What is Continuous Casting Process?
Continuous casting process (also known as Strand casting) is a process which consists of continuous pouring of molten metal into the mold that has the capability for rapidly chilling the metal to the point of solidification, and then withdrawing it from the mold.
In simple words, Continuous casting is a type of casting process which is used to cast a continuous length of metal.
Important point about continuous casting process
- In continuous casting process, the casting component takes the two dimensional profile of the mold, but the length of the mold is indeterminate.
- The casting kelps travelling downward with the passing of time.
- It is necessary to constantly supply the molten metal at a correct rate so that the solidification also takes place at the exit of the mold.
- The continuous casting process is a very precisely calculated casting operation.
Continuous Casting Process (Steps)
The steps of continuous casting process are mentioned below.
- In continuous casting process, the molten metal is brought to the casting machine and it is then poured into a tundish as shown in the diagram.
- Filling of molten metal in the mold as well as movement of molten metal from starting to end is achieved by the gravitational force only.
- The molten metal is poured in the tundish and this tundish is located at the height as much as 80 to 90 feet.
- The continuous casting process requires a lot of space for its operation.
- In this process, the molten metal is poured through a graphite mold and the opposite ends of the mold contains a cooling apparatus which helps in solidification of molten metal.
- The withdrawing rollers are used to continuously draw the solidified rod from the mold.
- It further passes the rod through the additional cooling equipment and finally the cutting of solidified metal is done.
- The operational cost of continuous casting process is less and the improved mechanical properties of the final casting is achieved by this process. Hence this method is economical.
Now let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of continuous casting process.
Advantages of continuous casting process
The advantages of continuous casting are mentioned below.
- The gating components like sprue, runner, riser, etc are not used in the continuous casting process. Hence the wastage of material is negligible.
- The operation is automatic which ultimately leads to higher production rate.
- The properties of the metal remain consistent throughout the operation.
- Components with good mechanical properties can be obtained by continuous casting process.
Disadvantages of continuous casting process
The disadvantages of continuous casting are mentioned below.
- Continuous casting process is not suitable for small scale production.
- This process requires large floor space.
- In this process, the continuous and efficient cooling of metal should be done, otherwise center-line shrinkage may occur.
Applications of continuous casting process
The applications of continuous casting are mentioned below.
- Continuous casting process is used to manufacture long slabs from copper, aluminum as well as steel.
- Slabs, square billets, sheets, doing ingots, etc can be manufactured directly from the molten metal by using a continuous casting process.