Range of materials and applications offers design alternatives
Casting offers a very wide range of materials and applications. This is why it pays to consider using cast components where complex metal structures are concerned. Optional casting materials include iron, steel, copper, zinc, aluminium, and magnesium. With these materials, economical and shape-optimised designs may be realised that are optimally adapted to the relevant application and the space available for installation. Foundries in Germany will be pleased to assist with advice and develop, together with their customers, casting designs that match the application.
Taking the properties of your future product into account, the Casting Adviser has valuable tips as to what casting process and/or what material is best suited to casting your product. However, we should also be pleased to advise you personally (info(at)bdguss.de
Now what are the advantages of cast components?
The following applies to all castings in general: Freedom of shape design constitutes an advantage in terms of time and cost
Casting metallic components is one of the primary forming processes, meaning that molten metal assumes the shape of the component. The chief characteristic that distinguishes such castings from other manufacturing processes is a near-total lack of restrictions in design. Thus, the single-stage casting process permits shaping complicated interior and exterior contours which either cannot be reproduced at all or only with elaborate multi-stage processes when other methods are employed.
The following points also argue for casting as the optimum production process:
1. The shortest way from liquid metal to finished component
Made reproducibly on modern technical equipment under controlled conditions and conforming to the most stringent quality requirements, castings are shaped so as to closely approximate the final state. Consequently, they hardly require any joining or machining input.
2. Maximum diversity in component design
In casting, the range of shaping options is almost unlimited. Casting permits making parts that are close to their final dimensions and even ready to install when one of a few special methods is applied. Similarly, they may be given an appealing surface and an aesthetically beautiful shape.
3. Hardly any restrictions regarding dimensions and unit weights
Castings may range in size from a few millimetres to more than 10 metres and in weight from a few grams to more than 300 tons.
4. Shape based on requirements and close to the final dimensions
At the customer's request, castings may be made with very tight tolerances. Beyond that, special casting methods even permit making ready-to-install castings.
5. Adapting part geometry to stress while minimising material consumption
The shape of a component may be optimised economically under casting, manufacturing, and application aspects by arranging for early collaboration between design, machining, and casting experts, with the latter making available their specific technical knowledge to the process of developing the component. In addition, methods to simulate pouring and solidification behaviour and determine the casting properties to be expected ensure that the casting may be made reliably, with the properties required and at optimum cost.
6. 100% recyclable
Cast components are environmentally compatible and fully recyclable. They may be made into components of other material grades and even into higher-class materials. The entire production of castings itself forms a closed material cycle. Using cast components, therefore, constitutes a crucial contribution towards avoiding waste and protecting resources.
7. Maximum choice of materials guarantees functional safety and permits maximum breadth of application
Because casting materials are so diverse, castings may be made with a wide range of properties. Those that are important for the application of a component, such as strength, wear-resistance, corrosion behaviour, machinability, hardenability, etc. may be varied within wide limits by selecting suitable materials and processes. Thus, cast iron grades that were long characterised as brittle and stress-tolerant only to a limited extent now include grades that feature high ductility or strength and elongation properties that are to be found otherwise only in steel.
8. Ideal for bionic constructions
Distinguished on the one hand by optimum stress distribution and, consequently, maximum stress tolerance and on the other by minimum component weights, bionic components are complex constructions. In many cases, such parts can be made economically only by casting because of their complexity. By optimising stress states, software programmes developed for the purpose permit making parts of extreme load tolerance and/or extreme lightweight construction.
9. Cast components are weldable
The development of suitable welding methods and filler metals now permits structural welding between castings as well as between castings and rolled or forged components.
10. High reproducibility and strict quality assurance
Active quality assurance systems ranging across the entire casting production process and modern manufacturing technologies safeguard reproducibility at all stages of manufacturing. Moreover, foundries have technically mature tools to assure casting quality, such as non-destructive tests to determine component properties (ultrasonic, x-ray, crack detection), microstructural analysis, and modern measuring methods to evaluate dimensions.
11. Merging various functional elements into one casting
Thanks to its enormous freedom of design, the casting process often permits making integral components that combine several functional elements in one casting without need for joining, machining, or assembly processes.
12. Options include composite and compound materials
Produced during casting or during subsequent metallurgical treatment, composite materials with a product performance adapted to their respective applications – called gradient materials – are state of the art today (chilled cast iron, gradient cast aluminium, etc.). Technically, compound materials created by casting in inserts or casting on functional elements consisting of other metallic or non-metallic materials can be realised even in complex castings (composite crankcase of Mg-Al alloys, cast-in bearing bushings, etc.).
If you need castings, get them from Germany!
There are good reasons for having cast components made in Germany:
BDG - Bundesverband der
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