity of molten metal is more at higher temperature but it results into
more amount of dissolved gases and high temperature also damage the
mould walls and results into poor surface quality of the casting
To control the amount of dissolved gases low, the temperature should
not be in superheated range
In ferrous metals, the dissolved hydrogen and nitrogen are removed by
passing CO. In non-ferrous metals, Cl, He, or Ar gases are used.
Therefore, fluidity and gas solubility are two conflicting requirements.
The optimum pouring temp. is therefore decided on the basis of fluidity
requirements.The temp. should be able to fill the whole cavity at the
same time it should enter inside the voids between the sand particles.

Cooling rate depends on casting material and configuration. It

also depends on volume and surface area of the casting also.
The pouring rate should be such that solidification does not
start and the cavity is completely filled without eroding mould
surface and undue turbulence.
On the basis of experience following empirical relations are
developed for pouring time

K: Fluidity factor
W: Weight In kg
Tp: Poring time in sec

The Gating System



Minimize turbulent flow so that absorption

of gases, oxidation of metal and erosion of
mould surfaces are less
Regulate the entry of molten metal into the
mould cavity
Ensure complete filling of mould cavity, and
Promote a temperature gradient within the
casting so that all sections irrespective of
size and shape could solidify properly

The Gating System

A: pouring basin
B: Weir
C: Sprue
D: Sprue well
E: Runner
F: Ingates
G: Runner break
H: Blind
J: Riser

Use of chills

Cooling and Solidification

Pure metal


Mechanism of Solidification

Pure metals solidifies at a constant temp. equal to its

freezing point, which same as its melting point.
The change form liquid to solid does not occur all at
once. The process of solidification starts with
nucleation, the formation of stable solid particles
within the liquid metal. Nuclei of solid phase,
generally a few hundred atom in size, start appearing
at a temperature below the freezing temperature.
The temp. around this goes down and is called
supercooling or undercooling. In pure metals
supercooling is around 20% of the freezing temp.
A nuclease, more than a certain critical size grows,
and causes solidification.

By adding, certain foreign materials (nucleating agents)

the undercooling temp. is reduced which causes
enhanced nucleation.
In case of pure metals fine equi-axed grains are formed
near the wall of the mold and columnar grain growth
takes place upto the centre of the ingot.
In typical solid-solution alloy, the columnar grains do
not extend upto the center of casting but are
interrupted by an inner zone of equiaxed graines.
My adding typical nucleating agents like sodium,
magnesium or bismuth the inner zone of equiaxed
grained can be extended in whole casting.

Crystal structure in Castings

Dendrite formation

In alloys, such as Fe-C, freezing and solidificaion occurs

overa wide range of temp. There is no fine line of
demarcation exists between the solid and liquid metal.
Here, start of freezing implies that grain formation
while progressing towards the center does not solidify
the metal completely but leaves behind the islands of
liquid metals in between grains which freeze later and
there is multidirectional tree like growth.

Solidification Time

Once the material cools down to freezing

temperature, the solidification process for
the pure metals does not require a decrease
in temperature and a plateau is obtained in
the cooling curves, called thermal arrest.
The solidification time is total time required
for the liquid metal to solidify.
Solidification time has been found to be
directly proportional to volume and
inversely proportional to surface area.

Location of Risers and Open

and Closed Risers
Top riser has the
advantage of
additional pressure
head and smaller
feeding distance over
the side riser.
Blind risers are
generally bigger in
size because of
additional area of
heat conduction.

Why Riser?

shrinkage occurs in three stages,

1.When temperature of liquid metal drops from
pouring to zero temperature
2.When the metal changes from liquid to solid state,
3.When the temperature of solid phase drops from
freezing to room temperature
The shrinkage for stage 3 is compensated by providing
shrinkage allowance on pattern, while the shrinkage
during stages 1 and 2 are compensated by providing
The riser should solidify in the last otherwise liquid
metal will start flowing from casting to riser. It should
promote directional solidification. The shape, size and
location of the risers are important considerations in
casting design

Cleaning and Finishing





Casting is taken out of the mould by shaking and

the Moulding sand is recycled often with suitable
The remaining sand, some of which may be
embedded in the casting, is removed by means of
Shot blasting.
The excess material in the form of sprue, runners,
gates etc., along with the flashes formed due to
flow of molten metal into the gaps is broken
manuaaly in case of brittle casting or removed by
sawing and grinding in case of ductile grinding.
The entire casting is then cleaned by either shot
blasting or chemical pickling.
Sometimes castings are heat treated to achieve
better mechanical properties.

Casting Defects

may occur due to one or more

of the following reasons:
Fault in design of casting pattern
Fault in design on mold and core
Fault in design of gating system and riser
Improper choice of moulding sand
Improper metal composition
Inadequate melting temperature and rate
of pouring

Classification of casting defects


Casting defects
Blow holes
Pin holes

Rat tail
Cold shut
Hot tear

Surface Defects

These are due to poor design and quality of sand

molds and general cause is poor ramming
Blow is relatively large cavity produced by gases
which displace molten metal from convex surface.
Scar is shallow blow generally occurring on a flat
surface. A scar covered with a thin layer of metal
is called blister. These are due to improper
permeability or venting. Sometimes excessive gas
forming constituents in moulding sand

Drop is an irregularly-shaped projection on the cope

surface caused by dropping of sand.
A scab when an up heaved sand gets separated from
the mould surface and the molten metal flows between
the displaced sand and the mold.
Penetration occurs when the molten metal flows
between the sand particles in the mould. These defects
are due to inadequate strength of the mold and high
temperature of the molten metal adds on it.
Buckle is a vee-shaped depression on the surface of a
flat casting caused by expansion of a thin layer of sand
at the mould face. A proper amount of volatile additives
in moulding material could eliminate this defect by
providing room for expansion.

Internal Defects

The internal defects found in the castings are mainly due

to trapped gases and dirty metal. Gases get trapped due
to hard ramming or improper venting. These defects also
occur when excessive moisture or excessive gas forming
materials are used for mould making.
Blow holes are large spherical shaped gas bubbles, while
porosity indicates a large number of uniformly distributed
tiny holes. Pin holes are tiny blow holes appearing just
below the casting surface.
Inclusions are the non-metallic particles in the metal
matrix, Lighter impurities appearing the casting surface
are dross.

Visible Defects

Insufficient mould strength, insufficient metal, low

pouring temperature, and bad design of casting are
some of the common causes.
Wash is a low projection near the gate caused by
erosion of sand by the flowing metal. Rat tail is a long,
shallow, angular depression caused by expansion of the
sand. Swell is the deformation of vertical mould surface
due to hydrostatic pressure caused by moisture in the
Misrun and cold shut are caused by insufficient
superheat provided to the liquid metal.
Hot tear is the crack in the casting caused by high
residual stresses.
Shrinkage is essentially solidification contraction and
occurs due to improper use of Riser.
Shift is due to misalignment of two parts of the mould or
incorrect core location.

Casting with expendable

mould: Investment Casting

Advantages and Limitations

Parts of greater complexity and intricacy can be

Close dimensional control 0.075mm
Good surface finish
The lost wax can be reused
Additional machining is not required in normal
Preferred for casting weight less than 5 kg,
maximum dimension less than 300 mm, Thickness
is usually restricted to 15mm
Al, Cu, Ni, Carbon and alloy steels, tool steels etc.
are the common materials

Permanent mould casting: Die


General Configuration of a Die

Casting Machine

In Die casting the molten metal is forced to

flow into a permanent metallic mold under
moderate to high pressures, and held under
pressure during solidification
This high pressure forces the metal into
intricate details, produces smooth surface and
excellent dimensional accuracy
High pressure causes turbulence and air
entrapment. In order to minimize this larger
ingates are used and in the beginning
pressure is kept low and is increased gradually

Cycle in Hot Chamber Casting

Cycle in Cold Chamber


Centrifugal Casting

A permanent mold made of metal or ceramic is rotated at high

speed (300 to 3000 rpm). The molten metal is then poured into the
mold cavity and due to centrifugal action the molten metal conform
to the cavity provided in the mould.
Castings are known for their higher densities in the outer most
The process gives good surface finish
Applications: pipes, bushings, gears, flywheels etc.

Comparison of Casting Processes