Steel Produced by the Lost Foam Casting Method 2011-01-1090
Despite the embrace of aluminum and other nonferrous materials, steel is still a widely used material in the vehicle industry. However, it is not produced in the vehicle industry by the lost foam casting (LFC) method despite the tremendous potential benefits. These include the elimination of machining due to tolerances equal to investment casting and part consolidation which allows for the elimination of components and joining technologies. Both of these are financially and operationally beneficial by allowing for the creation of a leaner supply chain.
With proper lost foam casting technology adjustments to compensate for the higher melting point of steel, there appear to be no degradation in cast steel as compared to when cast by green sand or resin bonded sand (no -bake) methods. In fact the opposite is true as the LFC benefits of improved surface roughness and dimensionality are maintained.
This paper details the global background of steel cast via LFC and some current applications. Known examples include the casting of 1060 plain carbon steel gears and 316 and 304 stainless steel components. Microstructure and surface appearance of examples are also detailed.