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Manufacturing Processes


Investment Casting
Process was used more than 6000 years ago. Today, with digital process controls and robotics, parts with
dimension tolerances of upto +/- 0.005 in and extremely smooth surfaces can be obtained. Can combine multiple metal shapes into one piece in a single operation, thereby reducing manufacturing costs by eliminating fixturing, machining, finishing, assembly, and scrap. A die is first made and wax is injected into it. The wax pattern thus made is dipped into ceramic solution and then coated with sand to make a rigid shell around the patters. The wax is then melted out and the shell fired to make it hard. The shells are then pre-heated to 1800 Deg,F and molten metal poured into it. Investment casting is economically suited for small to intermediatesized lots (100 to 10,000 units or more). This is because investment casting uses material efficiently, a benefit when raw stock is expensive. Scrap rates run in the range of 3 to 5%. Tooling costs also tend to be low, particularly when compared to fixturing needed for welding or molds needed for die casting.

Plaster molds are created using a rubber mold from a
rapid-prototype-generated pattern. The rubber mold is used to create plaster molds for casting production. Plaster casting serves as a precursor to die-casting production while the hard tool is being made. The die castings are made from nonferrous metals, specifically aluminum, zinc, copper, and magnesium, although ferrous-metal die castings are possible. The die-casting method is suited for applications where large quantities of small to medium-sized parts are needed with good detail, a fine surface quality, and dimensional consistency.


Maximum usage for steel/Aluminium fabrication. Three different basic process viz. Forge Welding, Electrical Resistance Welding and Fusion Welding. In Forge welding, the parts to be welded are heated to reach the plastic stage and the joint is made by impact force. In Resistance welding, the parts are pressed together and an electric current is passed between them thereby heating the joint to fusion temperature. In Fusion welding the parts to be welded are heated by a gas flame or electric arc to reach the fusion temperature. Process selection to suit the materials and parts being welded. Advantages of welding are (a) No weight is added as in the case of rivetted joints and the part made by welding is much lighter than a casting serving the same purpose (b) More economical than rivetting or casting ( C ) Alterations can easily be made even after the fabrication is completed which is not possible in the case of a casting. (d) The joint made by welding is stronger and leak proof. (e) The welding process is fast. (f) Welding produces a clean joint. (g) The strength of welded joint is equal to or more than that of the parent part. (h) Welded parts can be easily machined. Disadvantages are: (a) Welding tend to distort the parts being welded. (b) Welded parts do not dampen vibrations as well as castings do. (c) Quality of welding depends to a large extent on the skill of the welder. (d) inspection of welding needs special equipment and technical expertise.

Fillet Joints and Butt Joints. Fillet joint joins two parts at right angle and butt
joint joins two parts at the same plane. Butt joints may be square, single V, double V or V with backing strip. Also back gouging and welding. Fillet joints may be normal or convex. Also they may be T joint, corner joint or edge joint.

Types of Arc Welding

Welding rods (Electrodes) covered with a material (slag)

which melts and covers the freshly deposited weld metal to prevent oxidation of the weld. Submerged Arc welding where the weld is covered by a powder which prevents oxidation of the weld. TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welding where the welding rod is not expended but produces an arc which melts the parts to be joined to produce fusion. Used for nonferrous metals and stainless steel. Produces a clean weld as inert gas prevents oxidation. Manual, semi-automatic and automatic welding.

Visual Inspection. Can detect blow holes, porosity,
cracks etc. and measure leg length, throat thickness etc. Can detect only external defects. Non-destructive Testing (NDT). May be Dye Penetrant Test (DPT), Magnetic Particle Test (MPT), Radiographic or Ultrasonic. The last two can provide a record as an Xray film or as a graph which can also be viewed on the CRT machine screen. These tests can also detect internal defects like slag inclusion, lack of fusion, internal cracks etc. Testing of a sample weld carried out on pieces of similar material attached to the parts being welded. This can prove the strength of the weld by subjecting the sample to the necessary tests.

Metal in the plastic stage is forced to flow into the
required shape. Hand forging, drop forging, press forging, upset forging. 80 % by drop forging. Advantages: (a) The fibre lines can be arranged to suit the direction of forces that will act on the component in service. (b) Not much wastage of material. (c) Can have thin sections without reducing strength resulting in lightweight construction. (d) Close tolerance can be maintained which reduces machining time. (e) Rapid production rate and good reproducibility. Disadvantages: Costly equipment and tooling. Can be economical only if a large number of similar parts are required.

Turning for external cylindrical surface. Milling for plain surfaces. Shaping for plain surfaces. Planing for plain surfaces. Drilling and boring for internal cylindrical

surfaces. Reaming for more accuracy. Grinding for getting surface finish. Cylindrical grinding for cylindrical surfaces.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages: Almost any metal can be machined. Close tolerances possible. Good surface finish. Disadvantages: Costly and low rate of production. Thin sections/projections not possible. Wastage of material.