Our lives are filled with cast metal products. Many of the metal objects we take for granted – train wheels
, trailer hitches, lamp posts
, large scale industrial equipment, and even sculpture – are cast in a foundry. The sheer number of different applications for cast metal demonstrates its versatility: metal can be cast into durable, complex metal components with minimal machining or welding, thereby decreasing the need for expensive labor. More importantly, metal casting foundries have become a significant user of recycled scrap metal, taking obsolete metal objects and transforming them into useful products.
Casting is the process from which solid metal shapes (castings) are produced by filling voids in molds with liquid metal. The basic steps involved in making castings are patternmaking, molding, melting and pouring, shakeout and cleaning, heat treating, and inspection.