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Metal castings are used by most people everyday but very few have any idea of what they are or how they are made. To that end we have prepared the following to help better understand the casting process.

Cleaning Room - Casting Cleaning & Inspection  

The foundry Cleaning Room is collection processes where castings are ‘finished’ to meet the customers specifications. A sample flow chart is shown below for one type of steel casting. Many alternate casting workflows exist as part of SWS’s ISO 9002 program. This insures that castings are made and finished to the customer’s specifications and standard industry practices.

 When castings are removed from the shakeout, they are run through the shot blast to remove sand and expose the surface for inspection and further work. The next step is the removal of the gating system.

To pour molten metal into a mold a path is required called a ‘pouring sprue’. The pouring sprue will generally have will have many feeders to various parts of the casting. This is called the ‘gating system’.

 In addition, as metal shrinks while it is cooling, so additional pockets of molten metal, called ‘risers’, must be present to feed into the casting. Once the pouring sprue, risers, and gates are removed in the ‘Burn & Arc’ areas, the castings are returned to the shot blast to be cleaned for inspection.


At the first inspection, castings are inspected for defects such as cracks, flashing, inclusions, etc. If none are found the castings are sent to the Heat Treating department. If defects are present that require welding and/or grinding the castings are sent to the appropriate area to have the defect corrected. Once rework is completed, the castings are sent to the Heat Treating department.

After being heat treated, the castings are again sent through the shot blast before being sent to the Final Inspection area. Depending on the customer’s specifications, castings in Final Inspection may under go Magnetic Particle Inspection, Ultrasonic Inspection, Radiographic Inspection and /or Brinell testing. For additional information on Southwest Steel’s quality processes please visit our Quality Assurance web pages.

If a casting fails the Final Inspection it may be returned for rework or sent to the scrap bin for re-melt if the defect is severe. When castings pass inspection they are sent to the shipping dock and the production department notified so that the necessary paperwork can be processed.


Core Making





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