The Metal Moulding process

Metal mouldingThe proccess of metal moulding involves applying heat to a metal converting it to a liquid state, then pouring the metal into a hollow mould to allow it to solidify into the desired shape. This process is commonly known as casting. The cast which is the solidified part, is then removed from the mould. After this the completed item may be treated through further processes to finish the item. This proccess allows the manufacture of complex metal parts and objects, which were previously deemed difficult or not particularly cost effective to produce using other methods.

Step 1 – Design

Step one of the process is to design the mould which is a complex task involving many elements and steps.  The purpose of the item is the first consideration. Aspects such as strength, heat, resistant to temperatures and physical effects need to be considered and implemented into the design to produce a cast fit for purpose.

Step 2 – Pouring

When turning the liquid into a solid state, the way the liquid is poured into the mould is just as important as the design. The molten metal must be poured in the correct way. If there is excessive movement or the liquid is poured at the wrong speed, defects and flaws can be present in the final product. The mould or cavity that the metal is poured into is specifically designed to mould the metal into the correct shape. Common materials used for this include wax and wood.

Step 3 - Cooling

The mould is created by covering or packing the desired pattern into the moulding material i.e. ceramic, sand or another metal. After the preparation of the mould, the liquefied metal can be added in the filling stage. Upon cooling the metal solidifies. Controlling this proccess is very important as this is the critical stage in which many problems can develop. This can lead to defects in the finished casting. As the metal cools, it shrinks. This shrinking is another potential source of defects. If the metal solidifies too fast or unevenly, more problems will be caused. This is why each step of the metal moulding proccess must be controlled.

Step 4 - Processes

There are two types of general processes for metal moulding. These categories are expendable and non-expendable casting. These processes can be broken down to sub categories, depending on the material used to produce the mould. One of the oldest methods of metal moulding techniques is to allow gravity to force the metal into the cavity. Alternative methods include vacuum moulding and high and low pressure moulding.

Metal moulding is a very intricate and specialised art and should be handled by experts. ClickMetal produce high quality finish bespoke metal moulding solutions. As industry specialists, click metal give the best value for money as there is no minimum order charge. Visit www.clickmetal.co.uk

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