Do you know foundries are mainly responsible for industrial development and also our current living standard? However, most of us perhaps know almost nothing about them. Therefore, in this small article we shall try to introduce you to the activities held in the foundry.
Let us first of all try to define in very simple language what is foundry. In foundry, castings are produced after melting a metal and thereafter pouring it into mould and then solidifying it.
Most of the foundries produce metal products meant for railroad, engine or pipe components. Also, many other components for machines which are needed in large quantity can be made in foundry.
Most of our essential consumer products that we use regularly, among them 90 percent of manufactured items normally depend upon metal castings.
The casting processes
Let us try to understand about casting process so that we can know better about foundry. Following are the steps involved for casting process:
- Pattern making to start with
- Moulding is prepared
- Melting of the metal
- Pouring the molten metal in the mould
- Ejection from mould
- Cleaning of the casting
The final shape of the casting will be as per the shape of the mould where the molten metal was poured into. Therefore, it is essential that moulds should be carefully shaped with pattern.
The most common mould material usually is silica sand, which can also be produced from number of materials based on the metal to be casted and the method to be used.
Melting furnace is used for charging the metal and is heated up above the melting point of the metal. After the molten metal reaches to specific pouring temperature, then it will be tapped from furnace through spout into refractory lined ladle for steel pouring.
If there are any impurities present, it is skimmed from top surface of molten metal. The ladle will then be tipped for pouring molten metal into mould cavity.
After the mould cools, the molten metal will solidify, then its casting is ejected out from its mould and cleaned.
Then the cleaned casting will be finished with fettling, where excess material is removed from the casting so that it can meet specified dimensions required for finished product.
Based on the specifications of casting, fettling can either be simple and quick, or it can be extremely detailed work. Finally finished castings will be inspected by foundry before it is shipped.
Melting of metal needs electric arc furnace and carbon electrodes are generally used for melting iron or steel. Nowadays plenty of modern equipment are available to melt the metal in very efficient manner.
Besides that, various material handling equipment like cranes, forklifts, conveyors and other transfer vessels are specially designed for functioning reliably.
You can also visit the website Heronfms.Com in order to get an overview of various foundry equipment used in the industry currently.
The basic distinction between foundries generally is ferrous or non-ferrous. The type of equipment will be decided based on the metal to be melted.
There are different kinds of equipment used for ferrous material e.g. steel or iron. While nonferrous metal like brass, aluminium, copper and bronze etc. needs different kind of furnaces.