Alternatives to Casting
Casting involves forcing molten material into a mold at high pressure. Once in the mold, the material cools and hardens, forming the final product shape. Molten metals such as steel and aluminum are two of the most common casting materials. Non-metallic materials such as plastic, rubber and foam are some other casting materials. Casting is a popular forming technique, but it is not the ideal process for every application.
Advantages of Casting
Casting is versatile and can create complex geometries. Some of the advantages of casting include:
Metal liquidity: Solid-state forming alternatives are more time consuming and labor intensive than liquid casting.
Reduced post-treatment processes: Single mold casts make further assembly and machine finishing unnecessary.
Quick turnaround: Casting can operate with minimal maintenance and downtime, facilitating mass production applications.
Size capabilities: Casting is effective in creating both very small components and excessively large products (up to 200 tons).
Price per piece: Casting, with its fast production times, can often be cheaper than many alternatives.
Surface textures: The cast design can incorporate smooth, semi-smooth, and other textures.
Other Metal Forming Options
Several metal forming techniques can substitute for casting. Each provides different advantages and disadvantages. Some of the more popular alternatives to casting include:
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