Gravity and low-pressure casting

Starting with gravity casting, or gravity die casting, it refers to a process that allows molten metal to be poured into a mold using the force of gravity.

This system can be used to melt a variety of metals, selected based on their physical and chemical properties according to the final application.

It is important to note that gravity casting requires specific melting temperatures for each metal, so the process can vary depending on the chosen metal.

Furthermore, the quality of the casting depends on mold design, melting conditions, and cooling processes, so it is essential to follow appropriate procedures to achieve the desired results.

Some of the metals commonly cast using gravity casting include:

✔ Aluminum
✔ Bronze
✔ Brass
✔ Cast Iron
✔ Copper
✔ Zinc
✔ Lead
✔ Special alloys used for specific purposes, such as nickel, titanium, magnesium, etc.
However, there are several types of gravity casting with examples listed below, but each of them has different applications based on the size of the piece, precision specifications, and desired production quantities.

The choice of the method will depend on the specific project requirements.

Some gravity casting techniques include:


Sand Casting

This is one of the oldest and simplest methods of gravity casting.
It involves pouring molten metal into a mold made of sand mixed with special resins that form the mold cavity.
This method is often used for large pieces or pieces with complex shapes.
Suitable for low-volume production, the pieces are extracted at the end of the process by breaking the sand mold each time.


Shell Casting

This method involves the use of a reusable metallic mold rather than a disposable sand mold.
Molten metal is poured directly into the shell mold, making it suitable for medium-volume production and producing pieces with greater precision compared to sand casting.
This technique, as we will see later, can be combined with low-pressure filling, which ensures better piece definition.


Low-Pressure Shell Casting

This process allows for high-quality pieces with precise details and a good surface finish compared to normal gravity casting.
Again, a reusable steel mold designed to withstand the application of low-pressure molten metal is used.
Low-pressure casting is often used to produce precision components in light alloys such as aluminum and magnesium.
It is suitable for producing parts with intricate details, thin walls, and complex geometries.
It is commonly used in the automotive, aerospace, and electrical and electronic equipment industries, where precision and quality are essential.
This process offers a good compromise between casting quality and piece complexity, making it a popular choice in many industrial applications.


Centrifugal Casting

With this method, the mold containing the molten metal is placed on a rotating device.
Centrifugation generates a "G" force that pushes the metal towards the mold's wall.
This process is often used to create cylindrical or similar pieces.


Vacuum Casting

This method involves the use of a vacuum to suck the molten metal into the mold cavity.
It is used for precision parts where it is important to avoid air bubbles or inclusions.


Finishing and Processing

Regardless of the casting technique, cast pieces may require additional CNC machining, grinding, sandblasting, polishing, painting, or other finishing operations to achieve the desired dimensions and surface roughness.

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