CSI not only works with different casting processes, we also work with a variety of metals within those processes. Read below to see what metal is the right choice for you.
All the aluminum we present to market is alloyed aluminum. Alloys vary by what the end need of the product is, but we can help you narrow your choices by understanding the end need of product.
The MATRIX shows aluminum being castable by a variety of different processes with die cast, sand cast, permanent mold and investment cast being typical first stops. We'll walk you through how to decide again by understanding your end product need.
Typical needs of aluminum castings include: near net shape, high strength to weight ratio, fine surface finish, wear resistance, cost effective to other options. Each process noted on the MATRIX page has a high degree of dimensional stability with aluminum, as well as castable density run over run.
Solidification modeling is used extensively in tooling development no matter what process is chosen. This leads to ‘first shot’ success and limited resampling, once defined porosity is well controlled in any of the noted processes.
Tool life in Aluminum is excellent but does vary by process. Machinability in aluminum is another high point, with a low machine tool wear.
Production casting tooling can be had for as little as $4K and available for production in as little as 3 weeks.Aluminum castings can be painted,plated,polished, anodized.
Typical markets are Power tool, power distribution,r ecreational, military, aerospace, automotive and the list goes on.
Bronze is another heavily alloyed material, dependent on what the part end need is. Bronze can be produced in any of the processes listed within the MATRIX.
Typical needs of bronze parts are: corrosion resistance, lubrication, high strength, abrasion and wear resistance. Typical parts are powdered metal bearings and bushings, as well as cast impellors and pump housings.
Powdered metal process allows for closest near net shape part and finest surface finish. As parts grow in size casting becomes the next option, which we can help you determine.
Bronze is highly machinable but speeds to do vary by the alloying needed. Once defined it is very repeatable in process for dimensional integrity, porosity control and machinability.
It can be painted, plated and polished.
Iron can be produced through powdered metal/MIM as well as through sand and investment casting. Sand casting is where most of the tonnage runs. Iron is heavily alloyed with the ability to cost effectively meet a slew of different product demands. Standard irons are gray and ductile grades which are used in automotive, heavy equipment, pumps etc….When looking at small net shape components considering powdered metal can be highly cost effective, while also gaining excellent surface finish and best near net shape.
High wear and abrasion resistance is another class leading area of iron often called the white irons. General toughness as well fatigue strength are other defining characteristics of iron castings.
Chisel points, metering, ground engagement and mining are all categories where the white irons shine.
Iron products can be painted, plated and machined. Solidification modeling is readily used by iron foundries to precisely define mold and part development.
Magnesium is a bit more limited in its approach to casting. Die cast and sand cast are the main routes to cast components. Magnesium is alloyed to meet specific part needs. It is also the highest strength to weight ratio of all cast metals.
You will often see it used where weight savings/strength are paramount. Seeing it replace engineered plastics is a common approach when the plastic is failing.It is one of the best in all die cast alloys in tool life.
Magnesium is a possible alternative to aluminum castings where weight and tool life are a detriment. Net shape capability is excellent as well as mold to mold repeatability. Magnesium typically gets painted or plated to help with corrosion performance.
Steel is another heavily alloyed material allowing it to cost effectively cover many different product applications. Steel components are produced via the powdered metal/MIM process, as well as sand and investment casting. High strength, toughness, abrasion and wear resistance are typical reasons for specing steel in your applications.
Per usual powdered metal gives you the finest surface finish and closest near net shape of the processes. Casting allows you to make 100k pound parts and beyond!
All typical secondary capabilities can be performed including paint, plating,polishing, heat treat and machining. Machining runs a bit slower due to the general toughness of the material.
Production tooling follows the same path as the other noted materials we have been discussing.
Up front solidification modeling is great first step when analyzing your specific part needs.
Stainless steels are iron based alloys developed with corrosion resistance, high strength, wear and abrasion resistance center to its use. Stainless can be cast or pressed via powdered metal. Powdered metal is ideal when the parts are in need of strict cost guideline, net shape and fine surface finish.
Once parts grow in size casting becomes next alternative.
Painting, plating, polishing and machining are all considered standard secondary operations for stainless. There are no special needs in the tooling area, similar to other cast metals. On the powdered metal side elevated sintering temperatures are needed.