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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.

Making a Steel Casting - Overview  
  The making of a steel casting is a long and complex process. A large investment in capitol equipment is required for the melting of steel, manufacturing of cores and molds and the cleaning and heat treating of castings. Additional major investments for support equipment and facilities are required for sand reclamation systems, dust collection devices and bulk material handling systems.
A typical casting begins when an order is entered into the Southwest Steel Production Control program. This entry adds it to the production schedule which in turn creates a demand for raw materials (i.e. sand, binder, scrap steel etc.) and manufactured items such as cores. 

In addition, pattern and core boxes are taken to the Pattern Shop and 'prepped' for the production run.

Typically, the core room reacts first, getting the necessary cores ready for setting as the molds are being made. Next, molds halves (upper and lower) are made and sent to the assembly area. At the assembly area, molds are flow coated and cores are set in place. The mold is then closed up for pouring.

As the assembled molds are being staged on the pour-off lines, a heat is melted in the arc furnace. Molten steel from the arc furnace is brought to the molds on the pouring lines in a refractory lined pouring ladle. Once poured, the molds are allowed to cool before next being sent to the shakeout. At the shakeout, the castings are separated from the sand mold. The sand is sent to a reclamation system so that it can be reused in the molding process.


As castings are removed from the shakeout they are sent to the cleaning room where they are 'finished' to the customer's specifications. Processing in the cleaning room includes shot blasting, cut-off, welding, heat treating and inspection.



Core Making





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