Gravity casting for automotive industry
1. Understanding gravity casting
Gravity casting was one of the first processes invented for die casting of metals and light alloys. In this process, which can be fully automated, molten metal is poured directly from a ladle into a semi-permanent or permanent mold.
Gravity casting is used to create metal alloys with dense, high-quality mechanical properties. Sometimes called permanent mold casting, the process involves using ladles to pour molten metal into the mold and, as the name implies, relying solely on gravity to fill them. Other die casting processes require the use of gas or vacuum to create enough pressure on the alloy to sink into all the channels within the mold. The gravity method has several advantages, including smoother surfaces, superior dimensional accuracy and faster production times.
Gravity casting also tends to be more cost effective than other processes because it does not require any large or complex machinery to inject the metal into the mold. In addition, the molds themselves can be reused indefinitely, thus reducing the waste of time and resources required to continually produce new molds. This method allows the production of high volume, high quality castings that require very little finishing.
2.Gravity casting: materials and processes
Typically, gravity casting is a method best suited for non-ferrous alloys such as zinc, copper and aluminum. It is usually done manually, but in some cases it can be done automatically. The process is simple: first, the mold is heat-treated and then coated with a wetting release agent so that it can be easily removed after the casting has cooled. Then, the liquid metal is poured into the cavity and allowed to flow into the various dimensions of the mold. Sometimes, tilting techniques are applied to direct the metal flow into more complex recesses within the mold. After cooling and solidification, the casting is removed and refined to remove any sharp edges or excess material.
3. Automotive Industry and Gravity Casting
Manufacturers often invest in well-designed, tool-rich permanent molds that result in a good consistency of the finished product. Due to the long-term reusability of the molds, which reliably reproduce surface details, these molds are often made of durable materials such as gray cast iron, graphite and stainless steel. While gravity casting is best suited for single-piece molds with simple shapes, it can also be effective for producing more complex castings. Gravity casting is widely used in almost all areas of the modern world and has an important place in the automotive industry. Many light alloy automotive parts, from cylinder heads to engine mounts, are manufactured by gravity casting.