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Disa 20. February 2024

Process and product benefits with green sand casting

Ideally suited for aluminium, copper and non-ferrous alloys, green sand casting can produce castings in low, medium or high volumes in varying sizes, to meet the specific requirements of foundries.

Latest equipment technology, such as this Disa Match machine, complements the advantages of green sand moulding and casting.
Latest equipment technology, such as this Disa Match machine, complements the advantages of green sand moulding and casting.

By Ken Stanford, contributing editor

In the truly competitive metal casting industry, the green sand process has developed as an ideal choice and a widely-used production technique, delivering a combination of speed, quality, productivity and cost-effectiveness. Ideally suited for aluminium, copper and non-ferrous alloys, this versatile technique can produce castings in low, medium or high volumes in varying sizes, to meet the specific requirements of foundries.

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As noted by the Illinois-based American Foundry Society, over time, this process has evolved from a labour-intensive activity into a highly mechanized and fully automated operation capable of producing over 300 moulds per hour.

The versatility of green sand casting is reflected in the variety of castings it can produce, covering different weights, complexities and alloy compositions. From simple ingots to intricate engine blocks, the process can accommodate diverse shapes, and demonstrates its adaptability for a vast range of alloys, including aluminium, copper, magnesium, and nickel.

A significant advantage of green sand casting is its cost-effectiveness, especially when employed for mass production on automated moulding and core making equipment. Furthermore, green sand’s flexibility in production is a key feature. It is applicable for both small and large production runs, and the output rate can be increased by incorporating multiple cavities within a single mould.

Seamless pouring in action at Ortrander: it cut the foundry’s pattern change downtime from 4.5 min to under 2 min while also reducing scrap.
Seamless pouring integration improves productivity
Disa’s seamless pouring integration cuts headcount, boosts productivity and improves quality at German foundry Ortrander.

Key points on the green sand casting

In investigating a reliable casting technology, a range of key points on the green sand casting process should be considered:

Green sand castings can cover a wide range of sizes and shapes, from a few ounces up to 7,000 lb. The process is capable of producing green sand castings with thin walls down to 0.09 inch, without an upper limit. When thin walls are a requirement, metal casting facilities employ precise measures including for shrinkage allowance in patterns, mould preparation, venting and pouring techniques.

Castings with a tolerance of ±0.03 inch can be achieved. For smaller castings, a practical tolerance of ±0.06 inch is normal, while larger castings require increased tolerances.

Green sand is not just a cost-effective choice – it offers a highly flexible solution that enables fast pattern changes, ideal for short runs.

Compared to diecasting, tooling costs are significantly lower, allowing rapid and problem-free changes to component designs. Moreover, the elimination of temperature control of tooling boosts the energy reduction and overall efficiency of the process.

Integration of digital features

The integration of digital features in latest moulding machines such as from Disa – a provider of moulding equipment and foundry technology – further increases the efficiency and productivity of the green sand process. Modern machines like Disa's Match, incorporate digital functions for data collection, analysis, and recipe management. This ensures optimum machine settings for each pattern, and contributes to consistent mould quality, reducing errors and enhancing the overall work environment.

Green sand moulding, with its matchplate and vertical methods, is gaining recognition as an affordable, high-performance alternative to non-ferrous casting processes, such as diecasting. Its advantages, from efficient production for short runs to exceptional quality and rapid pattern changes, position green sand moulding as a versatile option for various non-iron applications.

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