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A Step-by-Step Look At Aluminum Casting

Nov 6, 2007
Aluminum casting begins with an idea, an idea for a new aluminum product. The person who has visualized the product, one that can be made from aluminum, must share his or her idea. The idea creator develops a sample product or a drawing, one that makes clear his or her conceptualized product.

Yet before any factory begins to make aluminum castings, the conceptualized product must be evaluated. Does it meet the quality standards recognized by the aluminum industry? Can it be manufactured using available technology? What tools and machines are needed to make the conceptualized product?

After an evaluation of the conceptualized product, industry experts might offer some suggestions. They might propose changes that would facilitate manufacture of the conceived product. They might point out ways that the proposed product could be made more functional. They might suggest changes that could lower production costs.

Before moving on to the next step, the idea creator and the evaluators put their heads together. They introduce into future plans whatever changes all see as necessary. Each of those changes is then introduced into a software program.

In the 21st Century, those who take part in the aluminum casting process rely on information obtained by using an iron mold. That mold is made through dependence on computerized numeric control (CNC). A CNC program guides the machinery that makes the iron mold.

Iron, a stable and long, lasting metal, holds the aluminum used in the first casting. Following that casting the customer examines the product obtained from the mold. If the customer approves of the sample coming from the first casting, then, full-scale aluminum casting is ready to commence.

Factory workers pour a coating into the iron mold. That coating reduces the wear on the mold. The coating prepares the mold for a long sequence of aluminum casting.

Each round in the long sequence of aluminum castings initiates with the melting of an aluminum alloy. The alloy is exposed to temperatures of 1300 degrees Fahrenheit. The alloy melts, and workers ladle the molten metal into the iron mold.

After the iron mold can hold no more liquid, the molten metal is allowed to cool. Once the metal and mold have cooled, the iron cast is removed. At that point, finishing work on the caste aluminum commences.

Sometimes, the product of an aluminum casting must undergo debarring. Sometimes it must undergo sanding or grinding. Sometimes the caste aluminum becomes the focus of plating or powder coating.

In the end, the aluminum casting serves as the key step in the formation of a usable product. It is a product that began in the mind of a free-thinking man or woman. It is a product that has the qualities industry experts viewed as fundamental to the product's function.

Because the aluminum product was caste from an iron mold, it can be re-caste again and again. The desirable features in the finished product can be enjoyed by many. Those features can be reproduced over and over, using the aluminum casting process.
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