CASTING/MOLDING

The process of forming thermoplastic, thermoset or metal parts by pouring or injecting molten material into a mold, allowing it to cool, and then removing the hardened part(s) from the cavity. Several factors must be considered prior to creation of a mold to enable extraction of molded or cast parts without inflicting damage.

 

Through a variety of processes, we can provide:

  • - Functional parts, prototypes and models with good detail and dimensional tolerance.
  • - A wide variety of ferrous and non-ferrous metals and alloys.
  • - Can be machined for better accuracy, detail and finishing.

PROCESSES
Investment Casting (lost wax) Process

A mold is created by repeatedly dipping a sprued pattern in ceramic slurry, which builds up a shell around it that hardens. The mold is subsequently autoclaved (steamed) and/or heated to eliminate the pattern. Finally, molten metal is poured into the cavity where it solidifies. Once the cast object has cooled, the shell is broken and removed from the part. The key advantage of this process is its ability to produce complex metal parts quickly and inexpensively without hard tooling.

Sand Casting Process

A mold is created by packing sand slurry that subsequently hardens around the pattern. The mold is pulled away from the pattern and molten metal is poured into the remaining cavity. After cooling when the metal has solidified, the mold is broken and removed from the part. The key advantage of this process is its cost-effectiveness for low volume production of metal parts.

Plaster Casting Process

A mold is created by pouring plaster slurry - which subsequently hardens - around a rubber pattern that was cast in a silicone tool. The plaster molds are cured, and molten metal is poured into the cavity where it solidifies. Once the cast object has cooled, the plaster mold is broken away and discarded.

Urethane Casting

  • - Cast urethanes directly reflect the quality of the master patterns
  • - Functional prototypes, show models, and end-use parts
  • - Fine detail, and smooth or textured surface finishing
  • - Different urethane materials can vary greatly in mechanical and thermal properties
  • - Accuracy within thousandths of an inch
  • - Can be used for low-run production in certain situations

Metal Casting

  • - Functional prototypes and end-use parts
  • - Moderately fine detail, aesthetic properties, and dimensional accuracy
  • - A wide variety of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, and alloys
  • - Post-machine for better accuracy, detail, and finishing

Injection Molding

  • - Pressure injection of thermoplastics into a mold of the part
  • - Great for first-run parts
  • - Ideal for low to mid-volume production
  • - Variety of materials available

RTV Tooling

In the RTV (Room Temperature Vulcanized) tooling process, liquid silicone rubber is poured around a master pattern. The resulting mold is pulled from the pattern and cured, then subsequently used to cast urethane parts. The key advantage of this process is being able to obtain higher quantities of prototypes at relatively low cost.

  • - Functional prototypes and visual models with good detail and surface finishing
  • - Cast urethanes ranging greatly in rigidity, temperature tolerance, color and texture
  • - Accuracy within thousandths of an inch
  • - Can be used for low-run production in certain situations