What is Continuous Casting?
Continuous casting is a cost-effective method of producing bar stock in tube, round, or flat form. It can also be used to produce finished part profiles such as squares, rectangles, and hexagons that are difficult to manufacture with other processes. Continuous casting can dramatically reduce machining cost because parts are directly cast in the shape of the part. Parts produced by continuous casting can be found in applications such as landing gear bushings and sleeves, chain linkage for hydroelectric dam gate operation, and pipe supports for propulsion systems in ships.
In continuous casting molten metal is introduced into a vertical or horizontal mold of the desired shape that rapidly chills the metal to the point of solidification. The rapid chilling in the mold ensures a fine, uniform grain structure in the solidified metal with higher physical properties than sand castings. The casting is withdrawn once solidified. Continuous casting speed is based on the solidification rate, which is managed to allow the material to be sawed into bars and later be cut to a desired shorter length.
Continuous Casting Video
When to use continuous casting
Shape of parts in long tubular form is difficult for other casting processes
Small sizes are needed for cast parts
Desired quantity (2,000 lbs./907 kg or more) is sufficient to offset the cost associated with mold and casting machine setup
Sizes available for continuous casting in many non-ferrous alloys
Solids from 0.5" (13 mm) to 9" (229 mm) outer diameter (O.D.) and lengths to 144" (3,660 mm)
Tubes from 1.125" (29 mm) to 9" (229 mm) O.D. and lengths to 144" (3,660 mm)
Rectangles to 4" x 15" (102 mm x 381 mm) and lengths to 384" or more (9,754 mm or more)
Tolerances range from 0.020" to 0.125" depending on shape and size.
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