A manufacturing process; liquid material is poured into the mold's cavity to create a product of the specified shape and size. Once removed, the material undergoes further finishing operations to make the final product.
Casting creates intricate solid and hollow shapes used in various industries like the automobile and aerospace industries. Casting helps to create uniform items, which is much more effective than fabricating several individual pieces. Casting eliminates the assembly and inventory phases in the production life cycle.
Casting as a manufacturing process has been in existence for over 5,000 years. India was one of the first civilizations to use casting as a manufacturing process for producing coins.
Examples of Casting
Casting finds its uses in almost every industrial manufacturing process, especially in the transport industry, to produce the moving parts in automobiles, aircraft, railways, and other shipping avenues. Casting usually uses liquid metal; for example, zinc die casting helps create complex shapes and sizes for different vehicle parts. It creates materials with high strength and anti-corrosive properties.
The chassis of a car is easily manufactured at scale with high precision. The generation of parts using casting is a highly cost-effective process, especially for mass-produced vehicles. Production of brake system parts and fuel intake systems are some of the other key applications of casting in the production of automobiles.
Casting also finds its uses in several art forms like sculpting and creating decorative items. A mold is made, and a liquid material like molten metal, plastic, rubber is poured over it to create different forms. Forms made of clay, wax, or plaster help artists produce beautiful and artistic sculptures. A mold can be cast more than once, allowing artists to create editions of artwork.
Types of Casting
One of the most popular types of casting techniques is die casting, where a high-pressure metal liquid is pressed into a mold cavity at high speed. Die casting delivers excellent and uniform quality products. Die-cast molds are quite reliable for multiple production cycles. A high economic value suitable for mass production makes die casting hugely popular.
Another type of casting is low-pressure casting, where the liquid metal fills the casting mold under very low pressure. A worker can alter the force and speed of pouring liquid metal to create casts and alloys of different shapes and sizes. Low-pressure casting involves simple equipment and mechanics making it a suitable casting process for mass production.
Sand casting makes use of sand mold for producing casts of non-ferrous alloys like steel and iron. These castings are suitable for making casts with a complex inner cavity. Sand casting finds its application in the automobile industry for building automotive engine blocks, cylinder heads, and crankshafts.
Significance of Casting
The casting procedure helps to create a complex structure economically. It is one of the cheapest among all manufacturing processes. Some metals and alloys can only be developed using casting as they are challenging to work on mechanically. The cast material properties are uniformly created as the cooling rate of the cast is similar in all directions.
However, the surfaces of the item created by casting are usually uneven and may require further surface smoothening. Many defects creep up during the casting process, and the casting techniques like sand casting can be quite a labor-intensive task.