Metalcasting is a process where liquid metal is poured into a mold and then allowed to harden in a particular shape. There are more steps to it, of course, but this is the beginning of the process. It’s especially helpful because this particular procedure is extremely versatile and it can be used for a variety of needs. It’s also a skill that requires a lot of technical education because it can be used is so many different fields.
Ceramic, wood and limestone are some of the materials that are preferred for these molds since they are capable of withstanding very high temperatures. Normally, wax, sand or clay is used to shape these materials, so the end result is the right design. In order to use some of these pieces as individual units, some of the molds snap together to create matching ends.
Based on the needs for the end product, the foundries where the metals are melted create a place for particular metals to be mixed, so the desired end result can be achieved. Every time an alloy is created, it adds another level of skill to work with the new product, so this is something a skilled operator needs to do.
Once the metal has hardened into the preferred shape, then the product must be finished through the process of grinding, sanding and polishing. Each material that is mixed will require its own amount of grinding and this is something that must be determined by the manufacturer.
Some projects in this field might e small enough to be completed at home with a personal foundry setup. If someone is going to pursue this on a small setup system like this, caution should be taken so that accidental fires don’t get started. While you can find plenty of information online about how to do this, check out the safety precautions twice as much so you don’t injure yourself or anyone else.
You can get some better education on this when you watch videos online as people go through the process and you can learn to do it without injury. You can get a ton of great information from the American Foundry Society if you contact them and see what resources they offer.
The many fields that these items are used in are so various, and for the individual who wants to get involved, there is a lot of opportunity for occupational growth. This post may show you the very beginnings of the process in terms of metalcasting, but there is much more to it if you decide that it’s your choice of a career. Metalcasting is a decades old industry and it will continue to remain for the foreseeable future.