Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A Guide to Continuous Casting


Also known as strand casting, continuous casting is the process of solidifying molten metal into a
semi-finished billet or slab for rolling in a finishing mill. Before the 1950s, casting required the liquid
metal to be poured into individual molds to create ingots. Continuous casting speeds up and smooths
out the process, reducing the cost of cast metal while raising its quality and standardizing its
production.

Advantages of Continuous Casting

No single casting method is the right choice for all applications. Still, for many applications, continuous
casting has a number of advantages over other casting methods.
Continuous Casting vs Ingot Casting: Ingot casting loses approximately 5 percent of all blocks to
waste due to cracks and deformations that arise during the casting process. Continuous casting
creates solid, uncracked bars and slabs every time.
Continuous Casting vs. Sand Casting: Most metal castings are created through sand casting, and
it remains an excellent option for many projects. However, sand casting carries several risks that are
virtually eliminated by continuous casting, such as shifting molds, non-uniform cooling, and the
possibility of cracks in the mold.
Continuous Casting vs. Extrusion Molding: Extrusion molding is an inexpensive way to churn out
simple parts. However, it uses force to ram one metal into another, and as such, it cannot be used to
create complex shapes. In addition, extrusion raises the risk of cracking in the finished product.

Steps to Continuous Casting

Molten metal is ladled into a casting machine where it is molded, cooled, and stretched into the desired
shape and size. Different machines have their own pros and cons, but the basic steps remain the
same:
1. Tundish: Liquid alloy is ladled into the tundish, which serves as a reservoir and directs the flow of
the metal into the mold.
2. Mold: The tundish directs the liquid alloy into a water-cooled mold, where it partially solidifies and
receives its basic shape. The semi-cooled metal is known as a grid.
3. Strand Guide: When the grid is semi-solid, it is sent through the strand guide, which stretches the
metal to its proper thickness while continuing to cool it.
4. Straightener: When the grid is fully hardened, it is sent through a straightener to receive its final
dimensions.
5. Rolling: The finished material is wound into a roll and stored.

Bending and Straightening Considerations

Throughout the casting process, the metal is bent and straightened over and over again to achieve a
precise shape and size. However, this can cause excess strain that weakens the finished metal.
Therefore, it is critical to find just the right arc to bend the grids depending on the mechanical properties
of the specific metal that is selected. It is also important to choose a multi-point straightening process
that can minimize the effects of the strains caused by bending.

Ready to Start?

Atlas Bronze is a leading U.S. distributor of bronze, copper, brass, iron, and more. Contact us today at 1-800-478-0887 to place an order or learn about our custom products.

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