You may not knowing it, but many of the objects that you use every day are made by casting one or more metals. From automobile parts to plaques to jewelry, the use of metal casting is more common than many people realize. To help you understand what casting is and how it’s used, here are a few questions that people often ask.
What is Metal Casting?
Metal casting is a process that makes it possible to shape different types of metal by heating them to molten states and then pouring the metal into various types of molds. The molds may be used to allow the material to cool and harden into some sort of geometric shape, such as a rectangle or square. The shape may also be in the form of an object.
The idea behind casting is to convert ore into some form that can be used in the creation of all sorts of objects. Once the metal is cast, the resulting product is ideal for working into all sorts of applications.
Casting is More than 6000 Years Old
No one actually knows when humanity developed the skills needed to cast metals. In terms of recorded history, it’s possible to trace casting back for slightly over 6000 years. Part of tracing the history involves consulting historical records that were kept by different cultures. It also includes dating objects that have been found in various parts of the world, and happen to pre-date some of the written records.
As it relates to the keeping of records, the Shang Dynasty of China is often cited as using a process that involved sand casting as part of melting metals. Three centuries later, there is evidence of the Qin Dynasty using casting to create metal weapons of war. Other archaeological findings provide evidence of some form of casting being used in a number of other cultures, some of them which no longer exist.
What Are The Most Common Metals Used in Casting?
There are several different metals that may be used in metal casting projects. The choice of metals or metal alloys depends on the sort of product that is being made. At times, the point is to cast metals into a form that can later be altered as part of the creation of different products. At other times, the molds used are intended to yield a product that will need only minor work to be considered complete.
In terms of the most common metals used, gray iron is often at the top of the list. Steel is also in common use by a number of manufacturing operations. Ductile iron, aluminum, zinc, and copper are also in common use. Gold and silver are popular choices when the point of the casting is to make different types of jewelry.
What is Casting Used to Make?
Along with casting gold and silver for jewelry, the metals can be used in the creation of all sorts of everyday objects. Automotive parts are typically made using casts. The same is true for train and aircraft parts. Components used in lamp posts are made with casts, as well as many resources used in drilling and mining operations.
Even artwork or decorative elements can be made using this approach. Metal fencing that has some type of ornamentation will use components made with casting. Interior and exterior wall art made of some sort of metal is often cast. If you look around the home, there are likely all sorts of objects that are the result of casting.
Keep in mind that metal casting can be custom as well as mass-produced. If you have some ideas for metal art around the house or the creation of something else for your use, talk with an expert today. That professional may know exactly what to use in order to produce the object you desire.