The Sand Casting Process

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 The Sand Casting Process
Sand Casting is the most commonly used Casting Process, in the entire Casting Industry.

The Sand Casting Concept The top and the bottom of the mold form the flask. This top and bottom,  are also called the flask assembly, and this flask assembly "holds the whole thing together." The upper or top-most section of the flask is called the cope, while the bottom of the flask is called the drag. There is always an impression device, in the middle of the flask assembly. This is called the pattern. The sand around the pattern is called the, holding medium. 

These are the basic, universal casting components, which can be applied to all Casting and Molding Processes.

To cast an object, the mold maker,  uses the pattern to make the impression in the holding medium, the sand. He then sets the pattern aside. At that point, the molder closes the cope and drag, to complete the flask, and forms the mold, with the impression of the pattern captured in the sand. What the mold maker wants, is the potential "CASTING" or the void left from the impression of the pattern, in middle of the sand. To get that "CASTING," the mold maker fills that void with a molten material; which could be almost anything, but here just imagine the material is aluminum.


     Please view the following Drawings, they will clarify the Sand Casting Concept.


                                        How the Metal Flows


                                                             A Core 


     Sometimes a "Core" is required



Casting a component




The basic casting concept, like has been discussed, is also called, "Green Sand Molding, or Green Sand Casting." 

The methods and terms are the most basic casting and molding principals currently used in today’s casting practices, regardless of the metal alloy being poured. 

Man has been casting objects since before Biblical times, using these very same principals and the concept.

All the other casting techniques employed in the rest of the Casting and Molding Processes are in many ways, just like sand casting, or green sand molding. 

With some thought and imagination, you can always see the cope and drag principle of casting we already discussed.

 The different techniques or casting and molding processes are used to achieve a desired end product, which has a special need in the market place. This special need prompted man to develop special processes.

Examples of usage would be: Air movement components ( fan blades), hubs, shafts, tubes, rectangles, squares, holes, no holes, the list is endless. 



        Popular Variations of The Sand Casting Process

FLASK- LESS MOLDING is another Sand Casting  process. It can be a sand  or a green sand molding variation, that has been automated for speed and high volume out-put, of identical castings. Despite any misconceptions, a flask-less molding does use flasks. The flasks, " holds the whole thing together ". A Flask must be used on all sand molding for the containment of the sand, while the sand is firmed about the pattern. In flask-less molding, in either a vertical or a horizontal stance, a sand filled flask is rebuilt and used over and over, in this totally mechanized, and automated sand molding process. In sand casting or green sand casting, a tight fitting, individual – most likely sand filled flask – is used for each mold produced.

Foundries use machines named "Hunter" or "B&P", to identify the makes and models of their flask-less molding equipment. The benefits of these systems are very impressive … uniformity, high density molds, high out put of products, elimination of mold shift, just to mention a few, all of which drastically reduce labor expense. Foundries will work closely with you to see what projects, you have, that would benefit from all these exciting processes.

Flask-less Molding provides a mold hardness that is consistent though out the mold. The operator can adjust to different cope, drag heights and total squeeze pressure to accommodate different mold densities and mold hardness to meet the molding application. The operator can adjust the sand fill allowing the adjustment for variations in each pattern. It is possible produce complex molds and mold with deep pockets, which are difficult with traditional, normal sand casting procedures

Rapid core setting, easy inspection of cores used, utilization of existing tooling, high casting quality, reduced finishing time, quick pattern change, exceptional mold to mold consistency, high productivity are some of the many reasons to use flask-less molding.

Examples of usage would be: Any thing you can make in a sand mold, but you want it made for high volume, high production.

GRAY IRON,  CASTINGS is just another Sand Casting Process, it is very similar to green sand casting processes.  The difference being that the molten material is gray iron.

The same can be true for most all Ferrous, and Nonferrous materials.

See GRAY IRON in Glossary.

Examples of usage would be: pump bodies, housings, impellers, sewer covers, gears, blanks, bases, pads, motor mounts etc.

DRY SAND CASTING / MOLDING  Many large components are very difficult to cast to exact size and dimensions. Hence, some foundries use dry sand molds to produce such parts. Dry sand molding is the green sand process modified by baking the mold at prescribed temperature. Engine blocks, large gears, big housings, construction parts, are examples of dry sand process candidates. Ferrous and non-ferrous metals are cast in this method. The key to this process is the proper baking time in relation to the binder and the moisture content. The other factors are the size, weight, and mass, of the component being cast. Wynn Danzur can explain the profitable advantages of this process to you. Some good examples are, the great strength of the part cast, exactness in dimension, much smoother finish, etc., but most important is how these processes will benefit your casting jobs.

 Examples of usage would be: engine blocks, transmission housings, big gear boxes, etc.


SAND SLINGING CASTING is the rapid process of mechanically filling the flasks with sand. The sand is propelled into the flask, like a sling-shot. This yet, just another method for compacting the sand into the cope and drag of the flask. Some sand slingers are stationary, some portable, and are some moveable. The big plus with this process, is the elimination of sand waste, which is the universal sand foundry problem.

Examples of usage would be: Examples of usage would be: large pump bodies, gear boxes, boat engine blocks, gears, Large valve bodies, etc.


STACK MOLDING OR CASTING - is another high production, sand casting, or green sand molding process. The piston ring people know this method well. Simply explained, the bottom of a given flask in a stack provides the cope of the flask below, while the top, provides the drag of the next layer…"pan caked- casting ".

Examples of usage would be: piston rings


DRY or BAKED "SAND CORE" MOLDING / CASTING - Very intricate automotive and agricultural castings are formed with this process. Accuracy, is the key word here along with close tolerances. A binder is mixed with un-bonded sand, it is then formed to the mold or pattern and baked. This is an expensive process, that achieves high level accuracy, in all dimensions.

Examples of usage would be: Examples of usage would be: engine blocks, transmission housings, gear housings, pump housings etc.


SHELL CORE CASTING / MOLDING - Are the earliest, most automated, and most rapid of mold, and core making processes. This technique is also called the " C " Process or, Croning. Found in Germany after WW II, from a patent issued to Johannes C. A. Croning. The " C "Process uses a fluidized, harden-able sand – synthetic resin mixture to do shell molding and shell core making. Some big advantages are closer tolerances, increased productivity, excellent casting surface finishing, almost "as cast quality ".      

 This technique is also called the " C " Process orrocess uses a fluidized, harden-able sand – synthetic resin mixture to do shell molding and shell core making. Some big advantages are closer tolerances, increased productivity, excellent casting surface finishing, almost "as cast quality ". 

                           SHELL CORE CASTING






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  02/18/04 10:36:06 AM