Metal casting is the process of pouring metal into a mold to create the desired shape. The innovation and evolution of this process have been constant in the creation of different items, such as jewelry, statues, and much more. In ancient times, metal casting was first used by Egyptians for goldsmithing, and later on, Romans utilized metal casting methods for bronze sculptures.
This blog will discuss different types of metal castings techniques popular today.
Lost Wax Metal Casting:
In the lost wax method, a model of the part to be cast is made with wax. A plaster-like material called ‘investment’ is then poured over this model and allowed to dry. Once it has dried completely, molten metal is poured into the mold cavity until all air bubbles have been forced out from between the two pieces. The excess metal is removed. Once the mold is cool, it’s broken open to reveal a hollow wax casting which can then be dipped in molten metal or painted with enamels.
This process produces very accurate parts and allows for intricate designs that would not otherwise be possible without using this method of metal casting.
Slush casting is a metal casting process that creates hollow castings and can be used for the production of shapes with fine detail.
In this technique, alloy powder mixed with a binder (or slush) is poured into a flask or mold, which becomes the negative space in the final product. The flask is then vibrated until the alloy particles settle into the desired shape. Once cooled, this is then heated gently enough to allow for further finishing while avoiding thermal shock, which could cause cracking in the finished piece.
Ceramic Shell Metal Casting:
This type of metal casting uses a ceramic material that surrounds an expendable pattern made from malleable wax or plastic resin.
The pattern is removed, leaving a cavity in the shape of the desired metal casting. Molten metal is poured into this space and allowed to cool until it solidifies. The ceramic shell is then broken away from the finished product revealing a hollow metal casting that can be used for further processing or left as-is depending on the desired result.
In the centrifugal casting process, a thin shell of metal is cast into a mold. This method uses rotational force to create an even distribution of material from within the mold.
The liquid alloy is poured into a rotating mold, creating an even wall thickness and ensuring that no air bubbles become trapped under the surface or between layers during the casting process. The metal alloy is then cooled until it reaches the desired temperature for removal from the mold without risk of cracking or warping.
Metal casting has been used for thousands of years. Due to the evolution in technology, this process allows for a wide range of metal castings that can be custom-made according to individual needs and specifications.
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