Casting Material GuideIn the early stages of product design, choosing the right manufacturing process and the most suitable casting material to manufacture components is an important consideration. Studies have found that, while product design costs constitute just around 5% of the overall cost of the product on average, decisions taken during the design stage can influence between 70% and 80% of the final cost of the product. Casting is commonly defined as the method of shaping a material that uses molds to turn it into a particular form. Metal casting uses a number of casting materials and metals to manufacture molded finished products, and its history can be traced back thousands of years. Some obsolete metal casting products used for casting are still used today.There are many reliable and effective metal casting materials available for industrial purposes.Let’s take a look at some of the most common casting materials.
Grey iron is one of the most commonly used casting materials in industrial processing. It is a solid, flexible substance, accounting for a significant portion of casting supply markets. Grey iron can be machined quickly, tested for consistency without using destructive processes, formulated to satisfy particular product criteria and cost-effective at large volumes.
For processes that require higher strength than gray cast iron, nodular cast iron may be a useful alternative in terms of casting material. Nodular cast iron and gray cast iron have similar characteristics and therefore have many of the same advantages. However, ductile cast iron is different from gray cast iron in the following aspects: ductile cast iron is slightly more expensive than gray cast iron, but cheaper than steel and easier to cast. Usually choose its mechanical properties and value. Because it is a casting material that is not as brittle as cast iron, it can be used for applications that require ductility and impact resistance.
Aluminum is also a commonly used casting material, primarily due to the flexibility of the alloy. Aluminum is one of the few materials that can survive most metal casting operations, rendering aluminum a reasonably appropriate commodity. Aluminum has strong corrosion resistance and high thermal and electric conductivity. The mechanical properties and strength at high temperatures make it an effective choice.
Steel is a tough casting material, very suitable for parts subject to abnormal wear, impact or heavy loads. It is useful for corrosion resistance in aqueous environments and applications involving high temperatures. Steel is usually mixed with chromium, iron and nickel to further increase its corrosion resistance or heat resistance.
The main advantage of copper as a casting material is that it has excellent electrical conductivity. As a result, the building industry also uses copper as an electrical component.
Zinc's low melting point (425 degrees Celsius) makes it a suitable casting material for die casting applications. Due to its rapid filling and rapid cooling capabilities, it is an alloy that is relatively easy to cast. In terms of cost, zinc may be an economical choice for casting small batches of parts.
Other considerations: Tooling
The cost of tooling is determined by the material and manufacturing of the tooling and the complexity of the part geometry. Mold cost may be the main factor determining which casting material or process is most suitable. Molds include molds and core boxes for sand casting, but they are relatively inexpensive to produce and can be made of a variety of materials. Die casting molds are used in very harsh environments, so they are usually made of cast iron or steel, and are costly to manufacture because they usually involve complex machining. Precision casting also requires metal molds, but they can be made of aluminum, which is easy to process.
Industrial Casting Applications
Casting is used in mass production processes and plays an important role in construction. Many businesses depend heavily on casting material for the manufacture of uniform goods. Some of the main markets for foundry casting materials are:
● Car and light truck
● Pipes and accessories
● Construction, mining and oilfield machinery
● Internal combustion engine
● Farm equipment
● and more
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