Metal casting: everything you need to know

What is metal casting and why is it important?

Metal casting represents a fundamental process in the manufacturing industry, consisting in the transformation of solid metals into a liquid state to form metal components. This process is of great importance in many industries due to its versatility and diverse and innovative applications.

Definition and basic principles of metal casting

Metal materials casting is a thermal process that involves heating metals or metal alloys to a liquid state. This is done by applying heat through sources such as high-temperature furnaces, induction furnaces or electron beams. During the melting process, metals lose their solid crystalline structure and become fluid, allowing them to be molded into various shapes by molding or casting.

Advantages of metal casting over other manufacturing processes

Metal casting offers several advantages over other manufacturing processes. First of all, it allows the production of components with complex and precise geometries that are difficult to produce by other methods. In addition, metal casting allows for materials with superior mechanical properties, such as tensile strength and hardness, ensuring the production of robust and durable components. Other advantages include the ability to recycle and reuse materials, as well as the ability to produce large quantities of components efficiently and consistently.

The main processes of metal casting

Metal die casting: efficient production of complex components

Die casting, also known as gravity casting or die casting, is a process widely used for the production of complex metal components. In this method, molten metal is poured into a specially designed mold, where it solidifies and takes on the desired shape. This process is particularly effective for producing components with intricate and detailed geometries, offering high dimensional and surface accuracy. In-mold metal casting is used in industries such as automotive, electronics and aerospace, where high quality and performance components are required.

Casting by casting: versatile process for simple and complex shapes

Casting by casting, also known as lost-wax casting, is a versatile method used to produce metal components with both simple and complex shapes. In this process, a model of the desired shape is made from wax, coated with a ceramic layer and then immersed in a refractory material to create a mold. Next, the wax is melted and the liquid metal is poured into the mold, where it solidifies. Once cooled, the mold is broken to reveal the finished component. This method enables the production of components with intricate geometries and high precision, making it ideal for applications in industries such as aeronautics, medicine and jewelry.

Electron beam fusion: high-tech process for critical components

Electron beam melting is an advanced process used for the production of critical metal components that require high performance and quality. In this method, a high-energy electron beam is used to melt metal into powder or wire, creating a melt bath that is patterned using a computer control system. This process enables the production of components with controlled microstructures and optimized mechanical properties, making it ideal for applications in high-tech industries such as aerospace, defense and medical component manufacturing.

fusione del metallo

Materials for metal castings: an informed choice

Material selection for metal casting plays a critical role in the production of high-quality, high-performance metal components. It is important to understand the characteristics and properties of the different types of materials available, as well as the factors to consider when selecting the most suitable material for the specific needs of each application.

Pure metals: characteristics and properties

Pure metals are composed of a single chemical element without any mixture with other metals. They exhibit unique characteristics and specific properties that make them suitable for various casting applications. For example, pure copper offers excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, making it ideal for electronic and heat transfer applications. Pure aluminum, on the other hand, is lightweight and corrosion resistant, finding use in areas such as aeronautics and the automotive industry. The choice of pure metals depends on the specific properties required for the final component and the casting process conditions.

Metal alloys: property enhancement for specific needs

Metal alloys are composed of a mixture of two or more metals or nonmetallic elements. This allows the properties of different elements to be combined to make materials with improved characteristics compared to pure metals. Metal alloys can be designed to improve mechanical strength, corrosion resistance, electrical and thermal conductivity, among other properties. For example, steel is a widely used alloy of iron and carbon for its strength and durability, while titanium alloys offer light weight and corrosion resistance. The selection of the most suitable metal alloy depends on the specific performance required for the final component and the casting process conditions.

Factors to consider when choosing casting material

When choosing the material for metal casting, it is critical to consider several factors to ensure the success of the process and the quality of the final component. Some of these factors include:

  • Mechanical properties: such as strength, hardness and toughness.
  • Corrosion resistance: ability of the material to resist environmental or chemical corrosion.
  • Thermal and electrical conductivity: important for applications requiring transmission of heat or electricity.
  • High temperature performance: resistance to high temperature and thermal deformation.
  • Availability and cost of materials: economic considerations related to the availability and cost of materials used.

The informed choice of metal casting material is essential to ensure the quality, performance, and durability of the final component, as well as to optimize production costs and lead times.

Protection and optimization of cast metal components with ATP Europe coatings

Protective coatings offered by ATP Europe are an important solution for ensuring the durability and optimal performance of cast metal components. These coatings provide effective protection against wear, corrosion, and degradation, as well as offering additional benefits such as maximum hardness and clear component identification.

Protective coatings for metals: oxidation and decarburization barrier

Oxy-Shield metal protective coatings developed by ATP Europe are an advanced control on oxidation and decarburization of metals. These coatings are designed to adhere firmly to the surface of molten metal, forming a protective layer that prevents the diffusion of harmful gases both inside and outside the metals. Due to their chemical resistance and ability to withstand high temperatures, ATP Europe protective coatings extend the service life of metal components and reduce the need for secondary finishing operations.

Boron nitride coatings: wear resistance and lubricity

Boron nitride coatings offered by ATP Europe feature exceptional wear resistance, making them ideal for applications requiring high performance in harsh environments while reducing maintenance and replacement costs. Boron nitride is known for its high mechanical and thermal resistance, as well as its ability to reduce friction (lubricating function) and wear on the surface of molten metal.

Metal marking paints: clear and durable identification of components

Metal marking paints supplied by ATP Europe enable clear and durable identification of cast metal components. These paints are designed for use on the metal surface, resisting mechanical stress and adverse environmental conditions. With their resistance to corrosion and abrasion, metal marking paints ensure that component identification and traceability information remains legible and accurate over time, facilitating product life cycle management and monitoring.

Contact ATP Europe for customized solutions

If you are looking for high-quality custom solutions for protective coatings to be used on materials subjected to metal casting or other mechanical metal processing, do not hesitate to contact ATP Europe.

Our experienced technicians are available to work with you in developing solutions tailored to your application, providing professional advice and support at every step of the process. Contact us today for more information about our protective coatings for metal casting or to request a free quote!