Novel, low-cost metal-forming process using a magnetic field

Sep 14, 2012
Novel, low-cost metal-forming process using a magnetic field

European scientists developed a novel foundry process using moulds formed by 'binding' metallic particles with application of a magnetic field. The process produced high-quality, complex parts at a very competitive cost.

While most people would not be interested in a cake mould that had to be 'broken off' the cake after baking and cooling, such moulds are actually among the most common for producing .

Material is placed around a patterned shape, basically the shape one wishes to produce, in two different pieces. The material then hardens, it is removed from the pattern and the two pieces are put together to form the mould for the desired shape.

After the metal is formed using the mould, the mould itself is broken away and the part is retrieved. Among the three most common foundry processes using expendable moulds are sand casting, lost wax and lost foam techniques.

Sand casting uses sand as the mould material. The lost wax and lost foam (from ) techniques rely on wax and foam moulds, respectively.

developed an innovative expendable-mould foundry process, magnetic moulding, with funding for the Magnet project. Magnetic moulding combined the advantages of the lost foam process with those of permanent moulds. Namely, it was environmentally friendly, cost-effective and capable of producing high-quality, complex parts of a variety of sizes and from numerous materials.

The technology used an expendable pattern around which were bonded together by application of a . Once the cast metal solidified in the mould, the magnetic field was removed. The metallic particles fell away and could be reused in subsequent castings and the part itself was recovered.

Production of five different pieces using four different confirmed that the process produced complex shapes. Components exhibited better metallurgical and than pieces obtained by the three most common expendable mould techniques. In addition, the magnetic mould process reduced cycle time compared to the other foundry processes.

Low investment cost with no major change to present lost foam facilities should make the technology very attractive to European foundries, able to produce higher quality, more complex parts and thus enhance competitiveness in a huge market.

Explore further: New research predicts when, how materials will act

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Research advances breast reconstruction

Dec 06, 2011

Breast reconstruction surgery will become both safer and more realistic thanks to research led by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia.

New asthma research breaks the mold

Dec 14, 2010

Scientists investigating the allergic reactions that asthmatics suffer towards a common mould have discovered that many people with asthma actually had the mould growing in their own lungs.

Fungal threat to archived film

Sep 08, 2010

Microbes could be threatening our cultural heritage by degrading historic cinematographic film and even preventing some valuable footage to be archived at all.

'Long-haired' water moulds are the most virulent

Jul 22, 2009

The water mould Saprolegnia can cause skin disease in salmon during its freshwater phase. The mould attacks both fish and eggs and has at times caused great economic loss for the fish farming industry, both in ...

Smart memory foam made smarter

Sep 24, 2009

Researchers from Northwestern University and Boise State University have figured out how to produce a less expensive shape-shifting "memory" foam, which could lead to more widespread applications of the material, such as ...

Recommended for you

Unified theory for skyrmion-materials

1 hour ago

Magnetic vortex structures, so-called skyrmions, could in future store and process information very efficiently. They could also be the basis for high-frequency components. For the first time, a team of physicists ...

Why seashells' mineral forms differently in seawater

5 hours ago

For almost a century, scientists have been puzzled by a process that is crucial to much of the life in Earth's oceans: Why does calcium carbonate, the tough material of seashells and corals, sometimes take ...

The building blocks of the future defy logic

Feb 26, 2015

Wake up in the morning and stretch; your midsection narrows. Pull on a piece of plastic at separate ends; it becomes thinner. So does a rubber band. One might assume that when a force is applied along an ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.