Many people reading this may already be aware of the importance of the manufacturing industry. Still, only some are fully aware of how important the casting industry is to our economy. It is responsible for many parts of the economy that fuel our everyday life via various industries.
While it makes sense to celebrate the manufacturing industry, it is essential to also take some time to closely examine the casting industry and how it contributes to the vitality of the economy.
Also referred to as metal casting or the casting process, it is a process in which molten metal is poured into a mold and allowed to solidify, producing a metal part in the shape of the mold. The mold is typically made of a material that can withstand the high temperatures of molten metal, such as sand or ceramic.
Several types of metal casting processes include sand casting, die casting, permanent mold casting, and investment casting. Each process has its set of unique characteristics and is suitable for casting different metal parts.
Sand casting is a common process in which a mold is made of sand, and a pattern is used to create the shape of the piece in question. The pattern is placed in the sand, and the molten or liquid metal is poured into the mold. After the metal has solidified, the sand is removed to reveal the finished part.
Die casting is a process in which the mold is made of metal and can be used multiple times to produce identical parts. The free flowing molten metal is injected into the mold under high pressure, which helps to ensure a precise and accurate part.
Permanent mold casting is a metal casting process in which a mold is made of metal and is used to produce a single part. The mold is not meant to be used multiple times, and is typically discarded after the casting process is complete.
Permanent mold casting is a versatile process that can be used to produce parts with complex shapes and precise dimensions. It is often used to produce parts for the automotive, aerospace, and defense industries, among others.
Investment casting is a process in which a mold is made by coating a pattern with a ceramic material. The ceramic material is allowed to harden, and the pattern is removed, leaving a hollow space in the shape of the desired part. The molten metal is poured into the hollow space to produce the finished metal castings.
Lost wax casting is a precise and accurate process that is commonly used to produce complex, high-quality metal parts. It is often used to produce parts for the aerospace, medical, and jewelry industries, among others.
The American Foundry Society (AFS) stated in 2019 that most Americans are not more than 10 feet away from a metal casting facility on average. Foundries cast everything from that cast iron pan you love to vehicle parts.
Speaking of vehicles, metal casting is part of every truck, car, railway cart and engine manufacturing facility. Not to mention that every building uses heavy equipment for construction, and agriculture also relies on cast metal components.
Even in this day and age of exotic metals, iron is the most commonly used. Not only do you find ductile iron everywhere, but it is also makes up 5% of our earth’s crust. Some ores can consist of up to 70% iron, and the ores are easily extracted compared to other metals. That’s why most cast components are made from iron.
The global metal casting industry was valued at USD 139 billion in 2021. The market is projected to reach over $221.3 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 7.8%, within the next five years.
There are many advantages of using metal casting technology, one of which is improved energy efficiency. Metal casting also costs less than other technologies and is environmentally friendly. Furthermore, a growing number of industries have started to rely on new cast products. Therefore, casting is used to manufacture fittings, oilfield machinery, mining, and pipes. It is also used to manufacture internal combustion engines, farm equipment, values and other products.
In this day and age, when people have woken up to the fact that many industrial processes may be hurting the environment, there is increased emphasis on the metal casting industry to use recycled metal. Not only is scrap metal a cost-efficient source of raw materials, but it also helps reduce scrap. Thus now the foundry industry for the most part has pivoted to reusing metals.
The ongoing research in the metal casting industry promises innovations, and improvements moving forward. On the horizon are developments such as lost foam casting and various computer-based tools that die casters can use to create an alternative moulding method. The goal for researchers is to produce defect-free castings in a shorter time and use more energy-efficient processes. Environmental awareness has meant that manufacturers are formulating mainly simulation-based casting in a bid to reduce operational costs and instances of waste.
In the casting industry, the emphasis is on producing top-quality products. Many companies in the sector are also working to streamline their processes in an effort to make better products more efficiently.
The casting industry employs people who learn through hands-on experience and pass on their skills to eager learners. Foundries provide opportunities for employees, such as additional training and advancement to supervisory positions. Ultimately, it is the employees who drive the industry, and businesses thrive by empowering their workforce. However, keeping up with the latest technology and processes is also critical, with companies willing to adapt rising to the top as they gain favor with larger businesses in the high-tech sector.
Cast Technologies continues to be at the forefront of the casting industry, utilizing many of the advanced methods described above. They are also always on the lookout for great employees. Contact Cast Technologies today for employment or a project quote.