Working with your casting manufacturer’s engineering team early on in the manufacturing process – ideally, prior to creating tooling – can improve the performance of your casting. Foundry engineers can advise your in-house engineers on the best process and material to meet your performance goals. Here’s how engaging foundry engineers early on can get you the best finished casting.
- Foundry engineers start by analyzing casting pattern-making methods to determine what makes the most sense for your project. Lead time, quantity, casting size and other criteria help the team determine whether your casting would be created most optimally using a robotically milled mold, a 3D printed prototype, or a hand-crafted traditional wood or urethane pattern.
- Then, the team discusses possible challenges that could arise in the manufacturing process. Aspects like geometry of the part, special chemistry requirements, special process-related requirements, etc. all can present issues in the process; identifying possible complications in advance can mitigate their risk of occurrence.
- Next, the engineers discuss initial ideas for how to set up the risering and gating. They discuss sizes of the gating and the risers based on overall size, section thicknesses, minimum wall thickness, isolated sections, and any other geometry challenges related to the specific part.
- The engineers can run solidification simulations to manipulate the design digitally and analyze, test and troubleshoot casting dimensions, weaknesses, etc. prior to pouring the casting. This maximizes the chance for casting success on the first run. At this stage, the team also determines whether there are any additional measures needed to mitigate risk and improve casting success. Examples include high-performance ceramic or other specialty sands, special refractory coatings, specific core lightening/venting, specific pouring temperature ranges, and specific shakeout times.
- With a robust plan in place, our engineers follow the project through the molding process, signing off that each step is completed to their specification.
- Next comes pouring. The engineering team will review the specific alloy and pouring practice to verify that the chemistry makeup will meet or exceed customer specifications. Once the part is poured, the engineers review the part and, if there are any defects on the casting itself, the team determines the cause and corrects the issue at that stage. As the part goes through further stages of the finishing process, the team continues to note any issues that arise.
- Upon completion, the entire process is analyzed to see if improvements can be made moving forward. If any changes are needed, another review is required before the next part is made. If not, all process steps are updated and the part is released into production.
At Badger Alloys, we are committed to providing the highest value castings. With a combined 80 years’ experience, our foundry engineers work with our customers to identify the best plan for each stage of their casting process. Our goal is to determine the most ideal solution for each unique project. For more information on how our engineering team can help you with your casting process, please contact Reid Petges, foundry engineer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 414/258-8200.