What is Sand Casting? Sand casting is a metal part manufacturing process that uses sand as the form or mold that shapes the metal castings. In sand casting, the sand is moistened and the pattern is pressed into the sand. The preparation and bonding process of the sand is the most critical step in the process. This technique is usually used for low volume production.
The sand casting pattern is made of wood or metal, such as aluminum. The patterns are generally not destroyed but are made permanent to be reused up to a few thousand times. Sand casting is used when lower quantities are needed and lower quality is acceptable. Manufacturing companies use sand casting to make aluminum parts if the project only needs a few hundred parts.
What is Sand Casting? Sand casting is a process that uses sand as the form or mold that shapes the metal castings. In sand casting, the sand is moistened and the pattern is pressed into the sand. The preparation and bonding process of the sand is the most critical step in the process. This technique is usually used for low volume production.
The sand casting pattern is made of wood or metal, such as aluminum. The patterns are generally not destroyed but are made permanent to be reused up to a few thousand times. Sand casting is used when lower quantities are needed and lower quality is acceptable. Lighting companies use sand casting to make aluminum lighting parts if the project only needs a few hundred parts.
Aluminum Sand Casting Parts May Be Better. Several Requests For Quotes (RFQs) for aluminum part prices come to Kinetic Die Casting and it is obvious that the requester does not understand the difference between aluminum sand casting parts and aluminum die casting parts. Today, we will discuss the pricing difference between sand casting and die casting of aluminum parts.
2,000 Aluminum Parts Casting Decision
If your product is limited to less than 2,000 aluminum parts in the entire product life cycle or stated differently you will want less than 2,000 aluminum parts in your product life cycle and never need more parts, sometimes a part produced by the aluminum sand casting is a better choice for you.
Here are my aluminum part price calculations:
Aluminum Sand Casting Parts:
Typical Tooling Cost: $500 – $2500
Typical Part Cost: $13 – $15 each (machined)
So using $500 tooling price (lowest typical) and $13 for part price:
Cost for 500 parts: $ 7,500
Cost for 1000 parts: $13,500
Cost for 2000 parts: $26,500
Aluminum Die Casting Parts
Typical Tooling Cost: $10,000 – $12,000
Typical Part Cost: $2.50 – $3.50 each (machined)
So using $10,000 die casting tooling price (lowest typical) and $2.50 for part price.
Cost for 500 parts: $11,250 ($3,750 more expensive)
Cost for 1000 parts: $12,500 ($1,000 less expensive)
Cost for 2000 parts: $15,000 ($11,500 less expensive)
As you can see, the cost is equal or less for an aluminum part as a sand cast part, if you will buy less than 2,000 parts. If you feel your product life is more than 2,000 parts, you should consider buying aluminum die casting parts. If your product life is greater than 5,000 parts your savings are so significant it is embarrassing. Contact Kinetic Die Casting Company 800-2524-8083 (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you feel you are paying to much for your aluminum castings.
Prototype Parts and Die Casting Parts. We can help you develop your metal product with prototype parts. Kinetic Die Casting Company can make prototype metal parts for our customers, to use for evaluation, prior to making die casting tooling.
We have produced many types of “pre-production” or prototype parts for our customers. We have produced the following types of parts:
We can take your 3D model and create a Stereo Lithography ( SLA ). SLA is a process that converts a three dimensional (3D) file into a plastic part in a matter of a few hours or days. Kinetic Die Casting has provided many SLA parts to prove a design for our customers.
With the SLA we can then make a SLC or Sand Casting. A SLC is when we coat the SLA with a material to create a “one up” tool …. Metal Prototype Parts
A sand casting will use the SLA to “make an impression in the sand” over an over to make a few parts.
In some cases, we can modify an existing die casting part to use as your prototype. In other cases, we can machine your parts from raw aluminum using a CNC machine.
Machining Die Casting Parts, Die Casting Parts Machining Requirements and Advantages.
Kinetic Die Casting Company produces many types of die casting parts that are machined as a secondary process, but we also produce many parts that do not need to be machined because we die cast the features into the parts. Here are a few examples of parts that are typically produced as a die casting parts because it saves money to make them as die castings.
HEAT SINKS –
Heat sinks in the past were always extruded in aluminum because aluminum is one of the best materials for heat conductance (more info) but the extrusions creates a lot of waste material and the additional cost to chop the heat sinks to length and machine mounting holes.
These reasons make die casting aluminum a far superior manufacturing process. Aluminum Die Castings are produced to the size and shape necessary with no wasted material. Die casting heat sink parts do not require additional machining to “chop” to size. Mounting holes are produced during the manufacturing process at no additional cost.
Sand castings cannot maintain the tolerance that die castings typically hold. Sand castings need a greater amount of variance from feature to feature. Many times a sand casting part will require machining in an interior section of a part between features because the tolerance is greater than .002″ (about half the thickness of paper)