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  • Casting ProcessesDr Ajay Batish

  • Shell MoldingIt is a process in which, the sand mixed with thermosetting resin is allowed to come in contact with the heated metallic pattern plate, so that a thin and strong shell of mould is formed around the pattern, Then the shell is removed from the pattern and the cope and drag are removed together and kept in a flask with necessary back up material and then the molten metal is poured.

  • Shell MoldingShell molding process offers better surface finish, better dimensional tolerances, and higher throughput due to reduced cycle times. A heated (200 C / 392 F) metal pattern is covered with a mixture of sand and thermoset plastic. This causes a skin of about 3.5 mm (0.125 in) of sand/plastic mixture to adhere to the pattern. This skin is removed from the pattern to form the "shell mold". The two halves of the shell mold are secured together and the metal is poured in the shell to form the part. Once the metal solidifies, the shell is broken.

  • Shell Molding

  • Shell Molding

  • Shell MoldingThis process can produce complex parts with good surface finish 1.25 m to 3.75 m (50 in to 150 in) rms, and good dimensional tolerance of +/- 0.25mm.Size limits of 30 g to 12 kg (1 oz to 25 lb). Minimum thicknesses can be as low as 1.5 mm (0.062 in) to 6.25 mm (0.25 in), depending on the material. A good surface finish and good size tolerance reduce the need for machining.

  • Shell MoldingA fairly high capital investment is required, but high production rates can be achieved. The process overall is quite cost effective due to reduced machining and cleanup costs. The materials that can be used with this process are cast irons, and aluminum and copper alloys. Typical parts made with this process are connecting rods, gear housings, lever arms etc.

  • Shell MoldingApplications-Crankshaft fabrication -Steel casting parts, fittings -Molded tubing fabrication -Hydraulic control housing fabrication -Automotive castings (cylinder head and ribbed cylinder fabrication).

  • Shells removed from the heated patternShells matched to form a mould. (Mould preheated to avoid moisture)

  • Shells formed on the heated metal pattern

  • Copyright Amit M Joshi

  • Precision Investment Castings through Lost Wax Process

    Investment Casting uses a mold that has been produced by surrounding an expendable pattern with a refractory slurry that sets at room temperature. The pattern (usually of wax) is then melted or burned out, leaving the mold cavity. Investment casting is also known as the "lost-wax process" and as "precision casting".In Investment casting, a metal pattern die is used to produce the patterns, which, in turn, are used to produce ceramic molds. Both the pattern and molds are expendable. Ceramic cores are used, as required, and these also are expendable.

  • Precision Investment CastingsInvestment casting is the most flexible of all the precision casting process with respect to attainable intricacy, precision and the variety of alloys that may be cast within its inherent size limitations.Many exaggerated claims were made regarding the "precision" casting process.Many technical articles purported to establish the dimensional tolerances for production castings to limits as extreme as 0.0001 in. In reality, however, liner tolerances of 0.002-0.005 in. per inch where difficult to obtain

  • Advantages of precision castingComplex shapes can be made as there is no need to withdraw the patternVery fine details and thin sections can be obtainedReasonably close tolerances and good finish can be achievedCastings require little or no machiningSince there is no parting line the dimensions across will not vary

  • Limitations and applicationsSize cannot exceed 5kgExpensiveApplications:Vanes and blades of Gas turbinesClaws of movie cameras, wave guides for radarsTriggers for fire armsStainless steel valve bodies

  • Permanent mold castings

    Instead of using sand as the mold material, a metal is used as a mold. Typically cast iron is used as the mold material and the cores are made from metal or sand. Cavity surfaces are coated with a thin layer of heat resistant material such as clay or sodium silicate. The molds are pre-heated upto 200 C (392 F) before the metal is poured into the cavity. The cavity design for these molds do not follow the same rules for shrinkage as in sand casting molds, This is because the metal molds heat up and expand during the pour, so the cavity do not need to be expanded as much as in the sand castings.

  • Permanent mold castingsGates and Risers are similar to that in sand castingMoulds are coated with refractory material to a thickness of about 0.8mm forPreventing the soldering of metal to moldMinimizing the thermal shock to mold materialControlling the rate and direction of solidification

  • Permanent mold castingsCoatings may be applied by spraying or brushing and must be thicker at surfaces which need to be cooled slowly e.g. sprues, runners, risersThe usual considerations of minimum wall thicknesses (such as 3mm for lengths under 75 mm), radius (inside radius = nominal wall thickness, outside radius = 3 x nominal wall thickness), draft angles (1 to 3 on outside surfaces, 2 to 5 on inside surfaces) etc all apply. Typical tolerances are 2 % of linear dimensions. Surface finish ranges from 2.5 m to 7.5 m (100 in to 250 in).

  • Permanent mold castingsTypical part sizes range from 50 g to 70 kg (1.5 ounces to 150 lb). Typical materials used are small and medium sized parts made from aluminum, magnesium and brass and their alloys. Typical parts include gears, splines, wheels, gear housings, pipefitting, fuel injection housings, and automotive engine pistons.

  • Permanent mold castingsPermanent mold castings, while not as flexible as sand castings in allowing the use of different patterns (different part designs), lower the cost of producing a part. At a production run of 1000 or more parts, permanent mold castings produce a lower piece cost part. Of course, the break-even point depends on the complexity of the part.

  • Die CastingDie-casting is similar to permanent mold casting except that the metal is injected into the mold under high pressure of 10-210Mpa (1,450-30,500) psi . This results in a more uniform part, generally good surface finish and good dimensional accuracy, as good as 0.2 % of casting dimension. For many parts, post-machining can be totally eliminated, or very light machining may be required to bring dimensions to size.

  • Die CastingDie-casting can be done using a cold chamber or hot chamber process. Cold chamber process, the molten metal is ladled into the cold chamber for each shot. There is less time exposure of the melt to the plunger walls or the plunger. This is particularly useful for metals such as Aluminum, and Copper (and its alloys) that alloy easily with Iron at the higher temperatures.

  • Die Casting

  • Die Casting Hot chamber process the pressure chamber is connected to the die cavity is immersed permanently in the molten metal. The inlet port of the pressurizing cylinder is uncovered as the plunger moves to the open (unpressurized) position. This allows a new charge of molten metal to fill the cavity and thus can fill the cavity faster than the cold chamber process. The hot chamber process is used for metals of low melting point and high fluidity such as tin, zinc, and lead that tend not to alloy easily with steel at their melt temperatures.

  • Die Casting

  • Die Casting

  • Die Casting

  • Dies

    Dies consists of two parts:A cover die fixed on the stationery platen of the die casting machine. It consists of sprue, runners and gates and is also in contact with the nozzle of the gooseneck in the case of hot chamber and with the shot chamber in case of cold chamber processEjector die is fixed on the moving platen. Ejector pins move thru the moving die to free the casting from the ejector die

  • Die CastingCores used are metallic and are of two types:Fixed core are fixed to the die halves and parallel to the die movementMoving cores are not parallel with the die movement and are to be removed before the casting is to be ejected from the dieDie casting molds tend to be expensive as they are made from hardened steel-also the cycle time for building these tend to be long. Also the stronger and harder metals such as iron and steel cannot be die-cast

  • Common Alloys in Die Casting Aluminum, Zinc and Copper alloys are the materials predominantly used in die-casting. On the other hand, pure Aluminum is rarely cast due to high shrinkage, and susceptibility to hot cracking. It is alloyed with Silicon, which increases melt fluidity, reduces machinability. Copper is another alloying element, which increases hardness, reduces ductility, and reduces corrosion resistance.

  • Aluminum AlloysAluminum is cast at a temperature of 650 C (1200 F). It is alloyed with Silicon 9% and Copper about 3.5%. Silicon increases the melt fluidity, reduces machinability.Copper increases hardness and reduces the ductility. By greatly reducing the amount of Copper (less than 0.6%) the chemical resistance is improved; A high silicon alloy is used in automotive engines for cylinder castings, with 17% Silicon for high wear resistance

  • Zinc alloysZinc can be made to close tolerances and with thinner walls than Aluminum, due to its high melt fluidity. Zinc is alloyed with Aluminum (4%), which adds strength and hardness. The casting is done at a fairly low temperature of 425C (800F) so the part does not have to cool much before it can be ejected from the die. Zinc alloys are used in making precision pa

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