What is Centrifugal Casting?
Centrifugal casting provides high material soundness and is the metal casting process of choice for jet engine compressor cases, petrochemical furnace tubes, many military and defense components, and other applications requiring high reliability.
In centrifugal casting molten metal is poured into a casting mold, traditionally a spinning die. These dies can rotate on a vertical axis (vertical centrifugal casting) or horizontal axis (horizontal centrifugal casting) depending on the configuration of the part. Ring and cylinder-type shapes are made by vertical centrifugal casting while tubular shapes are made by horizontal centrifugal casting. Either process can be used to produce multiple parts from a single casting.
High centrifugal force applied to the molten metal in the spinning die causes less dense material such as oxides and impurities to “float” to the inner diameter (I.D.) where they concentrate and are removed by machining. Solidification is managed directionally under pressure from the outer diameter (O.D.) to the I.D., avoiding mid-wall shrink. One of the primary advantages of centrifugal casting is a defect-free structure without cavities or gas pockets.
With the world’s largest and most diverse inventory of centrifugal casting dies, MetalTek minimizes both upfront tooling costs and product lead times for our customers. We can produce horizontal centrifugal castings with O.D. up to 60" (1,524 mm), length up to 432" (10,973 mm), and weight up to 135,000 lbs. (61,235 kg). Vertical centrifugal castings are available with O.D. up to 180” (4,572 mm) and weight up to 34,000 lbs. (15,422 kg).
See the videos to the right to learn more about centrifugal casting.
Net Shaped Centrifugal Casting
MetalTek also offers net-shaped centrifugal casting and near net-shaped centrifugal casting. These hybrid processes provide more precise O.D. detail and lower machining costs than centrifugal casting alone. Both have measurable benefits compared to conventional castings, fabrications, or forgings.
Net-Shaped Centrifugal Casting
Net-shaped centrifugal castings combine centrifugal casting and investment casting. A wax mold is used to create a ceramic shell that is placed within a vertical die to centrifugally cast the part. With medium to high volumes, the upfront tooling cost is more than offset by lower machining costs.
Near Net-Shaped Centrifugal Casting
Near-net-shaped centrifugal casting is like net-shaped centrifugal casting but uses a sand mold while centrifugally casting the part. Tooling costs are lower than net-shaped centrifugal casting, but more machining may be needed for the required level of O.D. detail. This makes near-net-shaped centrifugal casting more appropriate for low to medium volumes.
Centrifugal Casting Videos
When to Use Centrifugal casting
Sand casting material properties are inadequate
Centerline shrink is an issue using other casting processes
Limited I.D. features
Large parts of up to 135,000 lbs. (61,235 kg) or more are needed
Net-shaping: more precise O.D. detail and lower machining costs are desired
Vacuum centrifugal casting
Vacuum casting is used when limiting oxygen exposure is critical and is often leveraged to take full advantage of the properties of high-performance alloys such as 718, 625, GTD222, and Rene77. Casting in a vacuum draws molten metal into the die and limits the effects of oxidation, allowing more flow rate and temperature control than other processes. Vacuum casting produces high-reliability components with uniform soundness and tight tolerances that are often used in aerospace and military applications. MetalTek casts vacuum parts up to 18" x 42" (455 mm x 1,070 mm) and pour weights up to 800 lbs. (364 kg).
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Near-Net Shaped Centrifugal Valve Cages
MetalTek converted the static casting to a centrifugal, incorporating the sand core technology.
Vertical Centrifuge Components
Centrifugal castings keep their inherent round shape and their homogeneous grain structure.