Metal casting is a fabrication process involving the flowing of molten into a specially designed mold containing the negative impression of the desired part or product. After the metal cools and hardens in the mold, it maintains the shape and size of the mold design.
In the following article, we provide an overview of the process of custom metal casting, outlining various methods available and materials used.
Metal casting methods
Metal casting methods can be classified into one of two groups: expendable and reusable molds. Below we describe the difference between the two and provide process examples.
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Metal Casting Processes Using Expendable Molds
Investment casting also referred to as lost-wax casting utilizes ceramic molds made forming ceramic material over injection-molded wax patterns. By the end of the casting process, both the wax pattern and ceramic mold are destroyed to form the casting.
Sand casting is one of the most commonly used metal casting methods. It uses tightly packed sand to form a mold, which is later shaken apart to remove the finished casting.
Metal Casting Processes Using Reusable Molds
Gravity casting processes rely on gravity to funnel molten metal from the vessel or ladle to the mold. Examples include permanent mold, semi-permanent mold, slush, and continuous casting.
The continuous casting process involves feeding molten metal into a water-cooled die to create a continuous strip or rod. After the casting has solidified, it is cut into specified lengths with a rounded saw.