Process  Comparisons


 PROCESS


 DESCRIPTION

TYPICAL
SIZE RANGE


TOLERANCES

SURFACE
FINISH

MIMIMUM DRAFT REEQUIRED

MINIMUM SECTION THICKNESS

TYPICAL ORDER QUANTITIES

TYPICAL TOOLING COSTS

NOMINAL LEAD TIMES

V-PROCESS
CASTINGS

Extremely fine sand is "vacuum packed" around
pattern halves. The pattern is removed and metal poured into cavity. The vacuum is released and the casting removed.

Up to 150
pounds

±.020" to 6", then add ±.002
inches/inch.
Add ±.020"
across parting line.

125-l.50
RMS

None

.125"

All

$3,000-
$6,000

Samples 2 to 6 weeks.
Production 2 to 6 weeks after approval.

SAND
CASTINGS

Treated sand is molded around a wood or metal
pattern. The mold halves are opened and the pattern removed. Metal is poured into the cavity. The mold is broken and the casting removed.

Ounces to
tons

± 1/32" to 6", then add
±.003 inchesfinch.
Add ±.020" to .090"
across the parting line.

200-550
RMS

1 to 5
degrees

1/8"

All

$800
$4,000

Samples 2 to 6 weeks. Production 2 to 6 weeks after approval.

INVESTMENT
(LOST WAX)

A metal mold makes wax replicas. These are joined and surrounded by an investment material. Wax is melted out and metal is poured into the resulting cavity. The molds are broken and the castings removed.

Ounces to
20 pounds

±.003" to 1/4"
±.004" to 1/2"
±.005" to 3",
then add ±.003 inches/inch.

63-125
RMS

None

.060"

Under
1,000

$3,000
$10,000

Samples 10 weeks. Production 5 to 12 weeks after approval.

PERMANENT MOLD

Molten metal is poured into a steel mold. The mold is opened and the casting is ejected.

Ounces to
100 pounds

±.015" to l", then add ±.002 inches/inch. Add ±.010" to .030" across the parting line.

150-300
RMS

2 to 4
degrees

3/16"

500 +

$5,000 -
$15,000

Samples 8 to 20 weeks.
Production 10 to 12 weeks after approval

GRAPHITE
PERMANENT
MOLD

ZA alloys poured into a graphite mold. The mold is automatically opened and casting is removed. No ceramic wash

Ounces to
10 pounds

±.005".
±.002" across parting line.

25 RMS
or better

1 to 2
degrees

.100"

500 –
15,000
pieces

$1,500 –
$5,500

Tooling 3 to 6 weeks. Production 2 to 4 weeks after approval. Lifetime tooling.

DIE
CASTING

Steel dies, sometimes water cooled, are filled with molten aluminum. The metal solidifies, the die is opened and the casting ejected.

Ounces to
15 pounds

+.002 inches/inch.
Add ±.015" across
the parting line.

32-63

RMS

1 to 3
degrees

1 .030 to
.060

2,500 +

$5,000 –
$100,000

Samples 12 to 22 weeks. Production 8 to 14 weeks after approval.

ALUMINUM
EXTRUSION

In-house billet casting - aluminum "hot" extruded through internally manufactured dies. Include fabricating and finishing.

.015 pound
per foot
17" circle
size

±.015" or better
when needed.

63-125
RMS

N/A

.015 point
per foot

1M pounds

$1,000
$4,000

Samples 6 to 8 weeks.
Production 4 weeks after approval.

COLD
DRAWING

Any "cold" workable  or high-temperature alloy. Cold drawn or rolled through a "series" of dies or rolls to yield ultimate shape.

.025" dia. to 2"

±.0005" or better.
Can typically hold ±.001".

25-63 RMS

N/A

1/8"

No minimum quantities

$1,000
$4,000

Samples 8 to 10 weeks. Production 6 to 8 weeks after approval.

DEEP
DRAWN

All metals, deep drawn, hydroformed or spun. To form cases, cabinets or cans to customer specifications. Painting, anodizing or assemble.

Up to 50" dia.
blank

±.015 or better.
Reviewed on an order by order basis.

63 RMS
or better

N/A

.100"

500 pieces
or more

$3,000
$15,000

Samples 8 to 10 weeks.
Production 8 to 10 weeks after approval.

PLASTER MOLD

Casting plaster and water mixed to make slurry.  Slurry poured into flask holding pattern. Slurry solidifies and forms mold. Metal is poured into mold. When cooled mold is broken away.

Ounces to
50 pounds

+/- .005" for 2" then add +/- .002 " per inch.  Parting line shift +/- .010.

63 to 125 RMS

1/2 to 3 degrees

.060" premium  .080 average

1 to 100

$3000 to $6000

Samples 2 to 6
weeks.