As far as innovation goes in manufacturing, the automotive industry is among the leaders in the technological world. Automakers improve their design and engineering systems with each passing year, creating more efficient and higher performing vehicles. Alloys and metal casting are often the main reasons for these advancements, as they reduce the overall weight of a car while maintaining its overall strength.
Casting Car Parts
One of the most popular casting processes in the automotive industry is sand casting. This process uses molds and various alloys to make a wide range of car parts. Sand casting is ideal for lower to mid-size parts runs because the mold breaks away at the end of the cycle and is easy to construct quickly.
Aluminum alloys are popular in the sand casting process because they feature a high strength-to-weight ratio, weighing much less than cast steel, zinc, brass and iron. Aluminum castings are also more economical than welded parts or assemblies. Some of the advantages of using an aluminum alloy over heavier metals include:
- Outstanding resistance to corrosion.
- Fewer machining cycles.
- The ability of aluminum to be anodized, buffed, powder-coated or electroplated.
Manufacturers frequently use sand casting to fabricate parts like brake drums, intake manifolds, housings, engine parts and wheels for the automotive industry. Sand casting is perfect for engine components requiring precise machinability, pressure tightness, low weight and high strength. Aluminum motor castings provide many of these benefits, improving manufacturing efficiencies while enhancing overall engine performance.
Several suspension components use cast aluminum, as well. Steering knuckles are cast in aluminum to allow for draft, radii and fillets. The knuckles connect to the frame by control arms, which also often consist of aluminum alloys.
Casting is a productive way to fabricate durable, high-quality wheels for cars, too. The alloy wheel casting process involves one of two methods — gravity casting or pressure casting. Gravity casting fills the mold with molten alloys using gravity, while pressure casting typically uses an injection or vacuum system.
Benefits of Cast Metal in the Automotive Industry
While some automobile manufacturers use casting methods like investment casting, V-casting and permanent mold casting, sand casting provides many unique advantages. Several of the benefits of sand casting include:
- Low tooling costs: Sand molds are quicker to build, break down and recycle, allowing for much lower costs than most permanent molds.
- Versatility: Sand castings can form a wide range of shapes and sizes. The process also allows for the use of almost any metal alloy.
- Short lead times: Turnaround times involving sand casting are often much quicker, mainly because the tooling is easier to build.
- Small quantity runs: Quicker lead times and low tooling costs make sand casting ideal for smaller runs and prototypes.
- Recyclability: Excess waste and falloff are easily recyclable, especially when using aluminum.
Contact Warner Brothers Foundry Company Today
At Warner Brothers Foundry Company, we provide the highest-quality sand casting services available in the Michigan area. Our expert team will assist you throughout the casting process, including selecting the alloys that fit your specifications. Our orders for sand-casted parts usually have quick turnaround times.
For more information about our products and services, call 586-773-0858 or request a quote online today.