Metal casting is the process of creating an object based on the shape of the mold. Metal castings require various types of casting materials and metals. The process of metal casting is not new it has been used thousands of years ago. Some of the materials and procedures for metal casting which are used in ancient times are still being used in this modern day.
There are lots of metal casting materials that proved to be effective when used in various industries. The most typical materials used for metal castings are aluminum, zinc, copper, ductile iron, gray iron, and steel.
One of the most widely used techniques is aluminum casting. Perhaps it is because of its superior versatility. Additionally, aluminum is a very flexible substance. It can resist corrosion and has extreme thermal and electrical conductivity. Aluminum has excellent mechanical properties and can withstand high temperatures, making it ideal for sand casting, die casting, investment casting, squeeze casting, permanent mold casting, and lost foam casting.
Zinc is ideal for die-cast applications since it has a low melting point. It is one of the easiest alloys to cast since it can quickly fill and can cool down instantly. Zinc is also cost-effective when it comes to casting small, high-volume objects.
One of the greatest advantages of copper over the other casting materials is that it provides remarkable electrical conductivity. This is why copper is usually used for casting electrical components. Likewise, copper also offers excellent conduction of heat, exceptional ductility, and impressive malleability.
On the other hand, copper has a few disadvantages. For instance, copper castings can be prone to permeability, cracking, and the development of inner cavities. To resolve these issues, copper is often combined with other types of metals including silver, tin, zinc, silicon, nickel, and chromium.
Ductile Iron Casting
Ductile iron is the best casting material for objects which require more strength. Ductile iron has the same characteristics as gray iron. Both of them also share the same advantages. But ductile iron has some traits which gray iron does not possess. Ductile iron costs less and has lesser weight and shrinkage. It has excellent strength, ductility, and toughness. Most of all, it has superior wear resistance.
Gray Iron Casting
Gray iron is one of the popular options when casting components used for industrial manufacturing. It’s because of its versatility and strength. This substance is also very easy to machine. It is very cost-effective especially when you are producing high volumes. Gray iron is suitable for various applications since it meets their requirements. Its quality has been tested. This casting material provides dimensional steadiness, extreme strength to weight proportions, and excellent vibration control.
Undoubtedly, steel is one of the toughest casting materials. This is the best option for parts that are prone to extreme shock, wear, and intense loads. It can resist corrosion most especially in watery environments. Steel is also best for applications that use higher temperatures. To enhance its resistance to corrosion and heat, steel can be combined with other substance such as nickel, iron, and chromium.
Metal Casting Applications
Metal castings are used in numerous manufacturing processes. They are also very useful in the construction industry. Most industries will rely on metal castings if they require identical products. Metal castings also play a significant role in railroads, pipes and fittings, farm equipment, automotive, mining, valves, combustion engines, and many more.
What to Consider When Choosing Casting Materials
One of the major concerns when it comes to metal castings is selecting the appropriate materials for the cast and mold. When making your decision, be sure to consider its weight, wear resistance, cooling period, cost-effectiveness, melting point, as well as its damping capabilities.
Zinc is an excellent choice for die casting however, it has low wear resistance. This means that it is not suitable for some applications which have high risk of corrosion. Aluminum can be a great choice for die castings which require resilience. This is the reason why aluminum alloy is commonly used as casting material for dental equipment, aircraft parts, marine components, lawnmower casings, and frying skillets.
For applications that require extreme durability and strength, the best option would be gray iron and ductile iron. Gray iron is an excellent option for projects which involve complicated designs with no shrinkage. While ductile iron is best for parts that require extreme strength and toughness.
SEI Castings manufactures metal castings made from aluminum and zinc. We provide quality products and excellent service to our clients. You can assure that our molds are accurate since it is created with the use of computer 3D software. If you need a quote for your project, then you can contact us at 408-662-4887 or just visit our website.