The design and manufacture of a metal component involves a multitude of decision points and will be influenced by considerations such as structural performance, weight, lead time, cost and aesthetics. It is understandable, therefore, that thoughts about how precisely that component is going to be manufactured are often left until the design is at a fairly advanced stage. This is often the case where there is pressure to get a manufactured product to market quickly.
At NovaCast, we have been operating our own non-ferrous foundry for over 35 years and pride ourselves on being experts in what we do but also in the close working relationship we have with our customers. Over the years there have been many instances where our earlier involvement in the design process could have allowed us to identify and advise on design issues likely to result in casting defects that, if not addressed, would require subsequent design modification, additional cost and longer lead times.
The importance of close co-operation between the designer and the founder is crucial to the success of a project and the appreciation of this is likely to be enhanced if design engineers are more familiar with the plethora of casting and processing constraints that need to be considered before a casting can proceed. The designer is unlikely to have acquired a thorough familiarity with the foundry techniques and casting parameters which are essential to produce high-quality castings. Foundry engineers, however, will be well aware of the limitations on the shapes that can be produced in the cast form which are imposed by the physical conditions that are necessary for the metal to flow smoothly through the mould and solidify free of internal defects.
We have produced a briefing document called “Casting Design Considerations for Design Engineers” – available as a PDF download, which gives an overview of the parameters within which Foundry Engineers must work in order to produce a top quality, defect-free casting. Please download the document and contact us if you have any further queries or wish to discuss any technical aspects of a project you are working on. The earlier we are involved in the design process the more value we can add.