CPM Industries' Blog

ALERT Metalcasters!!

Posted by Gavin Mason

Metalcasters Urged to Contact Congress on UUU Issue

"The AFS Washington Office is urging metalcasters to contact their Congressional representatives in an effort to secure an exemption for metalcasting facilities from Subpart UUU" (AFSinc.org, June 6, 2013). 

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Tags: Green Sand Casting Method, sand casting, casting, AFS, foundry

Does Your Casting Have a Sweet Tooth?

Posted by Gavin Mason

Simple Sugar may Solve Complex Problem 

The foundry and metal casting industry is a multi-billion dollar industry with foundries of all shapes and sizes located throughout the world. Metal castings can be dated back to before the Roman empire and were used to develop weapons and tools as well as being critical in the development of human civilization. The most common method of casting is known as sand casting and involves using sand to hold the shape of a part. Once the sand is in the shape of the part to be casted, molten metal is poured into the sand mold forming the final part. If you are like me, the first time I heard of this process my first question was, "so how does the sand stay in place with molten metal being poured into it?" 

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Tags: Casting Design, Aluminum Castings, Sand Casting Design Improvements, Aluminum Sand Casting, Green Sand Casting Method, Prototype Sand Castings, Quality Control of Sand Casting, sand casting, Magnesium Sand Casting, casting

Foundry Industry Competitiveness

Posted by Gavin Mason

Stimulating Competitiveness

The Metal Casting Conference, which was held in the great northwest from March 13-16, was a perfect opportunity for employees throughout the industry to share the latest technology. It was also a great way for the industry to drive competitive advantage within the foundry industry. 

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Tags: Sand Casting Design Improvements, Green Sand Casting Method, sand casting, casting, Manufacturing, growth, foundry

3 Types of Cores used in Sand Castings (Part 2)

Posted by Tim Carlstedt

      Back for more?! In the second of an installment about Core Knowledge, we will be discussing a few more common names and terms associated with Loose Pieces.  Loose pieces are used by Pattern Makers to create attributes that cannot be created normally without modification.  The types of loose pieces that we will discuss today are the Attached Pieces, Drawbacks, and Pick-Out Pieces. (P.S If you haven't read part 1 yet, then go check it out first)

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Tags: Casting Design, Green Sand Casting Method, Casting Knowledge, Pattern/Foundry Tooling

3 Types of Cores Used to Make Sand Castings

Posted by Tim Carlstedt

How are hollow passage ways or special features put into a casting?


Through the Use of Cores that are Placed into the Mold Box!! 

In this part 1 of 2, we will discuss the common names and terms for Cores and Coreboxes that are used in the horizontal green sand casting method.  At CPM Industries, we often use Cylinder Cores, Balanced Cores and Dovetail Cores with Patterns to create the necessary passageways to meet the component's characteristics.  The article below discusses three types of cores that are placed on the parting line of the casting.

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Tags: Ductile Iron Castings, Casting Design, Aluminum Castings, Cast (Gray) Iron Castings, Magnesium Castings, Sand Casting Design Improvements, CPM Industries, Green Sand Casting Method, Casting Knowledge, Pattern/Foundry Tooling

Aluminum Sand Castings: Foundry vs. Finished Casting Supplier

Posted by Tim Carlstedt

  One determination that all Aluminum Sand Casting buyers must consider is whether their project is best suited to be manufactured at either an Aluminum Foundry or a Finished Aluminum Casting Supplier.  There are a lot of little aspects that go into this decision such as: Quantity, Delivery Time, Material, Machining Capabilities (if necessary), and (for obvious reasons) Quality.  So, let’s distinguish the difference between the two supplier options. 

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Tags: Aluminum Castings, Aluminum Sand Casting, Green Sand Casting Method, Turn-Key Sand Cast Components, Aluminum Sand Castings

Benefits of Aluminum Sand Castings?

Posted by Tim Carlstedt

Ever wonder what makes Aluminum such a popular choice for sand castings?  While there are a ton of factors that go into that decision, here is a list of the 6 reasons why Aluminum is chosen for so many different applications.

    1. Low Density

      1. Weighs 1/3 of Steel
    2. Good Conductor of Electricity

    3. Non-Combustible  and Non-Magnetic

      1. These traits are excellent and make the alloy invaluable for projects that involve electronics
    4. Non-Toxic

    5. Malleable/Ductile

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Tags: Aluminum Castings, Aluminum Sand Casting, CPM Industries, Green Sand Casting Method, Tips for Design Sand Castings

Sand Casting vs. Investment Casting

Posted by Tim Carlstedt

What are the advantages and disadvantages between the Green Sand Casting Method and the Investment Casting Method?

This is a common question for the metal casting industry and CPM wanted to shed some light on the subject.  In this entry, we will first look at a comparision of the two different methods, followed by a explanation of the table, then lastly another table highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of each method in comparison.

 

Comparison of Green Sand Casting vs. Investment Casting

 

Green Sand Casting Method

Investment Casting Method

Relative Cost in Quantity

Low

Highest

Relative Cost for Small Number

Lowest

Medium

Permissible Weight of Casting

Unlimited up to approx. 1 ton

Ozs to 100 lbs.

Thinnest Section Castable (Inches)

1/10

1/16

Typical Dimensional Tolerance (Inches)

.012

.01

Relative Surface Finish

Fair to Good

Very Good

Relative Mechanical Properties

Good

Fair

Relative Ease of Casting Complex Design

Fair to Good

Best

Relative Ease of Changing Design in Production

Best

Fair

Typical Base Tolerances

+/- .040 – 1.00 in

+/- .003 - .008 in

Typical Surface Finish

150 – 350 RMS

63 – 125 RMS

Minimum Wall Thickness

.140 - .250 in

.094 - .187 in

Typical Tooling Cost

$800 to $5,000

$3,000 to $10,000

Well, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO ME?!

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Tags: Ductile Iron Castings, Ductile Iron Sand Casting, Casting Design, Aluminum Castings, Cast (Gray) Iron Castings, Magnesium Castings, Aluminum Sand Casting, CPM Industries, Green Sand Casting Method, Casting Knowledge, Secondary Machining, Finished Surfaces, Prototype Sand Castings, Pattern/Foundry Tooling, Patterns for Sand Castings, Cast Iron (Gray) Sand Casting, Investment Casting Method

Ranking Machinability of Sand Castings

Posted by Tim Carlstedt

    Machining a Sand Casting is a major cost contributor in a project that involves a finished casting. The major factors to in determining Machinability are the alloy's hardness (meaning softer is better), how long the cutting tool will last, and time it takes (includes labor) to complete all the operations in machining. 

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Tags: Ductile Iron Castings, Ductile Iron Sand Casting, Aluminum Castings, Cast (Gray) Iron Castings, Magnesium Castings, Aluminum Sand Casting, CPM Industries, Green Sand Casting Method, Secondary Machining, Cast Iron (Gray) Sand Casting

Additional Key Differences of Ductile Iron vs. Steel Castings

Posted by Tim Carlstedt

Did you want more technical depth into some the unique differences of Iron Castings vs. Steel Castings?

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Tags: Ductile Iron Castings, Ductile Iron Sand Casting, Steel Sand Casting, Cast (Gray) Iron Castings, Sand Casting Design Improvements, CPM Industries, Green Sand Casting Method

Balance Core use in Sand Casting Pattern

Posted by Tim Carlstedt

This post is in response to several searches performed by our readers that wanted to know what a "Balance Core" is and how it is used in a sand casting.  Since we do have an House Pattern Shopat CPM Industries, I thought it would be appropraite to explain this particular type of core and it's importance in Pattern/Foundry Tooling for Sand Castings. 

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Tags: Casting Design, CPM Industries, Green Sand Casting Method, Pattern/Foundry Tooling

Video: Pouring of Olympic Rings

Posted by Tim Carlstedt

Here is a clip from the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony that is supposed to depict the pouring of the metal to create the Olympic Rings. This shows respect to England's Industrial Age and to one London's Foundries which poured both of these iconic brass bells used for Big Ben and the Liberty Bell!  CPM Industries wishes the best for all competitors and we hope you enjoy watching the games!

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Tags: CPM Industries, Green Sand Casting Method, Casting Knowledge, 2012 London Olympics

What Materials are Sand Cast Patterns made out of?

Posted by Tim Carlstedt

Sand Cast Patterns can be made out of several different types of materials


For Lower Volume runs (1, 10, 50, 100, etc.) that are typically involved in prototyping, then a Poly-Urethane Board will be used to create the pattern.  At CPM, we normally work with Brownboard and Redboard, which are types of Poly-Urethane Boards, to create our Prototype / Short Run Castings

 

The benefits of using this material is the ease of machinability, changing, and lower cost.  These are not meant for high volume and will wear down more quickly over time.  For Example, Brownboard is best served for quantities of less than 100, while Redboard can withstand much larger quantities due to it's strength.  Redboard is often used for Air Set Sand Castings which can will increase the life of the Redboard tool.

The Poly-Urethane Pattern will then be placed in/on a mold box or matchplate.  This will be variant on the size of the part, quantites, and other project goals.  For example, some large casting's patterns cannot fit into automated machines that use matchplates, so a mold box will be utilized.  For most short runs, a mold box is used due to the time it takes to create a matchplate and cost of the matchplate.  As you can tell there are more factors that feed into the decision of the correct material and what type of pattern to create. 

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Tags: CPM Industries, Green Sand Casting Method, Casting Knowledge, Prototype Sand Castings, Pattern/Foundry Tooling, Patterns for Sand Castings, Air Set Casting Method, EAU of Casting Projects

Sand Casting Testings

Posted by Tim Carlstedt

So, what are the most common testings of sand castings that customers request at CPM Industries?

Well, before we go into the common types of Sand Casting Testings, first let's determine what testing a casting means and why it is performed:

Testings are performed to ensure that the cast component does in fact adhere to the specifications/requirements that are listed on the print or that have been designated by the customer.

The goal of the testings is to ensure consistent manufacturing through the physical, chemical, tolerance allowance of the casting.  The testings happen at all stages of the casting process from the initial run (checking material and porosity levels) to the finished casting (i.e. measuring of tolerances).

I am going to cover the basics (with a little detail, of course) of the most common testings we see for sand castings and provide a brief situation when the testings may be required.

Chemical Testing of Sand Castings

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Tags: Green Sand Casting Method, Quality Control of Sand Casting

Prototypes: Machined Hog-out vs. Finished Sand Casting

Posted by Tim Carlstedt

Machined Hogout vs. Machined Casting  

This is another common discussion we have here at CPM between ourselves and an engineering team in regards to how they want to proceed to prototype a current project.  The goal is to find the best solution for their project.  So what considerations have to be taken into effect in order to decide whether to perform a Hog-Out or to produce a casting for the project?

  First, let's define a Hog-Outas taking a solid material (such as an ingot of Aluminum) and completely machining the material to match the given component model.  The other option is to create a pattern/mold, produce a casting, then machine the casting to get a complete component.  So what are the general considerations and benefits?

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Tags: CPM Industries, Green Sand Casting Method, Prototype Sand Castings, Hog-Outs

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