In 1958, H.F. Shroyer invented the technology of making metal castings with expandable foam plastic models and obtained a patent. The model used at first was made of polystyrene (EPS) board and molded with sand containing binder. The German companies Grunzweig and Harrtmann purchased this patent and developed and applied it. The technology of using binder-free dry sand to produce castings was later patented by T.R.Smith in 1964. Before 1980, the use of the binder-free dry sand process had to be approved by Full mold Process (Inc). After that, the patent was invalid.
The most common and practical method is to put the model coated with refractory material into the sand box, fill the model with dry sand tightly, and pour liquid metal to replace the foam model. This casting process is called: lost foam casting ( EPC), gasification mold casting and solid mold casting, etc. The Lost Foam Casting Committee of the American Foundry Association adopted “lost foam casting” as the name of the process.
Lost foam casting is an innovative casting process that can be used to produce non-ferrous and ferrous metal power system parts, including: cylinder blocks, cylinder heads, crankshafts, gearboxes, intake pipes, exhaust pipes and brake hubs. The process flow of lost foam casting is as follows:
Model production is the first step of the lost foam casting process. For complex castings such as cylinder heads, several foam models need to be made separately, and then glued into an overall model. Each block model requires a set of molds for production. In addition, a set of molds may be required in the gluing operation to maintain the accurate positioning of each block. The model’s molding process is divided into two steps. The first step is to The polystyrene beads are pre-expanded to an appropriate density, which is generally carried out by rapid heating with steam. This stage is called pre-expansion.
2) Model forming
The pre-expanded beads should be stabilized first, and then sent to the hopper of the molding machine, and fed through the feeding hole. After the mold cavity is filled with the pre-expanded beads, steam is introduced to soften the beads. Expansion, filling all the gaps and bonding into one body, thus completing the manufacturing process of the foam model, this stage is called autoclave molding.
After molding, the mold is cooled by a large flow of water in the water-cooled cavity of the mold, and then the mold is opened to take out the mold. At this time, the temperature of the mold is increased and the strength is low. Therefore, care must be taken during demolding and storage to prevent deformation and damage.
3) Model cluster combination
Before the model is used, it must be stored for an appropriate period of time to make it mature and stable. The typical model storage period is up to 30 days. For a model formed by a uniquely designed mold, it only needs to be stored for 2 hours. After the model is matured and stabilized, it can be divided into two parts. The block models are glued together.
The block model gluing is carried out on an automatic gluing machine using hot melt glue. The joints of the glued surface should be tightly sealed to reduce the possibility of casting defects.
4) Model cluster dip coating
In order to produce more castings per box, sometimes many models are glued into clusters, and the model clusters are immersed in refractory paint, and then dried in an air circulation oven at about 30-60C (86-140F) for 2 to 3 After hours, dry, put the model cluster into the sand box, fill it with dry sand and vibrate tightly. All the internal cavities and outer dry sand of the model cluster must be compacted and supported.
After the model cluster is firmly filled with dry sand in the sand box, the mold can be poured. After the molten metal is poured into the mold (the casting temperature is about 760C/1400F for cast aluminum, and about 1425C/2600F for cast iron), the model is vaporized. The metal is replaced to form a casting. Figure 1 is a schematic diagram of the sand box and pouring of the lost foam process.
In the lost foam casting process, the pouring speed is more critical than the traditional hollow casting. If the pouring process is interrupted, the sand mold may collapse and cause waste. Therefore, in order to reduce the difference between each pouring, it is best to use an automatic pouring machine.
Figure 1 Schematic diagram of sand box and pouring of lost foam process
6) Falling sand cleaning
After pouring, the casting solidifies and cools in the sand box, and then falls out of sand. The sand falling of the casting is quite simple, and the castings fall out of the loose dry sand when the sandbox is overturned. Subsequently, the castings are automatically separated, cleaned, inspected, and transported away in the casting box.
Dry sand can be reused after cooling, and other additional processes are rarely used. Metal scrap can be remelted and used in production.
1.2 Advantages of lost foam casting process
The lost foam casting process has advantages in three main aspects: technology, economy and environmental protection.
1.2.1 Technical aspects
1) Increased freedom of model design
It is possible for the new process to carry out styling design, and it is entirely possible to add some additional functions to the model from the first stage. For example, the diesel preheater has a special functional part, which can be manufactured by the lost foam casting process instead of the traditional casting method.
2) Eliminate the sand core used in the production of castings
3) Many castings can be fed without the riser
4) Improve casting accuracy
It can obtain a complex shape and structure, and can repeatedly produce high-precision castings with 100% repeatability, and the wall thickness deviation of the castings can be controlled between -0.15~+0.15mm.
5) There is no flash on the joint surface of the model
6) It has the advantage of reducing the weight of castings by about 1/3
7) Reduce machining allowance
The machining allowance can be reduced, and some parts may not even be processed. This greatly reduces the investment in machining and machine tools (for example, the investment can be reduced by half for different situations).
8) Compared with traditional cavity casting, mold investment is reduced.
9) Completely eliminate the traditional process of falling sand and core out
1.2.2 Economic aspects
1) It can produce complex castings as a whole
Adopting the new process design, the block model can be glued to form an overall model and cast into a complex integral part. Compared with the original multiple casting assembly parts (such as diesel preheater), it can benefit from 1 to 10 times.
2) Reduce workshop personnel
To establish a lost foam casting factory, the number of employees is less than that of a traditional casting factory, so this factor should be considered.
3) Flexible casting process
The flexibility of the casting process is very important, because the new process may simultaneously produce a large number of similar or different castings in the flask, and the gating system is therefore very flexible. In short, we can say that each advantage is consistent with economic interests, while also improving working conditions.
1.2.3 Environmental protection
Polystyrene and PMMA produce carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, water and other hydrocarbon gases when they are burned, and their content is lower than the standards allowed in Europe. Dry sand can use natural silica sand, which is 100% recyclable and does not contain binder. The paint used in the model is composed of a binder and other auxiliary materials added to the water, which does not cause pollution.
Please keep the source and address of this article for reprinting:Lost foam casting
Minghe Die Casting Company are dedicated to manufacture and provide quality and high performance Casting Parts(metal die casting parts range mainly include Thin-Wall Die Casting,Hot Chamber Die Casting,Cold Chamber Die Casting),Round Service(Die Casting Service,Cnc Machining,Mold Making,Surface Treatment).Any custom Aluminum die casting, magnesium or Zamak/zinc die casting and other castings requirements are welcome to contact us.
Under the control of ISO9001 and TS 16949,All processes are carried out through hundreds of advanced die casting machines, 5-axis machines, and other facilities, ranging from blasters to Ultra Sonic washing machines.Minghe not only has advanced equipment but also have professional team of experienced engineers,operators and inspectors to make the customer’s design come true.
Contract manufacturer of die castings. Capabilities include cold chamber aluminum die casting parts from 0.15 lbs. to 6 lbs., quick change set up, and machining. Value-added services include polishing, vibrating, deburring, shot blasting, painting, plating, coating, assembly, and tooling. Materials worked with include alloys such as 360, 380, 383, and 413.
Zinc die casting design assistance/concurrent engineering services. Custom manufacturer of precision zinc die castings. Miniature castings, high pressure die castings, multi-slide mold castings, conventional mold castings, unit die and independent die castings and cavity sealed castings can be manufactured. Castings can be manufactured in lengths and widths up to 24 in. in +/-0.0005 in. tolerance.
ISO 9001: 2015 certified manufacturer of die cast magnesium, Capabilities include high-pressure magnesium die casting up to 200 ton hot chamber & 3000 ton cold chamber, tooling design, polishing, molding, machining, powder & liquid painting, full QA with CMM capabilities, assembly, packaging & delivery.
ITAF16949 certified. Additional Casting Service Include investment casting,sand casting,Gravity Casting, Lost Foam Casting,Centrifugal Casting,Vacuum Casting,Permanent Mold Casting,.Capabilities include EDI, engineering assistance, solid modeling and secondary processing.
Casting Industries Parts Case Studies for: Cars, Bikes, Aircraft, Musical instruments, Watercraft, Optical devices, Sensors, Models, Electronic devices, Enclosures, Clocks, Machinery, Engines, Furniture, Jewelry, Jigs, Telecom, Lighting, Medical devices, Photographic devices, Robots, Sculptures, Sound equipment, Sporting equipment, Tooling, Toys and more.
What Can we help you do next?
∇ Go To Homepage For Die Casting China
By Minghe Die Casting Manufacturer |Categories: Helpful Articles |Material Tags: Aluminum Casting, Zinc Casting, Magnesium Casting, Titanium Casting, Stainless Steel Casting, Brass Casting,Bronze Casting,Casting Video,Company History,Aluminum Die Casting |Comments Off