What is Metal Fabrication Casting?

Cadet Steel

What is Metal Fabrication Casting?What is metal fabrication casting all about? According to our experts at Cadet Steel in Denver, casting is an excellent way to make complex shapes for any number of applications. The simplest definition is that casting is a process where liquid metal is poured into a hollowed-out mold, and then allowed to cool off and harden. This solidified piece, known as a casting, is ejected or broken out of the mold to complete the process. It’s both a science and an art. 

A Quick Background

For starters, casting is a 6000-year-old process. The oldest surviving casting is a copper frog from 3200 BC! It truly is an ancient art. Metals have been known and worked for ages, just look at all the gold and silver that have been found, coins to statues, as well as handmade tools and weapons.  

These days, the factory that produces metal castings is often called a foundry. The art of “pouring” hot molten metal into the molds was performed by using ladles back in the day. That is a far cry from today, where foundries are using robots or machines to do the pouring process. 

Countless Uses

Why would someone even need metal fabrication casting? For one, the final piece is stronger and more durable because molten metal alloys are poured into a cast to create a single piece free from joints.

Cadet Steel offers metal fabrication and casting to a wide variety of companies such as government agencies, energy companies, construction, contractors, material handling, restaurants, bakeries, architectural designers, food handling, and anyone with a need for custom metal work.

Some items made from using the techniques described below are flanges, carbon steel parts, air compressor parts, pumps, pipelines, breath valve, flame arrestor, impeller, and suction chamber to name a few.

Of course, the list is endless as to what can be achieved with metal fabrication casting, and Cadet Steel has the right people to understand your needs. We use an array of metals for our customized creations including aluminum, stainless steel, galvanized steel, Galvanneal, hot and cold rolled plate steel and sheet metal, carbon and more. We’d be happy to discuss your options. 

Expendable Mold Casting

This technique of metal fabrication casting uses temporary, non-reusable molds.

SAND CASTING: Reasonably low cost to manufacture, most popular and simplest form, small to large sized castings, can be re-used numerous times, recyclable and also requires minimal maintenance.

PLASTER MOLD CASTING: Similar to sand casting but uses a different medium, plaster of Paris. Can only be used with a low-melting point, non-ferrous materials, such as aluminum, copper, magnesium, and zinc. Relatively inexpensive and quick prep times.

SHELL MOLDING: Molding cavity is formed by a hardened “shell” of sand instead of a flask filled with sand. Fine sand is mixed with a resin which is then heated and formed around the pattern, gives a much finer surface finish and ideal for smaller projects.

INVESTMENT CASTING (low wax casting): One of the oldest forming techniques. A refractory material surrounds the pattern. Reusable wax, an expensive process but produces high-quality components.

WASTE MOLDING OF PLASTER: A thin plaster mold, reinforced by sisal or burlap, is cast over the original clay mixture, cured and removed from the damp clay. Sets the stage for structure of bronze sculpting.

LOST-FOAM CASTING: Similar to investment casting, but foam is used instead of wax.

EVAPORATIVE-PATTERN CASTING: Process that uses pattern materials that evaporate during the pour. No need to remove the model from the mold before casting.

FULL-MOLD CASTING: Combination of sand casting and lost-foam casting. Uses a polystyrene foam surrounded by sand, similar to sand casting. Metal is then poured into the mold and vaporizes the foam with contact. 

Non-Expendable Casting

With non-expandable casting, there is no need to reform mold after each cycle.

DIE-CASTING: The process of forcing molten metal under high pressure into mold cavities. The metals usually used are zinc, copper, and aluminum-based alloys.

PERMANENT MOLD CASTING: Used in forming iron, aluminum, magnesium, and copper-based alloys. The process is highly automated.

CENTRIFUGAL CASTING: Both gravity and pressure-independent. Railway wheels were originally made using this method.

SEMI-SOLID METAL CASTING: Modified die casting process that reduces or eliminates the residual porosity present in most die castings.

CONTINUOUS CASTING: Molten metal is poured into an open-ended, water-cooled mold, which allows a thin solid metal skin to form over the still-liquid center, gradually solidifies metal from the outside in.

Once you have completed one of the casting processes above, the final step is FINISHING which involves machining, grinding or sanding the item to achieve a smoother surface finish, accurate dimensions or to simply tweak the physical shape. A lot of castings are machined in CNC mill centers such as Cadet Steel. This step may include techniques such as welding, shearing, and more. From there, the project can be painted for aesthetic purposes or to prevent corrosion.

Have a Project in Mind?

The art of metal fabrication casting is one that is complex, intriguing and necessary in today’s world. Thankfully there are many options and processes to choose from, for whatever your project or concept entails. And Cadet Steel in Denver can help with that equation, as well as provide a variety of solutions, affordability and an exceptionally qualified team of metal fabrication professionals.

Give us a call today, and we will tell you exactly what is metal fabrication casting. We’ll also create a quote on all of our services, including bending, forming, shearing, plasma cutting, forming and finishing, CAD design, rolling, and more. Our fully-equipped 12,000 square foot fabrication facility can house any project you have, big or small, and we provide quick turnaround.

To learn more about we can accomplish for you, feel free to browse or project gallery online. Hopefully, you will be impressed by what we offer and include our excellent workmanship on your next creative idea. Serving Denver and the entire Rocky Mountain Region, we’ll take your project to the next level.

Please call or contact Cadet Steel in Denver today to learn more about our services.

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