V-Process with MetSource
The V-Process (vacuum molding) is an innovative casting process for producing superior aluminum castings. The process is versatile and cost-effective even for low-volume runs.
How It Works:
Step 1: The pattern (with vent holes) is placed on a hollow carrier plate.
Step 2: A heater softens the .003″ to .008″ plastic film, which has good elasticity and a high deformation ratio.
Step 3: Softened film drapes over the pattern with 200 to 400 mm Hg vacuum acting through the pattern vents to draw it tightly around the pattern.
Step 4: The flask is placed on the film-coated pattern. Flask walls are also a vacuum chamber with the outlet shown at right.
Step 5: The flask is filled with dry, unbonded sand. A slight vibration compacts sand to maximum bulk density.
Step 6: A sprue cup is formed and the mold surface leveled. The back of the mold is covered with unheated plastic film.
Step 7: Vacuum is applied to the flask. Atmospheric pressure then hardens the sand. The vacuum is released, pressurized air is introduced into the carrier and the mold is stripped.
Step 8: The cope and drag assembly form a plastic-lined cavity. During pouring, molds are kept under a vacuum.
Step 9: After cooling, the vacuum is released and free-flowing sand drops away leaving a clean casting, with no sand lumps. The sand is cooled for re-use.
- Up to 32” x 32” x 14” Height
- Ship weight up to 100 lbs
- NDT: Visual, Die Penetrant, X-ray and CMM capability
- Tolerances: +/- 0.010” across parting line, on one side of parting line, first inch is +/- 0.010” add +/- 0.002” per inch thereafter
- Surface finish: 150 RMS as-cast
- Zero degree draft
- Thin walls typically of 0.120” Wall thickness
A356 Aluminum in T6, T7, T51 or T71 Tempers
Typical V-Process Products:
- Ventilator components
- MRI and CAT scan components
- X-ray housings
- Medical equipment bases
- Microscope bases
- Spectrometer housings
- Conversions from billet or weldments for nearly every Industry
- Prototypes and low volume development for every Industry
V-Process casting finish machined
When to use V-Process Castings:
- Highly cosmetic parts or where excellent surface finish is needed
- Parts that require thin walls for weight savings or weldment conversions
- Prototypes for die castings to prove out design without expense of die casting tooling
- Substitute for die castings at the end of a program’s life where tooling is not available
- Parts that require zero degree draft
- Lower volume blanket orders that cannot justify die cast or permanent mold tooling
- Parts that require high dimensional accuracy – typically twice as accurate as a sand casting
- When a sample part is needed in 2-3 weeks. No other process can come close.
V-Process Quality Standards
We also strictly adhere to customer-specific standards or requirements
Do you have a complicated machined hog-out or fabrication that may lend itself to conversion to an alternate process? Nearly all of MetSource’s success stories are centered around converting a product from one process or multiple processes to a streamlined manufacturing process that improves the product quality, cost and/or lead-time.
Material Process Selection
Do you have a part design but want a Solutions expert to advise optimal process to produce your part? Subtle changes in part design can optimize process manufacturability to reduce cost, increase part quality and / or increase throughput.
Do you want to speak to a Metallurgist regarding a part and environment to help with material selection? Alloy selection can greatly affect overall cost and part manufacturability.
On-Site Visit and / or Phone Consultation
Do you wish to have a MetSource Engineer call or visit you to discuss a particular application?