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Casting

Casting is a process which produces solid metallic object or part by pouring liquid metal into mould cavity and allowing the molten metal to solidify.
The term casting is used both for the process of casting and the product itself.

Casting processes are primarily used to produce metal products

History of casting

Casting is a 6000 year old process. The oldest surviving casting is a copper frog from 3200 BC. The bronze age (2000 BC) brought far more refinement into casting process. Casting technology was greatly improved by Chinese around 1500 BC.

The importance of casting

14 million pounds of castings are produced every year in U.S 35% of the market is in automotive and light truck manufacturing Cast parts range in size from a fraction of a centimeter and a fraction of a gram (such as individual teeth of a zipper) to over 10 meters and as many tons as in the huge propeller and frame of the ocean liner. The casting processes have distinct advantages when the production involves complex shape, parts having hollow sections or internal cavities, parts that contain irregular curved surfaces, very large parts or parts made from the metals that are difficult to machine. Metal casted components are used in agriculture, construction and mining machinery, valves and fittings, metal working machinery, power tools, pumps and compressors, railroad equipment and heating, refrigeration and air conditioning equipment and iron pipes.

Casting terms

To make a part by pouring liquid metal into a specially shaped mould Casting Both a part casted and the manufacturing process itself. Foundry A factory to make a casting Mould A cavity which is used to accommodate melted metal Sand. It is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles Flask It holds the sand mould intact. It is made of wood or metal. The upper part is called cope and the lower part is drag. The middle part is called as cheek. Pattern. Pattern is a replica of the final object to be made.

Cast.

Parting line. Dividing line between the two moulding flasks. It is also the dividing line of split pattern. Facing sand. A small amount of carbonaceous material sprinkled on the inner surface of the moulding cavity to give the casting a better finish. Backing sand This is made of used and burnt sand. Core. Used for making hollow cavity in the Casting. Core print. It is a feature that is added to a pattern, mould or core and is used to locate and support the core within the mould Pouring basin A small funnel shaped cavity for metal pouring. Sprue A passage through which the molten metal is poured.

Runner A passage through which the molten metal flows to mould cavity. Gate. The actual entry point through which the molten metal enters mould cavity. Chaplet Used to support the core inside the mould cavity. Chill Metallic objects which are placed inside the mould to increase the cooling rate of castings. Riser It is the reservoir of the molten metal so that hot metal can flow back into the mould cavity when there is reduction in volume due to solidification Bottom board Made of wood. Used to place the pattern before ramming. Vent holes Tiny holes for air escape.

Tools for hand moulding

Trowels:- Consists of steel blade, which may be rectangular, triangular or heart shaped with a wooden handle. Used for repairing and finishing of mould. Heart and square tool:- Used for repairing and finishing. The two shapes, heart and square are formed on the two ends of a rod. Rammers:- Employed for pressing the sand in the moulding box. Two types peen rammer and flat rammer. Cleaners and lifters:- Made from steel plate, one end flat and straight and the other end bent at 90 deg. Used for cleaning and lifting sand particles. Gaggers:- The gaggers are iron rods bent at one end or both ends. Used to reinforce the sand and to support the hanging and unsupported portion of the sand. Vent wire:- Pointed steel wire. Used for piercing holes. Slick:- Double-ended tool having one end flat and a spoon on the other end. Used for repairing the mould. Swab:- Small brush with long fibres. Used for moistening the sand around the edge of the mould before the pattern is removed.

Draw spikes:-Pointed steel rod with a loop at one end. Used for withdrawing the pattern from the mould. In case of metallic pattern the draw spike has the lower end threaded. Riddle:- It has a wooden frame with a screen of suitable meshes. Used to remove the lumps and foreign particles from the sand. Smoothers and sleekers:- For smoothening out and finishing corners, recesses bends and are made in wide variety of shapes and sizes. Runners pegs and sprue and gate cutters:- Made of wood. Used for forming the runners, sprue and gates in the cope and the drag. These are cylindrical, square or rectangular in shape. Brush:- used for sweep away the parting sand and to apply paint on the mould. Straight edge:-Bar of steel of rectangular section. Used to level the mould surface.

Pattern

Pattern is a replica of the final object to be made. It is a duplicate of the part to be cast. It is a plan or model used as a guide for making something or an original design or model from which exact copies can be made.

Types of pattern

Solid or single piece pattern.


Shape of the casting is not complex. Most inexpensive Generally made of wood. For limited production. Pattern is similar to the casting required

Split pattern or two piece pattern.


For intricate and complex design not obtainable from solid pattern The pattern is split along the parting line into two parts. One half in the drag and other half in the cope.

Loose piece or multiple piece pattern.


Used for complex casting involving with-drawl problem. Made more than one piece. Used when one piece or split pattern are unsuitable

Match plate pattern.


Uses a match plate which has cope and drag impression on its two sides. Used for large scale production.

Cope and drag pattern.


Variation of match plate pattern. Uses two match plates, one for cope part and other for drag part. The cope and drag mould are produced separately and later assembled to form a complete mould. Used for heavy and continuous production.

Gated pattern.
It consists of multi-cavity moulds which are fed by a single runner. Useful for small size casting.

Sweep pattern.
For large size casting of symmetrical nature such as rims, wheels, bells. Used when regular solid pattern is too expensive.

Skeleton pattern.
It is a wooden pattern for large size casting It is in the form of the frame outlining the shape of the casting. Suitable for one or a few castings of large size.

Pattern allowance

Pattern allowance is a vital feature in the pattern design as it affects the dimensional characteristics of the casting. The selection of the correct allowance greatly help to reduce the subsequent machining cost and avoid rejections. The following allowance are considered: Shrinkage or contraction allowance. Draft or taper allowance. Rapping or shake allowance. Distortion allowance. Finish or machining allowance.

Pattern material.

Wood and wood products Metals and alloys (grey cast iron, steel, aluminum alloy, copper based alloy. Plasters (plaster of Paris) Plastics (thermosetting and thermoplastic) and rubber (silicon rubber) Epoxy, polyester resin and polystyrene Waxes. Fiber glass Styrofoam. Polyurethane

Mould.

Mould is a template, stencil, outline, guide, matrix, shell, die, prototype, form, shape or a container that gives a shape to a molten or liquid substance poured into it to harden

Moulding material

The selection of moulding material depends upon many factors including metal to be cast, temperature of the metal, the number of castings to be obtained etc. In general the following material are used for the moulding.
Sand Metals and alloys Plaster Ceramics Foam Thermosetting compounds Thermoplastic compounds

Casting material

Metal
Grey iron Ductile iron Steel Stainless steel Aluminum alloys. Brass. Bronze. Magnesium alloys Copper based alloys. Zinc alloys. Nickel-based super alloy.

Non-Metal
Polymer Ceramics Glass. Composite

Casting process

Casting process is divided into two basic categories: Expendable mould process Permanent or re-usable mould process The casting process can also be classified on the basis of mould material and making them. Classification on the basis of material green sand mould. plastic mould. metal mould. Metal moulds are permanent in the sense that a large number of castings can be made from a single mould Classification on the basis of making them shell mould . investment mould.

Types of casting process.

There are more than 40 casting processes. Sand mould casting. Permanent mould casting. Die casting. Hot and cold chamber. Centrifugal casting. Slush casting. Vacuum casting. Compression casting. Transfer casting Injection casting. Blow casting. Rotational moulding. Thermo forming. Shell mould casting. Precision investment casting Continuous casting.

Green sand mould casting

The traditional method of casting metal is sand casting. It is the most common and most versatile of the casting processes. Used for casting both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. almost any metal can be cast. There are few limits on the size, shape, weight and complexity of the products. Size limit is 30g to 3000 kg and thickness limit is .25 cm min The term green implies that the mould has not been fired or cured. Some of the problems associated with green sand casting are reduced by heating mould to a temp. of 150 and 300 C and bake it until most of the moisture is driven off. This is dry-sand moulds. Since long time is required to prepare the dry sand mould so a compromise is made to produce a skin-dried mould, which involves the drying of the sand adjacent to mould cavity. Large steel parts are almost skin dried. Torches are used to perform the drying operation and the water is removed to a depth of about 13 mm.

Green sand casting method

Granular refractory material such as silica, zircon, olivine or chromite sand is mixed with small amount of other materials such as clay and water A hollow mold is made around a pattern Molten metal is then poured into the mold, taking its shape when it cools and solidifies. The sand mold is broken to release the casting.

Characteristics of moulding sand

The moulding sand should meet the following requirement:i) Refractoriness. The ability to withstand high temperature without melting, fracture or deterioration. It is provided by the basic nature of the sand. ii) Cohesiveness. The ability to retain a given shape when packed. Cohesiveness, bond or strength is obtained by coating the sand with clays such as Bentonite, Kaolinite or Illite that become cohesive when moistened. iii) Permeability. The ability of mould cavity, mould and core to escape gasses through the sand. It is measure of how easily gasses can pass through the narrow void between the sand particles. iv) Collapsibility. The ability to accommodate metal shrinkage after solidification. It is some time enhanced by adding cereals or other organic materials such as cellulose.

Moulding sand composition

Moulding sand, foundry sand, or green sand is that sand which when moistened or oiled tends to pack well and hold its shape. The main ingredients of any typical green-sand mixture are The silica grains (Sio2)..... 88% The most common constituent of sand is silica (silicon dioxide SiO2), usually in the form of quartz. The clay as binder.... 9% Moisture to combine clay and the sand..... 3%. Additives such as charcoal, molasses, linseed oil, corn flour, wood flour, sea coal, iron oxide, dextrin, sodium silicate (water glass), Kaolin clay. Invert sugar, resins etc.

Desirable properties of sand-based moulding material.

Retain properties through transportation and storage. Uniformly fills a flask or container. Can be compacted by simple methods. Has sufficient elasticity to remain un-damaged during pattern withdrawl. Can withstand high temperature. Sufficiently permeable. Sufficiently dense to prevent metal penetration. Sufficiently cohesive to prevent wash-out of moulding material into the pour stream. Chemically inert to the metal being cast. Can yield to solidification and thermal shrinkage. Has good collapsibility to permit easy removal and separation of the casting. Can be recycled.

Sand mould making procedure

Place the drag up side down on the bottom board Place in it the drag part of the pattern. Sprinkle the dry facing sand on the board and the pattern. Pour freshly prepared sand on the pattern to a thickness of 30 to 50 mm. Rest of the flask is filled with backup sand. Ram to compact the sand (neither too hard nor too loose) Scrap the excess sand Make vent holes (1 to 2mm). Roll over the drag exposing the pattern Place cope part of the pattern aligning it with the help of dowel pins. Place cope flask aligning it with the pins Sprinkle the dry parting sand all over the drag and on the pattern. Place sprue and riser pins. Pour freshly prepared moulding sand and the backing sand and ram it Excess sand scraped and vent holes made Sprue and riser pins are withdrawn. The cope is separated from the drag.

Withdraw cope and drag section of the pattern.

The runner and gate are cut in the mould cavity. Place core if required Replace cope on the drag and align it properly. Pour the molten metal.

Advantages/Disadvantages of Green Sand Casting

Advantages
Inexpensive mold Complex geometry All alloys Unlimited size Economical. Any metal can be cast.

Disadvantages
Cost per part is higher Labor intensive Slower production rate Rough surface finish Poor dimensional accuracy Loose tolerances Requires relatively thick walls (0.120) Low strength. Some machining is often required Typical yields range is 50 to 85%

Moulding machines

The moulding machines operate on one or a combination of the following principles. jolt ramming Squeezing Sand slinging In jolt ramming, the mould is lifted through a height of about 5 cm and dropped 50-1 00 times at a rate of 200 times per minute. In squeezing, the sand is squeezed manually or mechanically. It is found satisfactory for shallow flasks. The sand slinging operation is also very fast and results in uniform ramming. This, however, incurs high initial cost

(a) Jolt ramming

(b) Squeezing

(c) Sand slinging

Melting Furnaces

The selection of a furnace depends mainly on the following. Metal chemistry. The maximum temperature required. Metal delivery rate and mode. The size and shape of the available raw materials. Types of furnaces Cupolas Oxy-fuel Furnace (direct and indirect) Electric Arc Furnace Resistance Furnace Induction furnace

Cupola furnace

Cupola furnace is employed for melting and refining pig iron. A cupola is made up of a vertical steel shell of 6 to 12 mm thick plate, lined with refractory material down the whole length and supported by four cast iron pillars on the floor. The furnace may have acid or basic lining (expensive) depending upon the type of pig iron used. The cupola is charged by alternating layers of coke (carbon) iron (pig iron, and/or scrape) lime stone or other flux and possible alloy addition and melted under forced air draft. The molten metal is collected at the bottom of the cupola. Gray and white cast iron is melted in cupolas. Produce cast iron of excellent quality. The melting rate can be achieved to the extent of 120 ton per hour. Simplicity of operation, continuity of production, economy of working, increased output and high degree of efficiency are the distinct advantages of cupola over other types of furnaces.

Indirect fuel-fired furnace (crucible furnace)

Indirect fuel fired furnace is essentially a crucible or holding pot whose outer portion is heated by a external flame. Generally made from clay, graphite, silicon carbide, cast iron or steel. Small batches of non-ferrous alloys are melted in the furnace Stirring action, temperature control and chemistry control is often poor. Furnace size and melting rate are limited. Low capital and operating cost.

Direct fuel-fired furnace (Reverberatory furnace)

Similar to small open hearth furnace. In this furnace the flame passes directly over the pool of molten metal The capacity of the furnace greater than that of crucible but the operation is still limited to the batch melting of non-ferrous metal and holding of cast iron that has been previously melted in a cupola. The rate of melting and composition, and temperature are easily controllable.

Direct fuel-fired furnace


Uses a fuel gas such as propane, natural gas or acetylene Oxygen or atmospheric air is blown in and combined with fuel Heat from combustion melts the charge

Electric Arc Furnace

It consists of mainly a steel cylindrical shell with a spherical or flat base. It is mounted on rollers to enable tilting the furnace. The charge is contained in a bowl-shaped hearth, lined with suitable basic material, such as magnesite bricks. The roof is dome-shaped and is detachable to facilitate easy charging from top. Carbon electrodes are uses to strikes electric arc between the electrodes and the metal charge. The electrodes are made of graphite or amorphous carbon. The path of heating current is usually through one elctrode, across an arc to the metal charge and back through another arc to another electrode. Arc furnaces are preferred method of melting due to the following. Rapid melting rates Ability to hold molten metal for any desired period of time at desired temperature. Pollution control equipment.

Fluxing materials are added to create a protecting slag over the pool of the metal. Can produce high quality metal of almost any desired composition. Arc furnaces are generally used for ferrous alloys especially steel. Noise and emission of electric particles is high. The consumption of electrodes, refractory and power result in high operating cost. It is used for melting, refining or holding molten metal at a constant temperature. Can be either DC or AC

Electric Arc Furnace

Advantages of electric arc furnace

Electricity is the greatest commercial source of heat without any risk of contamination. The rate of heat application can be closely controlled. The thermal efficiency is considerable; 70%. The furnace atmosphere above the molten metal can be easily controlled. Most alloying elements such as chromium, nickle,and tungsten can be recovered from the scrape. Steel may be made direct from pig iron and steel scrape.

Resistance Furnace

A box type furnace having provision to accommodate nichrom wire of desired capacity. A current is passed through Nichrom wires resulting in ohmic heating. Radiation heats charge material. Some convection and conduction occurs which also assists in heating the charge..

Resistance Furnace

Induction furnace

The heat is generated in the charge itself. Two types; high frequency. High frequency or coreless unit consists of a crucible surrounded by a wate cooled copper coil. The coil represent a primary to which a high frequency current of 1000 to 100,000 cycles per sec. is supplied by a motor generator. The varying magnetic field induces secondary current in the charge being melted. Used for all common alloys. Very high temp. can be obtained. Provide good control of temp. and composition. Produce pure metal. Capacities upto 65 tons.

low frequency. Low frequency or channel type induction furnace uses a small channel which is surrounded by a primary coil. The secondary coil is formed by molten metal, as such to start with, enough molten metal must be placed into the furnace to fill the secondary coil. The heating rate is high and the temp. can be accurately controlled. Low frequency furnace is preferred as holding furnace. Capacities can be as large as 250 ton.

Induction furnace

Advantages/ Dis-advantages of induction furnace

Advantages:
High flexibility, even a small quantity of metal of any composition can be melted. Extremely high rate of melting. Control of temperature is easy and quick. High alloy steel can be melted. High quality of metal and alloys can be produced. Initial cast is higher than that of an arc furnace of similar capacity but the operating cost is lower because of low refractory consumption, low power consumption, absence of electrode, better heat utilization and shorter melting time.

Dis-advantages: Initial cost is high. There can be no refining process. Sampling can not be carried out due high speed of melting.

Casting defects

Casting defects may be defined as those factors that create deficiency or imperfection contrary to the quality specifications imposed by the design and the service requirements. Porosity This indicates "very small. holes uniformly dispersed throughout a casting. Porosity is due to gas formation and gas absorption by the metal during pouring. Metal may dissolve some gas or air from the mould or core and liberated when the metal cools. It also arises when there is a decrease in gas solubility during solidification. Impurities oxides It refers to a nonmetallic particles in the metal matrix. Cold Shut and mis-run. A cold shut is a defect in which a discontinuity is formed due to imperfect fusion of two streams of metal in the mould cavity. For a casting with gates at its two sides, the mis-run may show up at the centre of the casting. A mis-run casting is one that remains incomplete due to failure of metal to fill up the entire mould cavity. The reason of cold shut may be too thin section or wall thickness, poor fluidity of metal by low pouring temperature.

Hot Tear. Hot tears are internal or external discontinuities or crack on the casting surface, caused by hindered contraction occurring immediately after the metal has solidified. Blow holes. It is a fairly large, well-rounded cavity produced by the gases at the cope surface of a casting. It may be in the form of a cluster of large number of small holes having a dia. of about 3mm or less or in the form one large and smooth depression. Scabs. Scabs are sort of projection on the casting. These can be recognized as rough ,irregular projections on the surface containing embedded sand. Shrinkage cavity. Shrinkage cavity is a depression in the casting caused mainly by uncontrolled and haphazard solidification of the metal. It may be due to wrong location or improper size gating system, inadequate risers, poor design of the casting involving abrupt changes of sectional thickness or pouring temp. is too high.

Scar. A shallow blow, found on a flat casting surface, is referred to as a scar. Gas holes. These refer to the entrapped gas bubbles having a nearly spherical shape, and occur when an excessive amount of gases is dissolved in the liquid metal. These holes appear when the surface of the casting is machined or cut into sections. Penetration. If the mould surface is too soft and porous, the liquid metal may flow between the sand particles up to a distance, into the mould. This causes rough, porous projections. Shift. A misalignment between two halves of a mould or of core may give rise to a defective casting called as shift.

Fin.
A thin projection of metal, not intended as part of the casting is called a fin. It usually occurs at the parting of the mould or core section.. Dirt. Dirt generally appears in the form of foreign particles and sand embeded on the surface of the casting.

Wrapped casting. Wrapping occurs during or after solidification. Large and flat sections or intersecting sections are particularly prone to wrappage. It may be because of too small or weak flasks, insufficient gating system or sand with too low green strength. Swell. A swell is an enlargement of mould cavity by metal pressure, resulting in localized or overall enlargement of the casting. It may be due to insufficient ramming of the sand, insufficient weight of the cope may also result the swell. Pin holes. Pin holes are numerous holes of small dia., usually less then 2mm, visible on the surface of the casting. These are caused by the absorption of hydrogen or carbon monoxide when the moisture contents of the sand is high or when steel is poured from the wet ladle. Metal penetration and rough surface. This defect appears as an uneven and rough surface of the casting. It may be caused when the sand has too high permeability, large grain size, soft ramming and low strength.

Causes of Casting defects

Oxygen and molten metal react to produce metal oxides, which then can be carried with the molten metal during pouring and filling of the mould and impair surface finish, machinability and mechanical properties. Material eroded from the lining of the furnace and pouring ladle and loose sand particles from the mould surfaces can also contribute non-metallic components to the casting. Liquid metals can also contain significant amount of dissolved gasses. The solid structure can accommodate the gas and the result is porosity in the casting. It is important that molten metal should first fill the mould cavity and then freeze into its new shape. However, if the metal freezes before it is completely filled the mould, defects known as misrun and cold shut are produced.

Gating system plays a vital role to provide smooth flow and control the rate of flow of molten metal and avoid absorption of gasses, oxidation of metal and erosion of mould. Most metals and alloys undergo a noticeable volumetric contraction as the material goes from super heated liquid to room temperature. Risers are designed to compensate for solidification shrinkage and therefore must solidify after the casting. In reverse case the liquid metal will flow from the casting towards the solidifying riser and the casting shrinkage will be greater. Defects in the casting may be three basic types: Major defects, which can not be rectified, resulting rejection. Defects that can be remedied but repair cost is much and not justified. Minor defects, which can be rectified at economical cost. Causes of casting defects. Unsuitable raw materials used in the moulding, core making or casting. Unsatisfactory moulding, core making or casting practices. Improper tools, equipment, appliances and pattern. Improper skill.

Permanent mould casting

For large scale production of casting ,making a mould for every casting is difficult and expensive. Therefore a permanent mould called die is necessary. The process is known a permanent mould casting or gravity die casting. Selection of the die material is made on the basis of pouring temp. size and frequency of the casting. The moulds are usually made in segments, which are often hinged to permit rapid and accurate opening and closing. Fined grey cast iron is the most generally used die material. Alloy cast iron and alloy steel are also used for large volume and large parts. The cores are also used in permanent mould casting. The cores can be made out of metal or sand. When sand cores are used the process is called as semi- permanent mould casting. The materials which are normally cast in the permanent mould are aluminum alloys, magnesium alloys, copper alloys, zinc alloys, lead alloys and grey cast iron. If graphite is used as the mould material, iron and steel castings can also be produced. Permanent mould casting is particularly suited to high volume production of small and simple casting with uniform wall thickness and no intricate detail. The size of the casting is limited to 15 kg in most of the cases.

Advantages/ limitation of Permanent Mould casting

Advantages: Produces fined grained defect free casting with superior mechanical properties. Good surface finish and better appearance. Close dimensional tolerance. The dimensions are consistent from part to part. Economical for large scale production. The mould is reusable Limitations Maximum size of the casting is limited. Complicated shapes cannot be produced. The cost of the die is very high as the mould, besides mould cavity contains pouring basin, sprue, runners, riser, gates, core support, alignment pins and some form of ejection system. Only justified for large scale production. Not all material are suited for the process because of the mould material. The process is generally limited to the lower melting point alloys.

Die casting

Die casting is closely related to permanent mould casting as both processes use re-useable metallic die. More specifically it is pressure die casting. Die casting involves the production of components by injection of molten metal at high pressure of several thousand pounds (1500 to 25,000 psi) into the metallic die and held under the high pressure during solidification. The die temp. is usually maintained at about 150 to 250 deg C below the solidus temp of metal being cast for rapid freezing. Most die castings are made from non-ferrous, specifically zinc, copper and aluminum based alloys, but ferrous alloy die castings are possible. High production rates, good strength, good dimensional accuracy and surface finish, and good quality parts. There are two basic types of die casting machines: Hot chamber die casting machine. Cold chamber die casting machine:

Hot chamber die casting

The holding furnace for the liquid is an integral part of the die casting machine. Primarily used for low-melting alloys such as tin, zinc, lead based alloys. Not suitable for aluminum since the aluminum tends to pick up some iron from the molten pot during the extended time of contact. It has fast cycling times. Cycle time varies from 3 to 12 sec. Around 300 to 350 castings per hour is possible. No transfer of molten metal is involved.

Cold chamber die casting

Employed for the die casting of the materials that are not suitable for the hot chamber design. The metal is melted in a separate furnace and then transported to the die casting machine with a ladle or hydraulically. Cold chamber needed higher pressure as compared to hot chamber. It has longer operating cycle. Used for high-melting alloys such as alloys of aluminum, magnesium and copper as well as high aluminum zinc.

Advantage/Dis-advantage Of Die Casting

Advantages

Disadvantages
Sand cores cannot be used because of high pressure and flow rate. High tooling cost Long lead times (months) Limited size (<25 lbs) Limited to high fluidity nonferrous metals. Porosity may be a problem due to entrapped air. Prone to metal loss. Requires large production quantities. The min. Qty is 20,000

High production rates possible with high level of automation Very thin walls possible (0.020 for Mg die casting)

Risers are not used. scrape can be recycled


Good surface finish. Economical in large quantities Better control of mold temp. Excellent details can be achieved. Products exhibit good strength Shapes can be quite intricate. Dimensional precision is excellent Almost complete elimination of subsequent machining. Dies for die casting can retain their accuracy for longer time. Saving of time and labour.

Slush casting

It is basically a permanent mould casting method. Hot metal poured into the metal mould and is allowed to cool until a shell of desired thickness is formed. The mould is then inverted and the remaining metal is poured out. The resulting casting is a hollow shape with good surface details but variable wall thickness. It is used to make hollow casting with out using cores. Common application include ornamental and decorative items such as lamp bases, candle sticks, statues and toys.

Injection moulding.

Injection moulding process is quite similar to the die casting process of molten metal. Granules of raw material are fed by gravity from a hopper into a cavity that lies ahead of a plunger. As the plunger advances the material is forced through a preheating chamber and on through a torpedo section, where it is mixed, melted and super heated. The super heated material is then driven through a nozzle that seats against the mould. since the dies remain cool, the plastic solidifies as soon as the mould is filled. The part is ejected. Injection moulding can also be applied to the thermosetting materials.

Advantages/ Dis-advantages of injection moulding

Advantages. Suitable for high volume production of relatively complex thermoplastic parts. A finished product needing no further machining. Good quality product Dis-advantage. Pre-mature solidification causes poor and defective parts. Eqipment is expensive. Good control system over temperature and pressure is needed

Shell mould casting

It is a variation of sand-mould casting. The mould is in the form of two half shells to be clamped together during the casting. In this method the sand (about 100-150 mesh) is mixed with thermosetting phenolic resin and heat sensitive liquid catalyst. The material is then dumped, blown or shot onto a heated metallic pattern plate so that a strong and thin shell of mould is formed around the pattern by polymerization. The cope and drag of the shell is removed and kept in the flask with necessary backup material and the molten metal is poured into the mould (shell). The metal used for preparing pattern is grey cast iron. Generally dry and fine sand, completely free from the clay is used for preparing the shell moulding sand. Shell-mould sand is typically finer than ordinary foundry sand The resin normally used is phenol formaldehyde. Additives like coal dust, pulverized slag, manganese dioxide, calcium carbonate, ammonium boro-flouride, iron oxide are some times added into the sand mixture to improve the surface finish and avoid thermal cracking.

Some lubricants such as calcium stearate, zinc stereate and carnauba may also be added to permit easy release of the shell from the pattern. The metallic pattern plate is heated to a temperature of 200 to 350 deg c The shell along with pattern plate is kept in an electric or gas fired oven for curing. The shell thus prepared are joined together by either mechanical clamping or adhesive. The thickness of the shell ranges from 10 to 20 mm

Advantages/ limitation and uses of Shell mould casting

Advantages. More accurate then sand casting Smooth surface and excellent collapsibility. Sometimes special core can be eliminated. Thin section of the type of air cooled cylinder can be made. Small amount of sand needed. High rate of production. Moulds and cores can be stored for future use. Process can be used for all cast metals. Low labour cost The volume of evolved gasses is low and thin shell provide for easy escape of gasses Limitations Due to high cost of pattern, equipment and resin binder, the process is very expensive and therefore economical only for large production. Size and weight are limited due to economical reasons and practical limitation of equipment. Relative in-flexibility in gating and risering. Complicated shapes cannot be casted.

Uses. Useful for making small size casting in small number. Cylinder and cylinder heads for air cooled engines, automobile transmission parts, gears, small crank shafts etc

Precision investment casting

Investment casting (Lost wax casting) is a process that has been practiced for thousands of years. Used in ancient China and Egypt. Investment casting derives its name from the fact that the pattern is invested, or surrounded, with a refractory material. The molten wax is injected under pressure of about 2.5 Mpa into a metallic die to form the wax (expandable) pattern. Gates, runner are welded with the wax pattern by heating. To make the mould the pattern is dipped into a slurry of fine ceramic in a liquid such as ethyl silicate or sodium silicate. The mould is then covered with dry refracted grain such as fused silica or quartz. A small shell is formed around the wax pattern. Shell is cured and process is repeated till a shell of thickness 6 to 15 mm is formed. The shell thickness depends upon the casting shape and the mass, the type of ceramic and the binder used.

Mould is steam heated to remove the wax. The mould is pre-heated at temp. of 100 to 1000 deg c, depending upon the size, complexity and the metal of the casting. This is done to remove the last traces of the wax left off. The molten metal is pored into the mould under gravity.

Advantages/ limitation And uses of investment casting

Advantages. Highly precision and high degree of complex shapes from high melting point metals that can not be easily machined and which are difficult to produce by any other method can be casted. It offers almost unlimited freedom in both the complexity of shapes and type of materials. Very fine details and thin section upto .015 in. can be produced Very close tolerance and better service can be produced. Little or no machining is required. Limitation It is a complex process Size and weight is limited. The casting may be of weight 5 Kg and size less than 4 in.. More expensive as high cost of die. More labour is involved.

Uses. Van and blades of turbine, rocket components, military weapons components, pawls and claws of movey camera, wave guides of radar, stainless steel valve bodies, impellers of turbo charger etc. Recent advances in rapid protyping, however now enable the production of wax-like pattern directly from CAD data.

Continuous casting

In this process the molten steel is collected in the ladle and kept over a refractory lined vessel called tundish. The liquid steel is poured into a double walled, bottom less water cooled mould 450 to 750 mm long where a solid skin is quickly formed and a semi-finished skin emerges from the open mould bottom. The skin formed in the mould is about 10 to 25 mm in thickness. The casting is further solidifies as it moves downwards. Water is sprayed on to the shell to complete the solidification process. The casting is cut to the desired length.

Continuous casting

Steel from the electric or basic oxygen furnace is tapped into a ladle and taken to the continuous casting machine. The ladle is raised onto a turret that rotates the ladle into the casting position above the tundish. Referring to Figure 2, liquid steel flows out of the ladle (1) into the tundish (2), and then into a water-cooled copper mold (3). Solidification begins in the mold, and continues through the First Zone (4) and Strand Guide (5). In this configuration, the strand is straightened (6), torch-cut (8), then discharged (12) for intermediate storage or hot charged for finished rolling.

Advantages/ Dis-advantages of continuous casting

Advantages. Product can be cast in variety of x-section with names such as billet, slab, bloom and strand. Simultaneous casting of multiple strands. Compared to the casting of discrete ingots, continuous casting offers significant reduction in cost, energy and scrape. The products have improved surfaces, more uniform chemical composition and fewer oxide inclusions. Dis-advantages Equipment is expensive but offer long service life.