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
Check out the case study below to see how we’ve used centrifugal casting to solve real-life problems.
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?