Deeco Metals

Metal Casting Processes for Custom Parts

Metal casting services manufacture custom parts for a wide range of industrial and commercial applications. Advanced metal casting service options include die casting, investment casting, permanent mold castings, sand castings, and more. Continuous and centrifugal metal casting services can also be performed with certain alloys and quantity levels.

Die Casting

The die casting process produces castings with close tolerances, often eliminating the need for secondary machining operations. The main advantage of custom die casting metal parts is generating a large number of products at a very low cost per unit. The die casting process also allows for creating parts with complex shapes and unique tolerances.

Die Casting Advantages

Deeco Metals' custom die casting processes provide numerous benefits over other types of metalworking methods. Our die casting services produce durable, stable parts and provide high-quality functionality. Some of the other advantages associated with die casting include:

  • Metal liquid is subjected to high pressure, providing an increased flow rate during casting
  • Excellent product quality, stable size, and good interchangeability
  • High production efficiency and die casting molds can be used many times
  • Suitable for mass production with good economic benefits

Die Casting Service Options

  • Cold chamber
  • Hot chamber

Cold chamber die casting machines are used for aluminum alloys or zinc alloys with high melting points, while hot chamber die casting is used primarily for zinc alloys, copper, lead, and other low melting point alloys.

Die Casting Material Options

Die-casting typically makes use of non-ferrous alloys, which offer numerous benefits. The three most common alloys that Deeco Metals utilizes within its die casting methods include:

The Die Casting Process

Die casting is a metal casting process in which molten metal is forced into a steel mold under high pressure into a mold cavity. The steel molds, known as dies, are fabricated to produce castings with intricate shapes that ensure both accuracy and repeatability. The five steps used within the die casting process include:

  1. Clamping - Once the dies have been adequately cleaned and lubricated, the die halves are closed and clamped with high pressure.
  2. Injection - The molten metal is forced into the die using extremely high pressure. The high pressure then holds the metal in the die until it has time to solidify.
  3. Cooling - After the molten metal is injected into the die, it must have time to solidify and cool. During this time, the die cannot be unclamped. Once the metal has completely cooled, it takes on its final shape of the casting.
  4. Ejection - Once the cooling process has finished, the die halves can be unclamped, and an ejection mechanism pushes the solidified casting out of the die.
  5. Trimming - While the metal is cooling, the excess metal in the sprue and runner must be removed along with any flash that has transpired.

Investment Casting

Investment casting is a metal casting method called “lost-wax casting” because the original wax pattern is melted out of the mold after curing the ceramic. The base metal is then poured into the remaining cavity, filling the inside shape.

Investment Casting Advantages

Investment casting occurs when molten metal is poured into an expendable ceramic mold. Investment castings with complex geometries and intricate details can be created with little worry about die wear or dimensional changes. Investment casting advantages include:

  • Excellent surface finish
  • High dimensional accuracy
  • Significantly detailed parts can be cast
  • Almost any metal can be used
  • No flash or parting lines

Investment Casting Material Options

A good investment casting foundry like Deeco Metals can produce near-net castings from nearly any metal. However, the most used alloy materials for investment castings include:

  • Aluminum
  • Bronze
  • Magnesium
  • Cast iron
  • Carbon steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Nickel

The Investment Casting Process

Investment casting requires using a metal die, wax, ceramic slurry, furnace, molten metal, and any machines needed for sandblasting, vibratory tumbling (with or without grinding or polishing media), cutting, and grinding. Proper investment casting methods involve the following steps:

  1. Pattern creation
  2. Mold creation
  3. Pouring
  4. Cooling
  5. Casting removal
  6. Finishing

Permanent Mold Castings

Permanent mold casting, or gravity casting, is typically used for high-volume production of small, simple metal parts with uniform wall thickness. For high-volume runs of small pieces, permanent mold casting (gravity casting) is cost-effective in producing high-quality metal parts.

Permanent Mold Casting Advantages

Permanent mold casting is a method in which liquid metal is filled with a metal mold under the action of gravity and cooled and solidified in the mold to obtain a casting. Permanent mold casting advantages include:

  • Reusable molds
  • High production rates
  • Good part-to-part dimensional consistency (near net shape) and excellent surface finishes. Any traces of metal flow lines on the casting surface are cosmetic rather than functional defects.
  • Permanent mold castings exhibit good soundness with low porosity and metal folds. There may be some micro shrinkage, but mechanical properties are favorably influenced by the castings characteristically fine grain.
  • Permanent mold castings cool faster, which results in finer grain size than sand cast parts.
  • Directional solidification is easily induced.
  • Permanent mold castings have good dimensional accuracy.

Permanent Mold Casting Material Options

Permanent mold casting material options include the following alloys:

  • Aluminum
  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Tin
  • Lead
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Steel

The Permanent Mold Casting Process

Deeco Metals utilizes the following steps to ensure superior permanent mold castings that meet or exceed your project specifications.

  1. Mold preparation
  2. Mold assembly
  3. Pouring
  4. Cooling
  5. Mold opening

Sand Castings

Custom sand casting processes are incredibly versatile, allowing cast parts to be manufactured in a range of shapes and sizes in small and large quantities. As a custom sand-casting supplier, Deeco Metals provides high-quality machined castings. Our state-of-the-art foundry, machining and surface finishing equipment ensure the best quality parts.

Sand Casting Advantages

Sand casting molds, also known as patterns, are made of wood or aluminum and can be changed to accommodate any small changes in designs, so small changes are very inexpensive.  Sand casting can produce various parts in weights ranging from less than an ounce to thousands of pounds. Sand casting advantages include:

  • Limited restrictions on product shape
  • Excellent dimensional control and accuracy
  • Unique surface finish options
  • Cost-efficient
  • Precise and highly versatile
  • Low to high volume productions

Sand Casting Material Options

Sand casting is ideal for material applications with poor plasticity. Material options include:

  • Aluminum
  • Cast iron
  • Copper
  • Nickel
  • Stainless steel
  • Steel
  • Zinc

The Sand Casting Process

The sand casting process requires a wooden or metal pattern, a sand core box, a furnace to melt the raw metal, grinders for fettling and removing flash, and finishing equipment to improve the surface of the casting while utilizing various machines to finish the parts, as needed. Steps in the sand casting process include:

  1. Place mold pattern in sand
  2. Setup the gating system
  3. Remove the mold pattern
  4. Pour molten metal into mold cavity
  5. Cool
  6. Break open mold and remove casting

Contact Deeco Metals for Advanced Metal Casting Services Today

Deeco Metals is your trusted source for precision metal casting services, including die casting, investment casting, permanent mold casting, sand casting, and more. Contact us for more information or give us a call at 800-BRASS-84.