From McGraw-Hill Machining and Metalworking Handbook, Third Edition

12.1 Castings

The casting of metals and alloys is an important branch of the metal-working industry. Castings allow parts to be made at a rapid pace with controlled accuracy. Castings replace parts that otherwise would be difficult or impossible to machine and very costly to manufacture. However, castings cannot replace many types of machined parts because of material, configuration, and other physical considerations. Many types of processes are used in the casting and foundry industries to produce cast parts in different materials and for various dimensional accuracy requirements. The casting processes or methods that are in use today include

  • Sand casting

  • Shell casting

  • Carbon dioxide casting

  • Fluid sand casting

  • Composite-mold casting

  • Plaster-mold casting

  • Slush casting

  • Evaporative pattern casting (EPC)

  • Die casting

  • Permanent-mold casting

  • Ceramic-mold casting

  • Investment casting (lost-wax process)

The casting method or process chosen by the design engineer and the foundry is determined by the following factors:

  • Type of metal to be cast

  • Size of part to be cast

  • Required cast accuracy of the part

  • Economics

  • Required secondary operations such as machining, hardening, welding, and plating

12.1.1 Sand Casting

In the sand-casting process, a wooden, plastic, or metal pattern is packed in a special sand, which is dampened with water and then removed, leaving a hollow space having the part's shape. The pattern is purposely made larger than the size of the cast part to allow for shrinkage of the casting as it cools.

The mold consists of two steel frames, which are called the cope (top half)...

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