Publication date: 1991
© European Copper Institute
Discusses the applications of all copper casting alloys commonly available in Europe with recommendations as to choice of alloy. Casting processes and product design considerations are considered.
The technology of copper alloy founding has advanced considerably in recent years and castings are
produced to a high degree of integrity to fulfil many critical applications where inspection requirements
are particularly onerous.
The most flexible casting technique uses sand moulds. It is applicable equally to one-offs or to long runs
of castings and is suitable for castings from a few grams in weight to several tonnes. Diecasting, which
uses permanent moulds usually of iron, is more suited to long runs of castings.
Both sand and diecasting allow low cost production of complex near net-shape components, minimising
machining costs and avoiding difficult fabrications.
Rings and discs for the manufacture of products such as gears or valve seatings and tubes or
flanged pipes as well as other symmetrical shapes are available as centrifugal castings.
Closely dimensioned bars, sections and hollows are available as continuous castings.
The casting process is far more versatile than fabrication in that it imposes fewer limitations on shape.
The parallel-sided and right-angled component, which is the cheapest to fabricate, can also be obtained in a casting, but it should be noted that the pleasing appearance which stems from smoothly flowing outer surfaces costs no more and adds considerably to sales appeal. It can also make a valuable contribution to strength and rigidity.
The potential of a great many engineering components can be increased without restricting their service
performance by redesigning as a casting, a strategy which frequently results in a reduction in cost.