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Manufacturing Process Guide

Manufacturing Process Guide

Die Casting

Description

Molten metal is forced into a die using pressure.

Common Materials

Nonferrous metal alloys- Aluminum Alloys, Magnesium Alloys, Zinc Alloys

Advantages

High productivity, economical for high volume production, good mechanical properties, part to part consistency, good dimensional tolerance [1]

Injection Molding

Description

Plastic pellets are melted then forced into a die using pressure.

Common Materials

Thermoplastics- ABS, Polypropylene, HDPE, LDPE, PVC, Nylon, Acrylic.

Advantages

Detailed features and complex geometry possible, multiple plastics can be combined, fillers can be added to change properties, high efficiency.

Investment Casting

Description

Pattern is covered in a ceramic slurry, then burned out after the slurry dries. Molten metal is poured and the mold broken.

Common Materials

Most ferrous and nonferrous metals- Carbon, tool, and stainless steel. Aluminum, magnesium, copper based alloys.

Advantages

Great surface finish and no parting line, can be used for complex designs can include undercuts, can make parts a machine (mill or lathe) can't.

Gravity Casting

Description

Molten metal is poured into a reusable, permanent mold, using gravity to fill the mold cavity.

Common Materials

Aluminum, magnesium, copper alloys and zinc alloys. If a graphite mold is used, iron and steel can be cast this way.

Advantages

Smooth surface finish, good dimentional accuracy, fast production time, can make parts with internal pockets using sand core inserts, low scrap rate.

Sand Casting

Description

Sand is packed around a reusable pattern to create a mold. Molten metal is poured and the mold is broken to remove the part when cool.

Common Materials

Iron, brass, bronze aluminum alloys.

Advantages

Least expensive option for small volume production, can be used to make large parts, low post-casting tool cost, sand is reusable.

Stamping

Description

Dies and punches are used to cut, bend, and stretch sheet metal to create the part.

Common Materials

Cold rolled and stainless steel, brass copper and aluminum.

Advantages

Repeatablility and part to part consistancy, fast cycle time, low cost per part.

Sheet Metal Bending

Description

Sheet metal is bent into the desired shape either with or without a die. Bends can be on edges or in the middle of the sheet.

Common Materials

Sheet metals.

Advantages

Sheet thickness maintained, variety of angles and geometries possible, good repeatability.

Forging

Description

Heated billets of metal are shaped through hammering between two dies.

Common Materials

Carbon, alloy and stainess steels. Aluminum, titanium, brass, copper and high temperature alloys.

Advantages

Great control over mechanical properties because of control of grain growth, flexible for many different sizes, shapes, and materials.

Extrusion

Description

Heated metal is forced through a die to create rods, pipes, or profiles of a new cross-section.

Common Materials

Aluminum, zinc, magnesium, copper.

Advantages

Continuous, efficient high volume production, low cost per pound, large variety of cross-sections possible.