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PROGRAMME MECHANICAL TECHNOLOGY 4 METAL FORMING AND CASTING PROCESSES Forming and casting processes are useful in producing finished shapes, intricate shapes and dimensional features of metal, plastics and ceramics components. Forming processes for metals can be divided into two main categories: 1) forging and 2) sheet-metal forming. Each of these two processes has further subcategories, as illustrated in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Metal forming processes. Castings can be made by several processes as shown in Figure 2. Commonly employed casting processes are: sand casting, die casting, precision casting (investment casting) and injection molding (of plastics). The sand casting process can be done manually or mechanically.

Figure 2. Casting processes. .
February4, 2008 Prepared by: Mr. Palmer Casting Processes Page 1 of 8 pages

Most sand casting operations use silica sand (SiO2). Jamaica The selection of a particular casting process depends on the following considerations. by far the most popular of the casting processes. The casting must then be cleaned and inspected. • • • • • • Intricacy of the shape of the component Number of components to be produced Costs of patterns or dies Required tolerances on the dimensions and the quality of surface finish Material and properties (for example: mechanical. allowing the metal to solidify. etc. Figure 3. 2008 Prepared by: Mr. SAND CASTING Sand casting consists of pouring molten metal into a sand mold. Post casting process (for example: machining) costs. and heat treatment is sometimes required to improve metallurgical properties.University of Technology. chemical.) of the cast item. Figure 3 outlines the production steps in a typical sand-casting operation. and then breaking up the mold to remove the casting. Steps in the production sequence of sand casting SAND Sand casting. Palmer Casting Processes Page 2 of 8 pages . It is inexpensive and is suitable as mold material because of its resistance to high temperatures. uses ordinary sand as the primary mold material. There are two general types of sand: February4.

fine grained sand enhances mold strength. 4. Ordinary silica (SiO2). Iron Silicate ( Fe2SiO4) Mainly used in steel foundries for their low thermal expansion. Collapsibility: the ability to permit the metal to shrink after it solidifies and ultimately to free the casting by disintegration of the surrounding mold Refractoriness is provided by the basic nature of the sand. 3% water and 7% clay. Synthetic (lake sand). Chromite (FeCr2O4) . Refractoriness: the ability to withstand high temperatures 2. Olivine (Mg2SiO4) 3. Naturally bonded (bank sands) and 2. Permeability: the ability to permit gases to escape through it 4. A typical green sand mixture (by volume) is 90% sand. Jamaica 1.University of Technology.Used for its high heat transfer property. Synthetic sand is preferred or used mostly because its composition can be controlled more accurately. round grains can be closely packed and form a smooth mold surface. Sand is usually conditioned before use. bond. Palmer Casting Processes Page 3 of 8 pages . SAND CONDITIONING The sand used to make molds must be carefully prepared if it is to provide satisfactory and uniform results. The selection of sand involves certain trade offs with respect to properties. Sand having fine. Examples of sand materials are: 1. or strength is obtained by coating the sand grains with clays. Cohesiveness: (also referred to as bond): the ability to retain a given shape when packed into a mold 3. Several factors are important in the selection of sand for molds. or olivine (forsterite and fayalite) sands are compounded with additives to meet four requirements: 1. zircon. Cohesiveness. such as bentonite or kaolinite that become February4. The sand grains are mixed with small amounts of other materials such as clay and water to improve moldability and cohesive strength. but the fine grains also lower mold permeability (to allow escape of gasses during pouring). For example. 2008 Prepared by: Mr. Zircon ( ZrSiO4 2.

a full-sized model of the part. Permeability is a function of the size of the sand particles. Plastics represent a compromise between wood and metal. (Figure 4a) with the same geometry as the casting. There are various types of patterns. Its disadvantages are that it tends to warp. and the organic matter are all selected to obtain an acceptable compromise of the four requirements. and incorporating the gating system and sprue into the February4. The simplest is made of one piece. as illustrated in Figure 4. Since molding material is often reclaimed and recycled. PATTERNS AND CORES Sand casting requires a pattern.University of Technology. the amount of bonding agent (such as clay). adjusted in size for shrinkage and machining. enlarged to account for shrinkage and machining allowances in the final casting. Jamaica cohesive when moistened. the moisture content. it is not the easiest to use in making the sand mold. Determining the location of the parting line between the two halves of the mold for a solid pattern can be a problem. Palmer Casting Processes Page 4 of 8 pages . and metals. Although it is the easiest pattern to fabricate. that bum out when they come in contact with the hot metal. Selection of the appropriate pattern material depends to a large extent on the total quantity of castings to be made. the temperature of the mold during pouring and solidification is also important. If organic materials have been incorporated into the mix to provide collapsibility. the amount and type of clay or bonding agent. The size of the sand particles. called a solid pattern. The combustion reduces both the volume and strength of the restraining sand. thus limiting the number of times it can be reused. Good molding sand always represent a compromise between conflicting factors. but they last much longer. Materials used to make patterns include wood. 2008 Prepared by: Mr. and it is abraded by the sand being compacted around it. such as cellulose. Metal patterns are more expensive to make. plastics. The composition must be carefully controlled to assure satisfactory and consistent results. Wood is a common pattern material because it is easily worked into shape. the moisture content and the compacting pressure. Collapsibility is sometimes obtained by adding cereals or other organic material. a portion will bum during the pour. Some of the mold material may have to be discarded and replaced with new ones.

Types of patterns used in sand casting: (a) solid pattern. solid patterns are generally limited to very low production quantities.University of Technology. If the casting is to have internal surfaces. In match-plate patterns (Figure 4e). match-plate patterns or cope-and-drag patterns are used. The parting line of the mold is predetermined by the pattern halves. A core is a full-scale model of the interior surfaces of the part. instead of using the same tooling for both. Split patterns (Figure 4b) consist of two pieces. Part (d) of the Figure 4 includes the gating and riser system in the cope-and-drag patterns. Patterns define the external shape of the cast part. Consequently. February4. For higher production quantities. the two pieces of the split pattern are attached to opposite sides of a wood or metal plate. a core is required. rather than by operator judgment. Palmer Casting Processes Page 5 of 8 pages . It is inserted into the mold cavity prior to pouring so that the molten metal will flow and solidify between the mold cavity and the core to form the casting's external and internal surfaces. The core is usually made of sand compacted into the desired shape. 2008 Prepared by: Mr. (b) split pattern. Holes in the plate allow the top and bottom (cope and drag) sections of the mold to be aligned accurately. As with the pattern. Split patterns are appropriate for complex part geometries and moderate production quantities. (c) match-plate pattern (d) cope-and-drag pattern. mold is left to the judgment and skill of the foundry worker. (Figure 4d) are similar to matchplate patterns except than split pattern halves are attached to separate plates so that the cope and drag sections of the mold can be fabricated independently. dividing the part along a plane coinciding with the parting line of the mold. Jamaica Figure 4. Cope-and-drag patterns. the actual size of the core must include allowances for shrinkage and machining.

Common metals: February4. part size is limited. almost unlimited intricacy. This is allowed to harden and is baked in an oven. high dimensional accuracy. high dimensional accuracy with smooth surfaces. which melts out the wax and sinters the mould. the shell is broken away from the finished casting. Castings produced by the investment method have good dimensional accuracy and require little or no subsequent machining. limited size. which cures the resin. Jamaica PRINCIPLES OF OTHER CASTING PROCESSES Investment casting Investment casting or lost wax method is the process by which a wax model is molded in mould or die. 2008 Prepared by: Mr. no flash or parting line concerns. Process: A refractory slurry is formed around a wax or plastic pattern and allowed to harden. Wax models are sprayed with a refractory material and placed in a flask. Faster production rate than sand molding. Aluminum. also performed with stainless steel. Advantages: Limitations: Common metals: Shell mold casting Process: Sand coated with a thermosetting plastic resin is dropped onto a heated metal pattern. Excellent surface finish. Molten metal is poured into the mold and solidifies. Requires expensive metal patterns. The mold is then broken away from the casting. Costly patterns and molds. labor costs can be high. Plastic resin adds to cost. The shell segments are stripped from the pattern and assembled. Palmer Advantages: Limitations: Cast irons and casting alloys of aluminum and copper Casting Processes Page 6 of 8 pages . magnesium. and the precious metals.University of Technology. The pattern is then melted out and the mold is baked. copper. A slurry of some suitable silicate binder and fine sand is poured into the flask around the wax pattern. When the poured metal solidifies. and steel dominate. The molten metal is then poured into the moulds by gravity or centrifugal action. nickel. almost any metal can be cast.

including ones of large size. High dimensional accuracy and smooth surface finish. or graphite mold.University of Technology. good dimensional accuracy. Jamaica Plaster mold casting This process involves pouring the molten metal into plaster molds. Another advantage of this method is that the cast parts are free from flash. After pouring and solidification. and various additives is poured over a pattern and allowed to set. and alloys of aluminum copper. and held against the mold wall by centrifugal force until it is solidified Can produce a wide range of cylindrical parts. spinning equipment can be expensive Iron. Most ferrous and non-ferrous metals can be cast. Palmer . allowing comparatively thinwall sections to be cast. maximum size is limited. 2008 Prepared by: Mr. Non-ferrous metals can be readily cast and the dimensional accuracy is reasonably good. mold material is not reusable. The outside surfaces of the castings are smooth and of greater dimensional accuracy than the bores. A special feature of this method is that the centrifugal force compacts the molten metal. long molding time restricts production volume or requires multiple patterns. Process: Advantages: Limitations: Common metals: Molten metal is introduced into a rotating sand. steel. Plaster molding is a relatively expensive process compared to the sand casting process. Lower-temperature nonferrous metals only. Tolerances on dimensions are comparable to sand casting tolerances. The pattern is removed and the mold is baked to remove excess water. Process: A slurry of plaster. metal. and nickel Casting Processes Page 7 of 8 pages February4. Advantages: Limitations: Common metals: Primarily aluminum and copper Centrifugal casting This process involves pouring molten metal into permanent or sand molds which are rotated at a speed sufficient to force the metal radially outwards. soundness. the mold is broken and the casting is removed.or near-net-shaped parts. and cleanliness Shape is limited. Intricate shapes produced by this process. producing a more uniform material structure and higher yield and tensile strength. water. often do not require much machining for finishing the components. can reproduce thin sections and intricate detail to make net. stainless steel.

e) Improper handling of fluxes. thus absorbing moisture and creating a danger. runners. such as polystyrene. as well as splashing of the molten metal during transfer or pouring. 2008 Prepared by: Mr. thus requiring proper ventilation and safety equipment for the workers. and risers is made from single or multiple pieces of foamed plastic. since it rapidly converts to steam creating severe danger of explosion. which are hygroscopic. Safety is particularly important in these operations because of the following factors: a) Dust from sand and other compounds used in casting. etc. February4. face shields and shies. for accuracy and proper calibration. tools and other equipment for wear. Palmer Casting Processes Page 8 of 8 pages . safety in foundries is an important consideration. dried. Advantages: Limitations: Common metals: SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS As in all manufacturing operation. most metals can be cast. Jamaica Full Mold Casting Process: A Pattern containing a sprue. g) Inspection of equipment. c) The presence of fuels for furnaces. and nickel alloys. and positioned in a flask. Almost no limits on shape and size. f) Inspection of crucibles. It is dipped in a ceramic material. also performed with copper and stainless steel. molds and other locations. the proper operation of valves. h) The need for proper personal safety equipment such as gloves. Pattern cost can be high for small quantities: patterns are easily damaged or distorted because of their low strength.University of Technology. etc. steel. cracks. where it is surrounded by loose sand. the control of their pressure. no draft is required and no flash is present (no parting lines). b) Fumes from molten metals. iron. such as pyrometers. Molten metal is poured directly onto the pattern. aprons. which vaporizes and is vented through the sand. Aluminum. d) The presence of water and moisture in crucibles.