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Chapter 11: Metal-Casting Process Metal Casting Processes: Introduction - History: Made for millennia.

Used to pour copper into stone and metal molds 4000-3000 B.C. - What parts are made using the casting process: o Cameras o Engine Blocks o Automotive components o Agricultural components o Railroad components o Pipes and plumbing fixtures o Power tools o Gun barrels o Frying pans - Trends o Automation o Demand for high quality Mold Classifications - Classification based on o Mold material o Molding process o Method of filling the mold with molten metal - Expendable Molds o Sand, plaster, ceramic o Mixed with binders or bonding agents o After solidification of casting; the mold is broken and cannot be reused. - Permanent Molds o Made of metals that retain their strength at high temperatures o Casting can be removed without destroying the mold-can be reused - Composite Molds o Made of two or more materials (sand, graphite, and metal) o Combining the advantage of each material Sand Casting: The steps - Placing the pattern in the sand to make an imprint - Adding a gating system - Filling the cavity with molten metal - Letting the casting cool and solidify - Breaking away the sand mold - Removing the casting - Cleaning the casting Sand Casting: Sands - Silica (SiO2) is commonly used - Why sand? o Inexpensive o Resistance to high temperatures

Types of sand o Naturally bonded o Synthetic Generally preferred as it can be controlled better - Sand grain o Small: nicer surface, higher mold strength, lower permeability (ability to allow gases to escape) o Want good collapsibility (mold shrinkage while casting cools) Sand Casting: Types of Sand Molds - Green-sand mold o Most common and least expensive o Sand, clay and water o Sand is moist when metal is poured into the mold - Cold-box mold o Cold setting process o More expensive than green sand molds o Organic and inorganic binders are mixed with the sand - No-bake molds o Cold setting process o Synthetic liquid resin is mixed with sand. Mixture hardens at room temperature. Sand Casting: Major components - Mold o Cope: top o Drag: bottom o Parting line between them o Cheeks: when more than two mold parts are used - Flask: mold support - Pouring basin: metal is poured in here - Spruce: metal flows down through it - Runner system: carries the metal from the spruce to the cavity - Gates: inlets to the mold cavity - Risers: additional metal supply. o Blind risers o Open risers - Cores: inserts made from sand to form hollow regions - Vents: carry of gases

Sand Casting: Patterns - Replica of the object to be cast - Used to mold the sand mixture into the shape of the casting. Used repeatedly o Strength and durability is important o Coated with parting agent (for easy removal) - Made from o Wood, rapid prototyping, other - Considerations o Metal shrinkage o Draft angles (ease of removal)

TABLE 11.3 Characteristic Wood Aluminum Rating Steel



Cast iron

Machinability E G F G G Wear resistance P G E F E Strength F G E G G Weight E G P G P Repairability E P G F G Resistance to: Corrosionc E E P E P Swellingc P E E E E aE, Excellent; G, good; F, fair; P, poor. bAs a factor in operator fatigue. cBy water. Source : D.C. Ekey and W.R. Winter, Introduction to Foundry Technology. New York. McGraw-Hill, 1958.

Sand Casting: Cores - Internal cavities or passages - Cores are placed in the mold cavity before casting to form the interior surface of the casting - Anchored by: o Core prints o Chaplets (may be needed to hinder shifting) Are left in the casting after solidification

Sand Casting: Machines - Compact the sand by hammering - Mold machines: eliminate demanding labor. Most compact at squeezing head - Jolting o Most compact at the horizontal parting line

Vertical flaskless molding o Eliminates need for flasks Good for high production Sandslingers o Used to fill the flask uniformly with sand under a high pressure stream Impact molding o Sand is compressed by controlled explosion

Sand Casting: Steps

Sand Casting: The Operation - The two halves are closed and weighted down. - Gating system is designed o Minimize turbulence, air and gases must be able to escape, need a pouring basin (may be used as a riser) - After solidification: Casting is shaken out o Extra sand is removed through vibration and sand blasting - Raisers are cut off - Almost all commercially used metals can be sand cast - Sand casting: Can be economical for small production runs - Sand-mold casting: rough surface - Imperfections can be filled with weld metal o Minor imperfections can be filled with epoxy

(A) Mechanical drawing: part shrinkage and draft angle (B) Patterns are mounted on plates for alignment o Note presence core of prints to hold the core in place (C) Same (D) Core boxes => Produce the core halves (E) Core halves are pasted together (F) Cope half of mold is assembled by securing the cope to the flask. Alignment joins and inserts are added (for the spruce and riser) (G) The flask is rammed (packed) with sand. The pattern, plate, and inserts are removed. (H) Drag half is produced in a similar manner as the cope (I) The pattern is removed from the drag half (J) Core is set in place in the drag cavity (K) Mold is closed by placing the cope on top of the drag. Securing with pins. Flask is subject to pressure to hinder the cope to lift due to buoyant forces. (L) Metal is poured in and solidified. The casting is removed from the mold. (M) Spruce and risers are cut off and are recycled. Casting is cleaned and inspected.

Shell-Mold Casting - Developed in 1940s - Close dimensional tolerance, good surface finish - Mounted pattern of a ferrous metal or aluminum is heated to 175-370oC - Coated with parting agent (silicone) - Clamped to a chamber full of sand mixture - Sand mixture consists of thermosetting resin binder - Mixture is coated over the pattern - Heated in the over for cutting - Thin shell hardens (5-10mm)

Shell is removed using ejector pins Two half shells are bonded or clamped together Advantage: Finer grains are used o Low resistance to flow metal => sharper corners, thinner sections Cost: o Decrease: 1/20 of sand compared to sand casting o Increase: resin binders o Metal patterns are costly but less so for large production runs

Expendable-Pattern Casting (Lost Foam) - Also called o Evaporative pattern o Lost pattern casting o Full-mold process (trade name) o Expendable polystyrene process (before) - Pattern made of expendable polystyrene (EPS) o Beads are placed in a die o Die is heated - beads expand to form the pattern - Process o Pattern is Coated with a water based refractory slurry Dried Placed in a flask o Flask is filled with fine sand o Sand is compacted o Metal is poured in without removing the pattern o The pattern is depolymerized (degraded) and vented into the surrounding sand

Disadvantages o Molten metal cools faster than if pattern would have been removed Less fluidity Directional solidification of the metal Advantages o Simple: no parting lines, cores, riser systems o Inexpensive flasks are OK o Polystyrene is inexpensive and can be used for complex shapes and fine surface detail o Minimum finishing and cleaning is required o Can be automated and is economical for large production runs Applications o Brake components for automobiles o Machine bases o Aluminum engine blocks

Plaster-Mold Casting The Process - Mold is made of plaster o gypsum, calcium sulfate - Slurry (powder and water) is poured over pattern - Plaster sets - Pattern is removed - Mold is dried o 120-260oC - Mold halves are assembled - Molten metal is poured into the mold Low Permeability o Gases cant escape o Metals need to be poured in vacuum or under pressure Patterns are made of: o Aluminum alloys

o Thermosetting plastics o Brass alloys o Zinc alloys o NOT wood (too moist) Plaster molds cant withstand temperatures above 1200OC o Use for aluminum, magnesium, zinc, some copper alloys Fine details, good surface finish Precision casting: o Lock components o Gears o Valves o Fittings o Tooling

Ceramic-Mold Casting - Also called o Cope and drag investment casting - Similar to plaster-mold casting. Differences are: o Uses mold materials suitable for high temperatures (zircon, aluminum oxide, fused silica) Can be used for ferrous and other high-temperature alloys o Pattern may be wood material - Precision casting o Good dimensional accuracy o Good surface finish - Used for complicated shapes (impeller and cutters for machining operations). Making of Ceramic-Molds

Investment Casting

Lost wax process Pattern: o Wax or plastic (polystyrene) molding Wax patterns can be recovered and reused (plastic patterns cant). o Rapid Prototyping Pattern is repeatedly dipped in a slurry Tree-like structure can be used Advantage/Disadvantage o Labor and material are high costs o High melting point alloys o Good surface finish o Close dimensional tolerance Application: o Office equipment o Mechanical components: gears, cams, valves

Vacuum Casting - Mold is held with a robot arm o Partially immersed into molten metal o Vacuum reduces the air pressure to 2/3 of atomspheric pressure o Metal is drawn into the mold

o It solidifies within a fraction of a second as the metal is only about 55 degrees above melting. o Mold is withdrawn Application o Complex shapes o Thin walled structures o Steels, aluminum, other

Permanent Mold Casting - Also called hard-mold casting - Mold can be reused! - Two halves of molds are made from o Cast iron, steel, bronze, graphite, refractory alloys - Examples of permanent mold castings include o Slush casting o Pressure casting o Die Casting o Centrifugal casting - Increase life: o Coat inside with refractory slurry o Sprayed with graphite every few castings (serve as parting agents) - Removal o Ejector pins - Process o Molds are clamped together mechanically o Mold is heated To aid in metal flow and To reduce thermal damage to mold o Metal is poured o Mold is cooled Fins Water passageways

Casting materials o Low melting points o Aluminum o Magnesium o Copper o Gray iron (lower melting point) Cost o High die costs o Low labor costs o Good for high production runs

Slush Casting - Creates hollow castings with thin walls - Molten metal is poured into a metal mold - A metal skin solidifies. - When desired thickness is obtained o Pour the remaining metal out o Mold halves are opened and the casting is removed - Good for o Small production runs o Decorative objects (lamp bases and stems), toys o Low melting point metals Pressure Casting - Also called: Pressure pouring, low pressure casting - Molten metal is forced upward by a gas pressure - Pressure is maintained until metal solidifies - Good for o High quality castings Steel railroad-car wheels

Die Casting - Developed early 1900s - Also called: Pressure die casting - Molten metal is forced into the die cavity at pressures of 0.7 MPa 700 MPa (atmospheric pressure is about 0.1 MPa) - Parts: o Motors o Hand tools o Toys - Two types o Hot-Chamber process o Cold-Chamber process Hot-Chamber Die Casting - Piston traps a certain volume of molten metal - Forces metal into die cavity through a gooseneck and nozzle - Pressure up to 35MPa (usually 15MPa) - Metal is held under pressure until it solidifies - Die is cooled o Circulating water or oil - High melting point metals are not suitable for hot-chamber die casting. - Not suitable for Aluminum - Typical metals used are: zinc, tin, and lead based alloys


Cold-Chamber Process - Used when Hot-chamber die casting is not a good option - Metal is melted in a separate furnace - Molten metal is transferred and poured into unheated shot sleeve (injection cylinder) - Chamber is not heated

Pressure: 20MPa 70 MPa Slower cycle time than hot-chamber D.C. as metal has to be transferred Good for: o High melting point alloys of aluminum, magnesium, copper

Die-Casting Die Cavities

Die Casting: The process - Typical steps: o Die preparation Spray mold cavity with lubricant Die is closed - Filling o Molten metal is injected under high pressure - Ejection o Dies are opened o Shot (casting or several castings) is ejected by ejector pins o Shakeout Separate scrap (gate, runners, etc) from shot Performed Using trim-die under pressure Sawing, grinding Tumbling (if gates are thin) Die casting: advantages and disadvantages - Great dimensional accuracy and smooth surface finish (for casting) - Thin walls can be cast

Inserts can be cast-in: o Thereaded inserts - Finishing operations are less labour intensive than many other casting methods - Good tensile strengths - High cost for tools and machinery - Expensive for low production runs - Limitations on casting materials (high fluidity is required) - Relatively small parts are made (10 kg) Centrifugal Casting - Utilizes the inertial forces caused by rotation to distribute the molten metal into the cavities. o True Centrifugal Casting Hollow cylindrical parts Molten metal is poured into the rotating mold Various outer shapes Inner surface is cylindrical o Semicentrifugal casting Cast parts with rotational symmetry o Centrifuging Mold cavities of any shape are placed some distance away from the axis of rotation True Centrifugal Casting

Semi-centrifugal Casting, Centrifuging