What is Cast Aluminum?
Cast aluminum is created when aluminum is heated to extremely high temperatures. The molten aluminum is then molded into a shape and cooled to craft a wide variety of products.
To prepare the manufacturing of cast aluminum parts, the mold must be made with precision because it’s quality will have a direct impact on the shape and surface finish of the finished aluminum casting.
The mold can be made from many different materials, including tool steel, because aluminum has a lower melting point than steel. Another material that a mold can be made out of for aluminum casting is sand. For this, the sand is pressed to take the form of the desired finished part. Once the sand is formed, the liquid aluminum is poured into it and allowed to cool.
Cast aluminum parts have properties similar to other aluminum components. Once the casting process is complete the aluminum castings quickly form an exterior layer of aluminum oxide that helps protect against corrosion.
Cast Aluminum Advantages
When it comes to versatility, cast aluminum is tough to beat. The lightweight, attractive metal is a component in thousands of products, from personal hand-held devices to big trucks. Due to its strength, heat resistance, and lightness it’s also popular in home goods like cookware or patio furniture.
Cast aluminum is affordable and long-lasting. When it does crack or split, a talented craftsman or do-it-yourselfer can repair a part by welding cast aluminum, adding to its lifespan.
This type of metal has a wide variety of uses in home and industry. Two of the most common home products made of cast aluminum are cookware and patio furniture. In fact, cookware was the first widespread, daily-use product in the home made from this metal. The metal is also commonly used for components in small appliances, hand-held tools, lawn equipment, and other household machinery.
Cast aluminum accounts for over fifty percent of aluminum in automobiles, and the industry represents the metal’s biggest market. It has also been widely used in motor vehicles for more than 100 years. Its lightweight nature helps improve fuel efficiency.
The telecom industry uses this metal as well. Its ability to disperse heat makes it an ideal material for RF filter boxes. Aluminum castings also lend resilience and protection to hand-held devices without adding weight.
Cast aluminum is essential to electronics. It has strong performance under high temperatures, making the metal especially well-suited for connectors and housings.
Cast Aluminum vs. Forged Aluminum
The fundamental difference between Cast and forged aluminum is easy to understand: Cast aluminum is the aluminum that was melted in a furnace and poured into a mold. Forged aluminum is when the metal is worked in the solid form with the help of specific tools. These two manufacturing processes will yield two materials with very different properties.
Aluminum has a wide range of uses across every major industry, however, it is often difficult to decide which grade is best suited to a specific application. The challenge becomes greater when comparing not only between alloys but also between cast and forged aluminum. Both are fundamentally aluminum alloys which often have the same alloying elements but in different compositions and quantities. However, the applications and material properties vary widely between the two.
Examples of Cast Aluminum Products
You may be surprised to find out that many of the commercial products you come in contact with every day may be using cast aluminum parts and components or even be made entirely from cast aluminum.
Due to the amazing strength and light weight of cast aluminum parts, it is very popular in the production of car parts. For example, safety-critical parts like airbag housings or seat-belt retractor spools are made with diecast aluminum. In addition, steering knuckles, which support the wheel bearing, are made with this material. This is an essential part of a vehicle’s suspension, so the lightweight material helps to reduce the overall weight of the car without compromising strength or performance.
Due to the light weight and good corrosion resistance of cast aluminum, it is always used as the casting alloy for various lighting parts. Cast aluminum lighting parts could be designed and produced by either gravity die casting or high pressure die casting process.
Many medical devices are also made from cast aluminum, not only due to the strength but also due to its heat resistance. Some of the more common medical equipment you may see made from this metal is parts for various pumps, surgical tools, components for monitors, and even gearboxes for hospital beds.
Another popular application for die casting is the production of firearms. While many popular firearms may have plastic components, there are still a number of parts that are created from die-cast metals. Some of these parts may include triggers, trigger guards, trigger safetys, and much more.
Cast Aluminum Cookware
For decades, cast aluminum cookware (flater beater, dough hook, etc) has been a vital tool in a well-stocked home kitchen. The versatile product is perfectly suited for cooking on the stovetop and baking in the over. It is dishwasher safe, making for a quick and easy clean up. Despite some ridiculous reports, it is safe to use for cooking and poses no health risks at all.
If you’re looking for pots and pans made from this material, the good news is they’re everywhere. You can find brand-new sets on the websites of major retailers. If a more classic style is what you are after, you can even find vintage cast cookware on eBay.
Cast Aluminum Patio Furniture
When you think about investing in patio furniture you want something attractive, durable, and low-maintenance. If you also want an outdoor ensemble that’s available in a variety of styles, finishes, and colors, cast aluminum patio furniture including cast aluminum chair legs may provide you with an ideal setting to enjoy entertaining and relaxing with family and friends.
Work With CFS Foundry for Your Cast Aluminum Project
Whether you’re sourcing aluminum die casting or aluminum gravity casting process for your project, CFS Foundry can help you with your next cast aluminum project. We’ve provided high-quality aluminum casting and machining services to a wide variety of industries for more than 30 years. Contact us today to request a quote for your cast aluminum project.