You are on page 1of 27

Casting

Net Shape or Near-Net Shape Process Advantages:


Product is ~finished right out of mold.
High complexity with few steps (usually)
No machining waste

General Casting Disadvantages:
Expensive and time-consuming patterns/molds/dies
Solidification issues: shrinkage, porosity, ~low strength, brittleness
Some methods require many steps (e.g., Investment casting)

Expendable vs. Non-Expendable:
Patterns
Molds


Casting: Solidification

Grains perpendicular to wall shut-off
other grains, so columnar structure
naturally develops perpendicular to mold
wall.
Grain boundaries tend to be weak
columnar castings tend to be brittle (unless
loaded parallel to the column direction, as
in turbine blades).
Equiaxed structure usually preferred for
strength, can be achieved with
innoculating agents and/or fast cool.


Kalpakjian
Kalpakjian
Casting Impurities

Slag/dross:
Metal oxides that form brittle inclusions within casting
Slag floats, so skim off top and/or pour from bottom of ladle

Porosity: trapped gas. Minimize by these methods:
Design part and mold to minimize turbulence of molten metal as it enters mold
Dont overheat the molten metal (dissolves more gas)
Melt in a vacuum ($$$)
Melt in a protective atmosphere ($$)
Use scavenging agents to collect gas bubbles
Pour smoothly (sand casting, permanent mold casting, )
Pressurize the pour (die casting)
Casting: Design Practices
Draft angle (1-3 deg) is needed to allow
removal of pattern from mold (sand casting), or
removal of part from mold (e.g, die casting)
Upon solidification, thicker sections tend to
form cavities inside unless fed by riser or
directionally solidified.
Aim for the same wall thickness everywhere or
plan solidification direction carefully.
Offset intersection of ribs to achieve uniform
thickness.
Kalpakjian
Kalpakjian
Kalpakjian
Casting:
Directional Solidification

Porosity and cavities form when melt
cannot reach solidifying/contracting
regions.
Chills used to initiate local solidification
and achieve directional solidification away
from the chill.
Risers feed melt opposite to
solidification direction.


Schey
Kalpakjian
Sand Casting: Parts of a Sand Mold (expendable mold)
Key terms:
Flask, Cope, Drag, Sprue, Runner, Gate, Riser, Mold Cavity, Core, Parting Line,
Draft (not shown).
Kalpakjian
Casting: Riser Design

Chvorinovs Rule
Solidification time = B * (V/A)
n
B = mold constant
n = 1.5 2.0
V = volume of casting
A = surface area of casting


Riser and mold cavity:
Want riser to supply molten metal to mold cavity as casting solidifies
Riser must solidify after casting: T-riser = 1.25 * T-casting
Mold constant is the same for riser and casting

Schey
DeGarmo
Sand Casting: Patterns
DeGarmo
Shell-Molding Process
Kalpakjian
Investment Casting

aka Lost-wax casting
Unlimited design freedom since
draft angles, cores, parting lines, etc.,
are ~irrelevant
Accurate parts with good surfaces
Many steps
Patterns and molds are expendable
Expensive
Kalpakjian/Howmet Corp
Wax pattern
of turbine rotor
Cut-away of
ceramic mold
applied over
over wax pattern
Cut-away
showing
wax melted
out of mold.
(Metal then
poured into mold.)
Finished
turbine rotor,
near-net shape
Investment Casting a Turbine Rotor
Turbine Blade Casting
Directional
solidification
Kalpakjian
Directional
solidification
for single-
crystal blade
Single-crystal
blade with a
spiral attached
Single Crystal Silicon Boule

Directionally solidified from bottom
to top as a single crystal (no grain
boundaries anywhere).

Silicon wafers cut from the boule,
made into semiconductor devices
(microchips, solar cells, etc.)
Kalpakjian
Permanent Mold Casting

No pattern is needed, saving time and cost
Mold is machined directly out of cast-iron (adding time and cost)
Mold complexity is limited, 2-3 deg draft angles needed
Molten metal is gravity fed into mold
Good dimensional accuracy and surface finish
Castings cool quickly so strength tends to be good
Molds last 10,000 100,000 parts if casting a soft metal (aluminum, zinc)
Special graphite molds ($$) may be made for casting steel parts (unusual)

www.aurorametals.com
www.offshoresolutions.com
Permanent Mold Casting: Aluminum piston
Kalpakjian
Risers
As cast After machining
Die Casting

Molten metal is injected under pressure (2000-30000psi) into mold
Mold machined from tool steel ($$$ and time)
Molds last ~100,000 parts
Difficult to modify once made
Very accurate dimensions, excellent surface finish, intricate details
Aluminum and zinc most commonly cast (steel would erode mold)
Aluminum melts at ~1050F, Zinc at ~700F
Both are ~brittle when diecast
Part size is limited by injection cylinder size (20 lb max) and clamping force (P*A)
No risers needed (hi-pressure runners feed metal)
Slides/cores used to make holes parallel to parting line
Air is vented along parting line, but porosity is often a problem
Very fast production rates possible, fastest of any casting method
Expensive dies/molds and machines: only suitable for mass production


Die Casting Advantages
High volume at high speed
Duplicates intricate design details
No pattern
Long mold life: ~100,000 cycles
www.kurt.com
www.incastinc.com
www.aluminum.org
Die Casting Limitations
Complex and large machinery: expensive
Molds (dies) machined from hardened tool steel: expensive
Molds cannot take extreme heat so melt limited to low-melting point alloys:
zinc, copper, aluminum, and zinc-aluminum alloys.
Effects of high pressure limited part size

www.atplonline.com
samkwangprecision.en.ec21.com
Die Casting:
Hot-Chamber
Process:
zinc alloys
Kalpakjian

Die Casting: Cold-Chamber Process: aluminum alloys
Kalpakjian
Toggle mechanism
- Separating force = Pressure * Area = 400 to 4000 tons (800,000 8,000,000 lb)
- As in Vise-grip, toggle multiplies clamp force many times. Double Toggle.
- Keeps die-halves from separating, minimizing flash
Kalpakjian
NADCA
(a)
Die (Mold) Design
- alignment pins
- slides make holes perpendicular
to die-separation direction.
www.toolingtec.com
www.toolingtec.com
www.toolingtec.com
Die Casting:
part and runners
NADCA
Porosity in Castings

- Turbulent injection entraps air
- Many solutions but still a common problem
NADCA
www.vidisco.com
www.eng.ysu.edu
Explosion Risk
Water trapped under hot metal
Water expands to steam (1500x volume)
Explosion and spray out of the furnace
Possible secondary explosion
Avoid water near a casting operation
NADCA
Costs Comparison for Different Casting Processes
Kalpakjian
References

DeGarmo: E.P. DeGarmo et al, Materials and Processes in Manufacturing, Wiley, 2003.
Schey: J.A. Schey, Introduction to Manufacturing Processes, McGraw-Hill, 2000.
Kalpakjian: http://www.nd.edu/~manufact/index3.htm
NADCA: North American Die Casting Association Introduction to Die Casting CD