Steel is an alloy consisting of iron with carbon element less than 2%, and is usually added in other chemical elements in small amount like silicon, manganese, sulfur and phosphorus. So products made in steel casting can win good mechanical properties. Steel castings are used when iron castings are not available for excellent strength or shock resistance.
Steel Casting Materials
Materials of steel castings are categorized into three general groups: alloy steel, carbon steel, and stainless steel.
Alloy steel: Main grades of steel castings in alloy steel are 42CrMo, 35CrMo, 40CrNiMo, 4130, 4140 and 8630, etc. With alloy steel, it can obtain special properties for products like high strength, high toughness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance and good working performance. This kind of material is more likely to produce cast wear parts for mining & construction machinery.
Carbon steel: A steel with carbon content up to 2.1% by weight. Common grades of steel castings in carbon steel are ASTM 1020, ASTM 1030, ASTM 1045, ASTM 1080, etc. Carbon steel is choose to make steel castings which have strong lade or stress demands to ensure mechanical properties. Carbon steel could be divided into low carbon steel (WC≤0.25%), middle carbon steel (WC 0.25%-0.6%) and high carbon steel (WC>0.6%) according to different carbon content. The higher the carbon content is, the higher the hardness and strength will be.
Stainless steel: A steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5% chromium content by mass. It is highly corrosion resistant and wear resistant, provides excellent machinability, and is well-known for its aesthetic appearance. Main stainless steel grades for steel castings are SS304, SS316, PH17-4, etc. This type of material is commonly used for steel castings served for medical industry, food machinery, oilfield industry, etc.
Steel Casting Process
Steel Investment Casting: Refers to steel castings made in investment casting process. In investment casting, a ceramic slurry is applied around a disposable pattern to form a mold.Lost-foam casting is a casting process that is similar to investment casting except foam is used for the pattern instead of wax. Investment casting is a casting process in which a mold is made around a wax pattern that is burned away when the molten material is poured in.
Investment casting process is preferred when the steel part is not large, normally less than 60kg. Such technique can help to win close tolerance, high accuracy and less defects. Most important is that steel castings by investment casting can achieve good surface finish and nearly net shape.
Steel Sand Casting: Refers to steel castings made in sand casting process. Sand casting is an another process that utilizes non-reusable sand molds to form steel castings. It is a common production method for steel components of all sizes, from a few ounces to several tons. Sand casting isn’t only versatile in the size of its products – it can also create exceptionally complex or detailed steel castings, and can be used to cast nearly any metal alloy.
Sand Casting process is recommended when the steel parts are large or not required for perfect surface finish. Due to its low production cost, the price of steel sand castings will be much more competitive than steel investment castings. So if the budget is limited and not enough for investment casting, you can consider steel sand casting as the method.
More information about investment casting vs sand casting…
Why Steel Casting?
There are lots of advantages using steel casting. After steel casting, we can not only improve the mechanical properties, especially strength, but also improve its wear resistance and corrosion resistance,sometimes even change magnetic response or thermal expansion. Steel casting makes designed products much more flexible in dimensions, which is not feasible in other manufacturing methods. Steel castings are produced by melting steel ingots into liquid status and pouring the liquid steel into ceramic shell mold, this allows products cast to shapes when other manufacturing ways can not meet.
Another point of steel is its weldable. The weldability of steel castings made it workable when a individual cast steel component need to work with another metal part. Besides, steel casting can replace welded fabrication parts when the capacity of welding fabrication can not meet the capacity of products.
Due to its reliability and strength, numerous industries rely on steel castings. Industries that use steel castings range from food processing and electronics to oil and gas. Some typical industries that using steel castings include the railroad, construction, drilling, transportation, and mining industries. Main examples of items that are steel casting are: gears, valve bodies, pump castings, mining machinery parts, agricultural wear parts, marine equipment parts, engine cylinder blocker, and railroad truck frames, etc.
Benefits of Steel Casting over Steel Forging
- Weldability of steel castings is better than steel forgings.
- Complex shapes can be achieved by steel casting, which is not feasible by steel forging.
- Steel casting can make parts according to the chemical composition, however, parts by steel forging require a certain material specification.
- Products with small quantity can be performed with steel casting, but there is a MOQ on steel forging for its high tooling cost and labout cost.
- In certain stainless steels, castings tend to have better corrosion resistance than equivalent forgings because of controlled amounts of ferrite present in castings.
Steel Castings from China Company
As a specialized steel foundry, CFS Co.,Ltd is the manufacturer and exporter of high quality steel castings with our lost wax investment casting process up to 100kg in weight. After 30 years’ hard working, we are now becoming one of the largest steel casting companies in China. Currently, with a annual production capability 9,000t, our foundry has the ability to develop different kinds of custom steel castings for our customers in the shortest time, around 4-6 weeks. We have absolute advantages over other steel foundries for our ability of supplying steel castings in both short and high volume runs, machining, heat treatment, district inner quality control system, and other value-added services.
If you’re interested in using steel castings for your project, contact us today! As steel casting experts, we can provide you best design and manufacturing solution with the highest quality investment castings!