Casting 101: Understanding the 12 Different Types of Casting Processes

If you're new to the casting world, it can be overwhelming to navigate through the various casting processes available. Each method has unique characteristics and applications, from sand casting to investment casting. In this blog post, we'll break down the 12 different casting processes and provide a comprehensive overview of how they work, their advantages and disadvantages, and the industries they are commonly used in.
12 Types of Casting Processes

Some different methods can refer to casting, but which one is best for your project? There are merits and demerits to types of casting processes, so it can take time to choose which one is proper for you. We’ve created this blog to help you decide which type of casting method is best for your project. We’ll walk you through the basic information of each type of casting and explain the benefits and drawbacks of each one.

What Is The Casting Process?

The casting process is manufacturing in which a liquid material is poured into a mold and allowed to solidify.

The mold is usually made of metal and can be permanent or temporary. The casting process can be either hot or cold depending on the cast material. Hot casting involves pouring the liquid material into the mold while it is heated, while cold casting involves pouring it into the mold at room temperature.

Casting can create various products, including engine parts, cookware, and jewelry.

12 Different Types Of Casting Processes

In foundry work, there are 12 common types of casting processes. They are: molding in the sand, molding in loam, plaster, dry sand casting, investment casting, lost wax casting, shell molding, vacuum casting, centrifugal casting, and continuous casting. Some examples of special casting molds include investment casting, lost foam casting, metal mold casting, and ceramic mold casting, among others.

Sand Casting

sand casting

Sand molding is a process in which sand is used to create a mold for casting metals.

advantagesdisadvantages
it allows for greater precision than other methods of moldingthe process can be messy and difficult to clean up
relatively inexpensiveif not done correctly, sand molding can result in uneven or faulty castings.  
easy to set up 

Molding In Loam

Loam casting makes objects by pressing moistened loam, or a mixture of sand and clay, into a mold. This technique can create sculptures, architectural elements, and other objects.

advantagesdisadvantages
relatively easy to usedried loam is very powdery and can be difficult to work with
loam is very strong and durable, making it an ideal material for creating long-lasting castingsloam must be moistened before it can be used, which can add extra time to the molding process
does not require expensive equipment 

Molding In Plaster

Plaster casting is a process in which a mold is filled with plaster to create a negative copy of the original object.

advantagesdisadvantages
relatively inexpensiveplaster casts are not particularly strong and can break easily
easy to dothe plaster must be regularly wetted down in order to prevent it from drying out and cracking
the casts can be easily removed once the plaster has hardened 
plaster casting is a very versatile technique that can be used to create an endless variety of shapes and sizes 

Permanent Mold Casting

Permanent mold casting or gravity die casting, is a manufacturing process used to produce high-quality, dimensionally accurate metal components. This method uses a reusable mold, typically steel or iron, to shape the molten metal. The mold consists of two halves, and the cavity inside is designed to match the desired shape of the final product.

Once the mold is preheated, molten metal is poured into it, and gravity assists in filling the cavity. After the metal solidifies, the mold is opened, and the part is removed. Permanent mold casting offers advantages such as excellent surface finish, close tolerances, and the ability to produce complex shapes repeatedly, making it a popular choice for various industries.

Lost Foam Casting

Lost foam casting, also known as evaporative pattern casting, is a die-casting process that involves creating a foam pattern of the desired part, coating it with refractory material, and burying it in a molding material.

When molten metal is poured into the mold, the foam pattern vaporizes due to the high temperature, leaving a cavity in the shape of the desired part. The molten metal fills this void, solidifies, and takes on the shape of the original pattern. 

Dry Sand Casting

Dry sand casting is a process where a mold is created using dry sand. And dry sand casting is a relatively simple process and can create small, intricate metal pieces.

The steps for dry sand casting are as follows:

These simple steps allow you to create high-quality metal castings using dry sand casting.

advantagesdisadvantages
it can be used with any type of metalit is more difficult to achieve a high degree of accuracy, and the finished product can be susceptible to porosity

Investment Casting

investment casting

Investment casting, also named lost wax casting, is a process whereby a wax replica of the desired object is created. This versatile process creates everything from engine parts to dental implants.

The basic process involves:

advantagesdisadvantages
it allows for very precise replication of complex shapesthe process is relatively slow
the use of wax as a molding material results in a smoother surface finish on the final productit can be quite expensive
Investment casting is well suited for small-scale production, as it does not require large amounts of materials or equipment 

Lost Wax Casting

lost wax casting

Lost wax casting creates metal sculptures, jewelry, and other objects.

The basic steps of the process are as follows:

advantagesdisadvantages
relatively simple and quickthe process is somewhat messy and dangerous
it can be used to create highly detailed objectsit requires specialized equipment
allows for a high degree of repetitive accuracy, making it ideal for mass productionmore expensive than other methods of manufacturing

Shell Molding

Shell molding

Shell molding, also known as shell mold casting, is a metal casting process. The process forms the molds, which can then cast parts accurately.

advantagesdisadvantages
it allows for very accurate reproductions to be madethe process can be somewhat messy and difficult to control
shell molding is relatively fast and efficientshell molding generally only works with small- to medium-sized parts

Vacuum Casting

vacuum casting

Vacuum casting is a process used to create objects from a liquid resin. It is a versatile technique that can create high-quality prototypes quickly and affordably.

The steps of vacuum casting are as follows:

advantagesdisadvantages
speed, accuracy, flexibilityThe process is limited to thermosetting plastics and it can be difficult to produce complex shapes or large parts
relatively easy to useit is important to carefully control the manufacturing process to avoid defects in the finished product
does not require special equipment or training 

Centrifugal Casting

centrifugal casting

Centrifugal casting is a process in which molten metal is poured into a spinning mold. It can create cylindrical, round, flat discs or other shapes objects.

The steps of centrifugal casting are as follows: 

advantagesdisadvantages
cast objects with very thin wallsthe process can be somewhat dangerous, as molten metal can cause serious injuries if it comes into contact with skin
 relatively quick and simplecentrifugal casting is not suitable for all types of metals

Continuous Casting

Continuous casting process

Continuous casting solidifies molten metal into a “semifinished” billet, bloom, or slab for subsequent rolling in the finishing mills.

The steps for continuous casting are as follows:

advantagesdisadvantages
higher productivitythe need for more expensive equipment
lower energy consumptionthe potential for defects in the final product
less scrap 

Our Company’s Machining Capability For The Casting Process

At our Corporation, we are proud of our machining capability for the die casting process. We have some of the most technologically advanced machines in the industry, and our experienced team of engineers and technicians are experts in using them. This means we can produce cast products with extremely tight tolerances and intricate details.

In addition, our machining capability allows us to create custom-designed castings that meet the specific needs of our clients. If you need a casting supplier that can provide superior quality and service, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We are willing to discuss your specific needs and requirements.

Conclusion

So, what’s the best casting method for you? It depends on your needs and preferences.

With so many types of casting processes available, it can be challenging to understand which is the right fit for your project. However, by exploring the 12 different types of casting processes and understanding their unique characteristics and applications, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your needs.

Whether you’re in the automotive industry or the aerospace sector, there is a casting process that can meet your requirements. By leveraging this knowledge, you can ensure the success of your casting project and achieve high-quality results. So, whether you choose sand casting, investment casting, or any other method, consider each process’s advantages and disadvantages and select the one that best suits your needs.

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