Lead Casting Guide

What is lead casting?

Lead casting refers to the casting of lead or lead alloys, which are the metals or the composites of metals that can be adopted in a variety of applications, such as for producing the battery grids, cable sheathing, sheet, or pipes, to name a few.

Lead casting can be achieved by several methods include the sand casting, investment casting, permanent mold casting, or centrifugal casting. These methods are to form the products that are made of lead or lead alloys by melting the materials and pouring them into the cavities of the molds that have been fabricated as what the products would look like.

No matter what kind of casting methods there is, the necessary elements must be the metal materials that have their special properties, and the prefabricated molds that are able to resist high heats and assist for the forming of the products. Depending on the types of materials, the parameters that are set in the casting processes would be different from one another.

Lead or lead alloys own high corrosion resistance, density, malleability, and flexibility, and low melting point, strength, and hardness, and it is these properties that make them easy to be casted for various applications.

What is lead?

Lead is the first metal that is known by human being. Although lead has many attractive features such as high corrosion resistance, high malleability, and high flexibility as the above paragraph has mentioned, this metal is soft and ductile that make it relatively fragile.

Therefore, lead is usually presented as a lead alloy, which adds some other elements and make the lead base stronger and strengthen the hardness of the lead alloys. These elements may include antimony, tin, arsenic, calcium, and aluminum.

Some of these lead alloys enhance the stability, strength, and hardness such as antimony, arsenic, calcium, and aluminum, and others facilitate the casting of these composites like the lead-tin alloys.

In other words, lead is a metal that has several special properties but is relatively fragile as the softness and ductility, it is less likely to exist as one single elements. Instead, lead is usually mixed with other alloys, in order to improve the weakness of it and strengthen the advantages that this material has already had.

What can lead be used for?

There are a wide variety of applications that utilize lead as the basis. The lead-base applications can be the materials that are supposed to be machined as the final products, the coatings that help stabilize the original materials, or the final products that can be used without undergoing further machining works.

For being the elements of the materials, lead can be made as type metals, lead sheet, solders, lead-base bearing alloys, lead foil, fusible alloys, or anodes. For the coatings of other materials, lead can be produced as terne coatings. As for being part of the final products, lead can be seen in the battery grids, cable sheathing, pipes, or ammunition, etc.

What types of lead casting methods are there?

Lead or lead alloys can be casted through applying several methods, including sand casting, investment casting, permanent mold casting, or centrifugal casting. Each one of these methods would conduct different processes, but they are all suitable for casting lead or lead alloys.

● sand casting
Sand casting is to use sand as the base of the mold, which is fabricated by a template that is made as what the product should look like after casting. Through the compressive force, the sand mold is formed in the template.

After the template is removed, the molten lead can be poured into the sand mold. 
Once the molten lead solidifies and cooled off, the lead product can be removed out of the sand mold, and the casting processes are finished.

● investment casting
The investment casting is also called the lost-wax casting. This method is similar to the sand casting, as it utilizes the same principle but replaces the sand with wax as the base of the molds. The differences between the sand casting and the investment casting lie in the intricacy of the products and the smoothness of the surface finishes they can achieve.

Comparing these two casting methods, the investment casting can attain smaller or more intricate parts of the products than the sand casting. In addition, as the feature of the forming process, the investment casting is capable of making smoother finishes without parting lines. Instead, the parting lines may be seen in sand casting, as it should separate the lead materials apart that the processes can be continued.

● permanent mold casting
As the name implies, this method applies the permanent molds to form the lead products, which do not have to be fabricated when it is necessary to casting lead, and this method can also achieve fine surfaces and intricate parts as investment casting.

centrifugal casting
Centrifugal casting is to pour the molten lead into a chamber where there are components that spin during casting, in order to make the products that are formed as cylinder objects.

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