Rapid Prototyping, also known as 3-D printing, is an additive manufacturing technology. The process begins by taking a virtual design from computer aided design (CAD) software. From there, the CAD file is uploaded to the 3-D printing machine. The 3-D printer then reads the data and begins to lay down successive layers of heated ABS plastic, building up the physical model from a series of cross sections. These layers, which correspond to the virtual cross section from the CAD model, are automatically joined together to create the final shape.
Rapid prototyping in manufacturing offers multiple benefits to our customers, including: Timely and effective communication of design ideas, effective validation of design fit, form and function, and fewer design and production flaws.
The Aluminum Cold Chamber Die Casting process is a versatile process for producing engineered parts by forcing molten metal, under high pressure, into reusable steel molds. These molds, called dies, can be designed to produce complex shapes with a high degree of accuracy and repeatability. These parts can be sharply defined, with smooth or textured surfaces, and are suitable for a wide variety of attractive and serviceable finishes.
Die casting is a a rapid and efficient production process that allows a high volume of parts to be produced very quickly and more cost effectively than alternative casting processes. This method of casting also offers a broader range of shapes and components than any other manufacturing technique. These components include the ability to: cast very thin walls, cast-in inserts
(reducing or eliminating the need for secondary machining operations), and very high tensile strength.
As a general rule, die casting provides great dimensional accuracy, producing castings with dimensional tolerances at or around .005 inch/foot. The surface roughness of die castings usually ranges between 1 - 2.5 micrometres.
At Phillips Patterns & Castings, our equipment and experience allows us the flexibility to run both high production jobs and short run work. Over the past 15 years, we have grown into a top quality aluminum die cast shop which prides itself on providing our customers with quality products and second-to-none customer service while maintaining on time deliveries.
Please feel free to contact us for any of your die casting needs!
Permanent Mold Casting, sometimes referred to as "Gravity Die-Casting" is a casting process making use of reusable metal molds made of grey cast iron. These reusable (Permanent molds) are typically arranged in two halves. When a permanent mold casting requires a sand core, it is placed into position before the two halves are locked together.
Following the mold halves being being placed and locked together, the molten metal is poured into the mold and flows into the mold cavity. If a sand core was employed in the particular casting, the metal surrounds the sand core while simultaneously filling the mold cavity.
After the casting has had a short time to solidify, it is then removed from the mold. If
the use of a sand core was needed, the sand core is then removed from the casting leaving an internal passage throughout the interior of the casting.
The reusable cast iron molds are used time and time again, but the sand cores have to be replaced each time a part is cast.
In comparison to Green Sand Casting, the Permanent mold process can produce metallurgic-ally uniform parts that have better mechanical properties, improved dimensional tolerances, better surface finishes, and less porosity than sand castings.
Generally, this process is well suited to large production jobs that do not reach the quantities that would permit or justify Die-Casting.
The Green Sand Molding process is commonly used in the casting of non-ferrous alloys, which include aluminum and brass.
The term "green sand" is known, principally because of the moisture content within the sand. The sand undergoes a "mulling" process in which water, clay, and chemical additives, that act as binders, are blended with the sand. This results in a compound which is suitable for the sand molding process.
This prepared sand mixture is then compressed and compacted around the pattern at specific pressures and temperatures to ensure that the mold will maintain it's shape throughout the remainder of the casting process and therefore, take on the shape of the desired casting.
Sometimes the design of the casting entails internal passageways being formed into the mold. This is done by using sand cores which are made of a similar sand mixture. The cores are strategically placed to form the necessary passageways in the casting. The two halves of the mold are subsequently closed and the molten metal is poured into the cavity and left to solidify.
After solidification has taken place, the sand mold is dumped and vibrated until it is released from the casting. The finishing process can then be completed by cutting, grinding, machining, powder coating, etc.
As a general rule, Green Sand Molding produces castings with dimensional tolerances in the .030 - .060 inch/foot range (1/32 to 1/16 inch/foot). The surface roughness of green sand castings usually ranges between 250 to 2000 micro inches.
High-quality sand cores are essential in producing complex, pressure tight aluminum sand and permanent mold castings. Sand cores are used to create internal cavities and external geometry that cannot be formed by the draw of the sand casting pattern or permanent mold tooling.
The tooling used to produce sand cores is referred to as a "core box". The core box, typically made from iron, aluminum or urethane, is used to contain and shape the core sand.
Shell Cores are produced using a "hot-box" core making process. There is no catalyst used. Instead, heat is used to activate a resin binder.
A shell core is produced using a sand mixture pre-coated with a resin. The sand mixture is poured or blown into a pre-heated core box. The outside layer of the core is hardened when the sand mixture comes in contact with the heated core box. The core is formed by a thin, hard "shell". Thus the name "Shell Core". The sand on the inside of the core is uncured and can be poured out and reused.
The Air-Set Molding process, commonly referred to as "No-Bake Molding", consists of sand molds created using a wood, metal, or plastic pattern. Dry sand is mixed with a urethane binder (a fast curing adhesive) and deposited into a box containing the pattern and all necessary forms and inserts. The sand mixture sets hard in a short time and the mold is then removed from the pattern. After the Air-Set mold has cured, it is ready for pouring.
Similar to the Shell Core making process, Air-Set cores for forming internal passages in the castings can be made using the same process mentioned above.
The Air-Set Molding process creates molds with excellent dimensional stability. The casting
surface finish is also of higher quality than other sand casting processes.
As a general rule, Air-Set molding provides high dimensional accuracy, producing castings with dimensional tolerances of (±0.005-0.015). This method of molding is optimal for cast components with higher complexities in low to medium volume runs. Air-Set no bake molding is one of the most efficient and advanced sand casting techniques currently available.
Phillips Patterns & Castings has been in the CNC Machining industry since 1989. Over the years, we have grown into a full service, in-house CNC machining job shop that specializes in both CNC milling and turning, with the capability of post machining CMM inspection.
Our dedication to quality and customer satisfaction has allowed us to serve many industries. Some of these industries include: Aerospace, Agriculture, Food/Beverage, Manufacturing, Military, and Transportation.
Our machinists and operators work together as a combined force, pooling together our knowledge toward one common goal... To provide our customers with the highest quality machined parts while maintaining timely deliveries.
Phillips Patterns & Castings uses vertical and horizontal machining centers to CNC mill complex parts. Our machines possess full 3-D as well as 4th axis machining capabilities. We also utilize high RPM vertical mills to achieve extremely high speed drilling and tapping processes. Our other milling capabilities include: circular milling, helical milling, and pocketing. Our maximum capabilities regarding part size is 19" x 38" x 17" on our horizontal mill and 25" x 25" x 25" on our vertical mills.
As well as turning, our lathes also possess full milling capabilities. Our CNC turning centers employ independent "y-axis" and "c-axis" capabilities. We can turn parts up to 19" in diameter.
The fifth and the final stage of casting process is cleaning. The process refers to different activities that are performed to remove the sand, scale and excess metal from the casting. Some of the activities performed in cleaning are -
Finally the sand from the mold is separated and processed through a reclamation system for further use.
Vibratory finishing is a type of mass finishing manufacturing process used to deburr, radius, descale, burnish, and clean a large number of relatively small work pieces.
In this process, the workpieces are belt fed into the tub of a vibratory tumbler which contains cone-shaped pellets of media and a cleaning liquid. Here, the contents of the tub are vibrated causing the media to rub against the castings, yielding the desired result.
After the castings have passed through the vibratory tumbler, they are belt fed through a dryer and back to the operator.
Powder coating is a process in which free-flowing electrostatically charged dry powder is applied to a grounded metal work piece. After the powder is applied, the powder coated part is transported, to a cure oven. Once heated, the powder coating flows out and forms a type of hard skin. After the part has spent the required amount of time at the required temperature, the powder should be cured. Once the powder has cured, it is much more durable than conventional painting.
A aspect of powder coating that can be easily overlooked is the importance of proper pre-treating. At Phillips Patterns & Castings, we employ a 3-Stage Pre-treatment process. The first stage is comprised of a phosphate based chemical wash that thoroughly cleans and etches the part's surface. Stages two and three include a cold water rinse, with the capability of a stage three sealer.
Once the parts have been properly cleaned and rinsed in the pretreatment phase, they move to the dry-off oven. Here the parts are heated and dried in order to ensure that once they reach the powder spray room or "environmental room", they are free from moisture.
Once dry and in the environmental room, the powder is applied to the part using ten automatic powder guns as well as two operators using manual touch up guns. Once the parts have been coated properly, they move to the cure oven for the final step in the powder coating process.
To ensure that the Phillips Patterns' level of quality has been reached, multiple sets of parts from each job are set aside and immediately tested for quality, cure, and durability. The tests performed on each run include: mil thickness testing, cross hatch adhesion testing, scratch testing, and acetone testing.