Aluminum and Brass castings can be used in many industries with growing opportunities around the world.
Aluminum castings are prized for their light-weight, smooth surface finish, and high-strength when it comes to detailed castings. Often used in cars and cookware, aluminum casting use is expected to grow with the increase in vehicles usage due to their lightweight, durable nature.
Brass castings are preferred in residential and commercial construction due to the natural resistance to rust and corrosion. Often brass is used for household appliances and plumbing fittings.
Aluminum and Brass Casting Process
Typically the most common methods for casting Aluminum are no-bake, lost foam, green sand casting, and die casting. A casting method that is growing in popularity for Aluminum casting is “die casting”. Similar to permanent mold casting, die casting uses high pressure to preserve detail.
Brass casting methods, on the other hand, are more limited. In fact, brass can only be cast in sand, namely, green sand and air set sand casting. All methods of casting come with their own set of challenges. In die casting, for example, high-cost equipment is a pain point; and for sand casting, removing sand can be difficult if performed using the wrong equipment.
Though these materials are extremely useful in everyday life, Brass and Aluminum have unique challenges to face when it comes to the casting process. When casting Brass and Aluminum the most common pain point occurs in the shakeout area. The process of removing the sand encasing these castings can easily damage the finish of the castings, scoring or scratching important details such as serial numbers.
Many manufacturers of shakeouts and attrition drums claim to be gentle on castings but do not take into account the softer castings such as brass and aluminum leaving metal casters with an empty promise and an increase in scrapped castings.
The correct application of vibration is the best way to separate sand from castings. At General Kinematics, we have applied our decades of experience to demonstrate our understanding of crafting equipment to reduce your casting scrap rate. GK’s proven solutions with references for each application type mentioned are gentle yet effective to the removal of your casting sand.
GK’s Casting Solution
Many of the pain points for each type of casting can be solved through the use of vibratory equipment. One example in the die casting process is potential tears in belt conveyors, used in returning scrap, which can be avoided with vibratory conveyors. Rotary shakeouts, although they have been in the industry for many years, have been known to cause damage specifically with larger castings. General Kinematics’ vibrating vertical shakeouts are designed to reduce casting damage and are capable of handling some of the largest castings in the world.
General Kinematics engineered the VIBRA-DRUM® Sand Casting Equipment for the purpose of reducing scrap rates. When applied to the green sand casting process, this foundry drum reduces casting damage on even the softest castings. The VIBRA-DRUM® uses separating sand to soften the rolling action of the drum and break down sand lumps further.
Not only does the VIBRA-DRUM® Sand Casting Equipment reduce casting damage, but it also increases safety by containing silica and has the potential to reduce the temperature of the castings drastically before they exit the drum when moisture is added.
To learn more about the improvements that the VIBRA-DRUM® Sand Casting Equipment can have on your Brass or Aluminum foundry, contact tdoepker(at)generalkinematics.com.
Or to read more about how the VIBRA-DRUM® Sand Casting Equipment has improved foundries like yours around the world check out General Kinematics' case studies!