An Introduction to Aluminum Casting Methods

A short introduction to aluminum casting options.

Click here to download as a power point.

Click here to download as PDF.

Contents:

  • Casting versus Fabrication Costs
  • Disposable Mold Casting Methods
  • Reusable Mold Casting Methods
  • Pros and Cons of different Casting Methods
  • Linear Tolerances Comparison
  • Tooling Descriptions
  • Tooling Costs
  • Tooling Lead Times
  • Target Zones for Machine Datums

The gallery below features the graphs and tables included in the document.

Pros and Cons of different Casting Methods

know your casitngs 2
Advantages

  • Quick Turnaround
  • Low tooling dollars
  • Low to high volume capable
  • Many vendors available
  • Easy to revise tooling
  • Process/Equipment is easily scalable to large parts

Disadvantages 

  • Minimum wall is 3/16” + draft required
  • 250-400 RMS finish
  • Limited definition of features and details
  • Loose tolerances often require secondary machining.

Advantages

  • Thin wall
  • Unlimited design freedom
  • Accurate, fine details
  • Smooth surface finish (125 RMS)
  • Relatively low tooling costs.
  • SLA and 3d Printer output can be used as patterns for Rapid Prototypes

Disadvantages

  • Highest casting unit price
  • Not shortest leadtime for production tool and parts
  • Not appropriate for large parts (>16”)

Advantages

  • Low Tooling Cost
  • Good for prototyping diecast
  • Vendors typically “agile” to leadtime and revisions

Disadvantages

  • Unit prices are higher than sand and -V- Process.
  • Daily output limited to low quantities
  • Poor plating and pressure tightness due to gas porosity.

Advantages

  • Low unit price . Long Tool life. Excellent repeatability and consistency.
  • High quality , Machinability. Sand Cores can be used.
  • Cast Integral Inserts, Sleeves and elements etc

Disadvantages

  • Need 2-3 degrees draft.
  • 3/16” minimum wall.
  • Tooling is more costly than Sand or –V- Process.

Advantages

  • Low unit price
  • Long Tool life
  • Excellent repeatability and consistency
  • Easily produce cored and “undercut” features
  • Rapid Prototypes available

Disadvantages 

  • Tooling cost and leadtime.
  • Very few “ job shop” vendors for this  production oriented process.
  • Used mainly in “core intensive” automotive plumbing, pump and valve applications