A Foundry deals with casting techniques, a process where the melted liquids are poured into moulds. This forms the first step towards manufacturing a product. Foundry Industry plays a vital role in the industrial development. Started as early as 3600 BC, the foundry industry has flourished very well and is likely to grow further. Castings are used for variety of industrial and commercial applications which includes automobiles, plumbing fixtures, train locomotives, airplanes etc.
Small and medium sized enterprises contribute largely to the casting industry. Depending upon the type of end users, the wide variety of molding or the casting process can be basically divided into three groups. They are Industrial foundry, Commercial foundry and hobby foundry.
Commercial Castings are the castings which are used in various applications. Production volume is high in this type of casting. In these type of foundries, the components used for a casting is recovered and recycled for later use in the production of other castings. They serve industries like Chemical Processing, Fabricated Metal Products, Railroad Equipment, Machine Tools, Farm Machinery, Fire & Rescue, Construction, Mining & Material Handling, Electronic / Electrical Equipment, Food Service Equip & Machinery, Pumps & Compressor Manufacturers, Engine & Turbine Manufacturers, Mining etc. This type of foundry offers semi-products or the finished products, including machining and coating.
Casting has proved to be more advantageous compared with the other methods of manufacturing components. Both Commercial castings and industrial castings rely mainly on Metal castings. Metal castings are classified into two types; Ferrous and Non-Ferrous metals castings.
More than 80% of the metal casts are used by the iron and steel industry. Gray Iron acts as the most versatile and major components of several commercially used products which are followed by Cast Steel, Ductile Iron and then non-ferrous.
Castings are used to form hot, liquid metals or moldable plastics or various other materials. Depending upon the size and nature of the castings, Commercial foundry prepares the Caster. Bench Molding, Floor Molding, Pit Molding, Machine Molding, Stack Molding are some of the types used today.
Some of the major casting techniques involved in the commercial foundry are Sand casting, Shell casting, Die casting, Investment casting and lost foam casting.
Die Casting :Die casting is a versatile process enabling the high-speed production of complex and intricate appliances on a mass scale. The die casting foundry has simplified assembly line production enabling motor and metal industries to produce durable products.
Die-casting products constitute more than 20% of daily household appliances. Engineers and scientists envisage that the importance of die-casting will only multiply in the future. The die-casting industry is going to grow from strength to strength owing to various technological advances. Die casting products have successfully invaded every sphere of household, commercial and industrial life. Their applications can be found in simple household appliances such as faucets to complex commercial and industrial applications in the automobile industry.
Sand Casting :The aerospace industry prefers the usage of sand castings largely for its advantage of being lightweight.
Investment Casting :“Investment” is a plaster-like substance which can withstand high temperatures during casting and soldering. Investment Mold Foundry work on a process known as “Investment casting”, also called lost-wax casting, which is one of the oldest known metal-forming techniques.
During the process of castings, metals are melted in different types of furnace depending upon the raw materials used. Cupola, Electric Induction, Crucible are some of the commonly used types found today in all commercial foundries.
Along with the increasing trend of commercial foundries, there is also several concern about the pollution created due to these foundries. Globally each government is seriously addressing to the environmental impact. This will lead to improve the efficiency of this industry and make them more environmentally friendly.