The Advantages of Using Sand Casting

The Advantages of Using Sand Casting

Sand Casting is one of the most common industrial processes, and it is a method that has been in use for several hundred years. The process uses a sand mold, hence the term. Because the cast is made or meant for a specific item, it is used to forge metallic products of varying weights, types, and sizes.

Sand Casting is an immensely popular and common process used across several industries. This article will examine how sand-casting works and why it is the preferred method in so many industries.

The Process of Sand Casting Using Molten Metal

Image of metal pouring into sand castings showing The Advantages of Using Sand Casting

The process often starts with casting a sand mold of the object. It is also referred to as a pattern and mainly determines the shape and size of the product. The next step is to set up what’s called the gating system for the sand castings. This system includes pouring gates and cups, which will funnel the metal into various parts of the sand mold/cavity.

Once this gating system has been created and the pattern is ready, the mold pattern is removed. Since the sand has already taken on the shape of the mold, the mold is not needed. Once the sand has been removed from the mold, molten metal can be poured into the sand cast. The most attractive benefit of sand casting is that it allows manufacturers to use various metals like aluminum, zinc, iron, steel, and bronze. But the metal used will also depend on the product and must be heated to 3k plus degrees Fahrenheit which is often enough for the metal to flow properly.

Once the metal has been poured into the sand mold, it then needs to be removed. The manufacturer may have to wait a few hours for the cooling process to complete and effectively remove all the sand particles. After that, the mold can be broken and the metal item removed.

While mold patterns can be reused, the mold can’t, so a new mold has to be created for every new product to be manufactured. So, there needs to be a system in place to effectively manufacture sand casting mold of the products.

Manufacturers Can Cast Products From Any Alloy Using A Sand Mold

One of the primary advantages of using this method is that manufacturers have the freedom to use just about any non-ferrous and ferrous metal alloy. So, as long as the metal can be melted down to a flowing liquid state in a short time without using too much energy, it is a viable candidate for sand casting or metal castings.

Sand Molds Lower Cost of Manufacture

Sand Casting, unlike so many other methods, is cheaper and often more viable for most everyday products manufactured. This is what makes it the ideal choice for instances of small-scale productions.

While the patterns can wear and the choice of material for your pattern will depend on how it’s used, it still works out to be cheaper. The machined molds last for several dozen cycles, making them perfect for patterns needed for extensive production runs.

It Saves Lots of Time

Image of metal pouring into sand castings showing

While there are many other metal casting methods, sand casting is comparatively fast. However, manufacturers must think about how much more time will be needed to machine the item. Sand casting produces a rough product compared to various other methods, so time will be required to refine the final product after it has been removed from the molding sand.

Highly Versatile

The method can help produce products of varying weights and sizes. The only limit to what can be produced is the shape and size of the mold used.

However, because it is fast and inexpensive, sand casting continues to be the method of choice in many industries. It can produce products faster, making it a viable option for limited runs. But some machining is needed if the size and shape tolerances are to be adhered to or to ensure a finer finished product.

Difference Between Die Casting and Sand Casting Process

Die casting is another commonly used process used to cast metal products. While many people assume that die and sand casting are one in the same thing, they are different. Die casting can be a viable option for casting certain products because the result requires far less tooling.

While sand and die casting rely on metal melted down to a flowing liquid, die casting does not require molding a cavity in the sand. Instead, the manufacturer will use a steel mold for the object’s size and shape; this is called a ‘die.’ The free-flowing metal is then poured into the die. The object is then removed from the die after it solidifies.

A single die can be reused multiple times, allowing a quicker turnaround than sand casting.

However, there are common defects associated with sand casting, including surface projects, pores and hot tearing. The defects are caused by issues during the manufacturing of the item. Porosity is often a result of liquid metal heated to a very high temperature, but it can also be caused by sand that hasn’t been compacted enough. That said, die casting does away with many of these potential defects.

Final Word

While there are many advantages to using sand casting, the method of choice will depend on what needs to be manufactured. Usually, this is a choice made by a seasoned metal worker based on the type of metal that needs to be used, its finishing, and the type of product. Regardless, sand casting is one of the most cost-effective ways of manufacturing metal parts.