The non-ferrous metal casting process has been around since 3200 BCE, marking the Bronze Age’s beginning. This has made it one of the most influential industrial processes of all time. With the revolutions that took place over the past thousands of years, the techniques of making non-ferrous castings have evolved along with the emergence of several new metals but the concept remains timeless.
When castings are being created, it is crucial to work with an appropriate metal that would satisfy the mechanical requirements as well as look aesthetic. The high-quality nature of non-ferrous metal castings makes them a preferred choice for fulfilling any product development needs.
Non-ferrous metal casting
The casting process for non-ferrous metals is very similar to that of ferrous metals with the primary difference being the purpose of creating the castings and the materials used.
Metal casting is a complex process that involves the formulation of metal products by pouring molten liquid metal into a mold that cools and solidifies. The solidified piece of metal is known as casting. The process of casting non-ferrous alloys includes preliminary steps to cater to customization as well as suit the client-specific product development needs.
Steps involved in the non-ferrous metal casting process
The initial step in the casting process is creating the mold with a cavity of the shape to be cast. A core is used to produce a cavity in the casting which is made of a sand mixture. Next, a pattern of wood or metal acts as a guide to prepare a mold according to the type of casting to be done.
The metal or alloy to be cast is melted at a high temperature to liquify it. The liquid metal is then poured into the prepared mold and put aside to set. Once the metal solidifies, it is de-molded and followed by the process of fettling.
The fettling process is all about cleaning the casting and finishing it off by filing the rough edges. The final step in the process of casting is quality inspection and defect analysis if any.
The different casting processes include sand casting, permanent mold casting, pressure die casting, and centrifugal casting.
Applications of non-ferrous castings
Non-ferrous metal or alloy castings are widely used in sectors like automobile, electrical, and general engineering along with construction. These castings are used in car frames, pumps, air compressors, and other parts in the automotive sector. They are most commonly found in the general engineering sector in turbine and supercharger impellers, instrument cases, freon compressors, torque converter elements, etc.
Due to their lightweight, the construction sector utilizes non-ferrous metal castings for building bridges and roofs where not much strength is required. Similarly, these castings have applications in the electrical sector for supporting structures, motor housings, heat sinks, and much more.