How to Choose The Suitable Casting Process for Cast Iron

Here in this article we would like to introduce some factors we should think about when we choose different casting processes for cast iron materials. To select the right and suitable casting processes made by cast iron will help you to get the casting components at a lower costs and short leadtime. The gray cast iron and ductile iron are two main materials for cast irons.

Generally speaking, the most widely used iron casting process is sand casting, followed by special casting methods, such as metal mold casting, investment casting, shell moulding casting, lost foam casting and vacuum casting. The sand casting process can also be divided into green sand casting, resin sand casting and other casting processes whose molds mainly are made by sand.

Here in the following we propose some principles or factors when we choose suitable casting processes for cast iron materials:

1- Sand Casting Should be the First Choice

Mainly due to low cost and simple production of sand casting process, sand casting has taken about 60% to 70% of the total casting production, and about 70% of which is green sand casting. When the green sand can not meet the requirements and then you could consider the use of dry sand or other sand. The weight range of green sand casting is from several kilograms to hundreds of kilograms, while the production of dry clay casting can weigh several tons.

Generally speaking, for medium and large iron castings, self-hardening resin sand casting would be the good option. But regarding the alloy steel and carbon steel materials, we could choose the water glass sand. This can get accurate dimensions, smooth surface of the castings, while with a lower costs than silica sol investment casting process.

The accuracy, surface finish, material density and microstructure, mechanical properties may not reach the strict requriemenets if you have special and high expectations. In this case, other casting methods such as silica sol or water glass investment casting casting, die casting, low pressure casting, lost foam casting and vacuum casting should be taken into our eyes.

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2- Think About The Annual Demand

If your annual demand is high, the automatic molding line should be the best choice because of its big production capacity and steady quality. And this method could reach a low average costs only if the required quantity is big enough. While, molding by hand will save your costs if your quantity is not so big, or your desired castings are medium-sized or large-sized.

However, the resin sand mould (shell moulding) casting process is also suitable for iron castings of large size. Moreover, the shell casting have better finish and higher quality then green sand casting processes.

The other processes such as low pressure die casting, die casting, centrifugal casting is only suitable for mass production with big quantity because of expensive equipment and toolings.

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3- Dimensional Tolerances and Surface Quality Count

In the process of selecting the casting process for the cast iron material, dimensional accuracy and surface quality are also critical. Choosing a precision casting process will reduce the need for machining, even without machining. This requires a comprehensive consideration of the balance between the increase in casting costs and the reduction in machining. Based on our many years of experience, our company’s engineers can select the most suitable and economical casting process for you.

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