The casting process at Blackwood Engineering

The casting process in one of our partner foundries involves several steps to transform raw materials into finished parts. Here’s a general overview of the typical casting process: 

CAD drawing is created and approved:

Once the CAD drawing is sent from the customer to Blackwood Engineering, the CAD will be sent to the chosen foundry.

Pattern Making:

The process starts with the creation of a pattern, which is a replica of the desired final product. These patterns are typically made from wood, plastic, or metal.

Mold Making:

The pattern is used to create a mold, which will be the negative impression of the final part. Molds can be made of various materials such as sand, plaster, ceramic, or metal.

Mold Assembly:

Depending on the complexity of the part, the mold may be made in multiple pieces that are assembled together to create the complete mold cavity.

Melting:

The foundry melts the metal to be cast in a furnace. The type of furnace used depends on the metal being cast and the scale of production. Our engineered castings are created from grey iron, ductile iron, austempered ductile iron, steel or aluminum. This will depend on the customer requirements.

Pouring:

Once the metal is molten and ready, it is poured into the mold cavity. This is a critical step as it determines the final shape and quality of the casting.

Solidification:

After the metal is poured into the mold, it begins to cool and solidify. The cooling rate is crucial for controlling the microstructure and mechanical properties of the casting.

Shakeout:

Once the metal has solidified, the mold is broken apart to reveal the casting inside. This can be done mechanically, by vibrating or shaking the mold, or by other methods depending on the type of mold material used.

Cleaning and Finishing:

The casting is removed from the mold and any excess material, such as gates and risers, is removed.

Inspection:

The finished casting undergoes inspection to ensure it meets the required quality standards. This may include visual inspection, dimensional measurement, non-destructive testing, and mechanical testing.

Packaging and Shipping:

Once the casting has passed inspection, it is packaged and shipped to Blackwood Engineering for the next stage.

Finishing touches at Blackwood Engineering:

Once the engineered castings are at Blackwood Engineering they will be grinded and sanded for a smooth surface finish. Once there’s a smooth surface the metal casting will be painted with the customers chosen colour.

Shipping to the customer:

The finished engineered castings will be placed onto stillages and sent directly to the customer. If the customer has a phased delivery, the remaining castings will be stored at one of our sites.

Summary

Throughout the entire process, quality control measures are implemented to ensure the integrity of the engineered casting and adherence to customer specifications. The specific techniques and equipment used in each step may vary depending on factors such as the type of metal being cast, the complexity of the part, and the customers requirements.   

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