Sand Casting Applications for the Heavy Equipment Market
One of the oldest casting methods, sand casting is a remarkably versatile metal forming process. Its ability to form complex shapes, in a wide range of sizes, from various metal materials, makes sand casting an integral process for providing components in a diverse array of industries. There are many small-size applications for sand casting, but this article specifically looks at sand casting applications for the heavy equipment market.
What is Sand Casting?
Although there can be variations in mold design and materials, the basic metal-forming process of sand casting relies on a mold that is created from a 3-dimensional pattern, made from resin sand or green sand. Sand is used for the mold because of its wide availability, lower cost, formability and excellent insulating properties. Red-hot molten metal is poured into this mold, spreading into all the mold cavities. As it cools, the metal takes on the shape of the mold. Once the metal has hardened completely, the sand mold is removed. The resulting casting may then move on for secondary precision machining processes, in order to meet end-user specifications and improve accuracy.
What are the Heavy Equipment Benefits of Sand Casting?
Sand casting has a number of key benefits which make it especially adaptable to the heavy equipment market, including:
- Versatility: Sand casting can be used to produce parts in any size, from the smallest to the largest and heaviest.
- Variety: A wide variety of materials and alloys can be cast, to meet the strength and durability needs of the part. Material examples include gray iron, ductile iron, and compacted graphite iron (CGI).
- Value: Low tooling and start-up costs provide value in the production process, for medium and large scale production needs.
- Speed: A short lead time from concept to production keeps production timeframes on schedule.
- Complexity: Cores and gating systems can be used to add to the complexity and shape of the part
What are Sand Casting Applications for the Heavy Equipment Market?
Many industries look for durability, high quality, and cost-effective prices to meet their production and operational needs. Sand casting scales particularly well to meet these requirements, and applies to both low and high volume requirements. Some sand casting applications for the heavy equipment market include:
- Automotive: Sand casting can create engine blocks, cylinder heads with complex patterns, transmission cases, brake cylinders, wheel cylinders, engine frame, pistons, valves, gas tanks, and oil pans, typically using iron in these applications because of its sliding friction ability.
- Transportation: In addition to the automotive market, sand castings are found throughout truck chassis, cab, axles and engine parts. Other transportation uses include aerospace applications, railroad engines and cars, and maritime vessels.
- Machinery: Myriad applications for sand casting components can be found in industries that rely on heavy equipment, such as mining, agriculture, and construction. Components used in these industries must often be able to endure harsh climate and extreme temperature conditions. Sand casting is appropriate for creating heavy machine bases, bearings, heavy duty bushings, shafts, wear plates, axles, sprockets, sheaves and rollers for heavy equipment used in these conditions.
- Industrial: Industrial applications such as manufacturing, chemical, oil and gas, steel, and textile producers demand high-performance sand castings that can support their rigorous 24/7 production schedules. Sand castings are used in the equipment, as well as the pumps, motors, generators and compressors that power the equipment.
Although not technically considered heavy equipment, sand casting applications are also used for the valves, fittings, pipes, and joints that make the heavy equipment operate reliably and efficiently.
Learn More About Sand Casting Applications for the Heavy Equipment Market
Leveraging advanced equipment, techniques, and an ability to offer one-stop solutions, Impro can manufacture sand castings for diverse end markets. Typical products include engine blocks, cylinder heads, cylinder pistons, frames, brackets, manifolds for high-horsepower engines, impellers, housings, gearbox parts of transmission systems for construction, and agricultural equipment. If you are interested in finding more information about sand casting applications for the heavy equipment market, please contact our team of experts today.