Within the automotive industry, giga casting is a relatively recent technology. As a result, there is still more research and development needed prior to mass production. Due to the considerable investment needed to integrate giga casting into a manufacturing process, there is an increasing demand for the necessity to prototype these huge castings.
'Sand casting plays a huge role in prototyping giga castings. For a fraction of the price and with fast lead times, sand casting creates production representative parts - vital for proof of concept.'
Sand casting is essential for prototyping these mega castings and producing highly precise, cost-effective 'Make Like Production' prototypes that have the speed, alloy behaviour, and precision demanded by top automakers.
Sand casting: an overview
Large structural pieces can be prototyped via sand casting. Before moving into production, sand casting aids in providing proof of concept and validating performance, design, safety, and material attributes.
Sand casting offers many benefits in prototyping. These include:
- Developing high-integrity prototype giga castings.
Design for Manufacture optimises part and process design to achieve innovative, complex castings with the Make Like Production (MLP) characteristics needed in large, lightweight mega cast parts. Rapid prototyping means these can be produced quickly.
One of the greatest advantages of sand casting is the ability to cast with a range of aluminium alloys. Different compositions can be tailored to achieve specific attributes required in giga casting for strength, durability, wall thickness and ductility.
Finishing, machining and inspection capabilities ensure component parts meet the high tolerances specified in giga cast automotive components.
Watch more: Will mega casting influence non automotive industries?
Watch more: Will the automotive industry adopt giga casting?
Sand casting and giga casting
At Grainger and Worrall, we've been developing prototype sand castings to mimic die-cast parts like those used in the giga press.
Aluminium-silicon alloys can be created to match properties achieved in high pressure die casting for high-volume production. This allows mitigation of heat transfer in sand casting moulds, enabling controlled solidification rates without the need for heat treatment.
This enables us to produce sand cast prototypes with the required properties of tensile strength, yield strength and elongation.
To find out more about giga casting, and the role of sand casting in the process, download our free eBook 'Prototyping Giga Castings with Sand Casting'.