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High volume production

Sand casting

Sand casting is used to produce brass, bronze and aluminum cam & groove couplings. The process begins with the fabrication of a pattern of the finished component, which is often in two pieces due to the mould construction method. The mould containing the sand is called a flask, and is in two pieces: the top (or cope) and the bottom (or drag) which is separated by the centre line. Holes called sprues are used to feed the molten metal into the flask, whilst holes called risers allow any air bubbles to escape.
To begin the casting process, the flask is divided into its two parts. The pattern is then inserted, and the flask reassembled. Sand is then packed very tightly around the pattern, the flask opened and the pattern removed. The sand imprint is checked carefully, and any additional risers and sprues added where necessary (if not included in the original pattern). The flask is then closed and molten metal poured into the sprues until it emerges from the risers.
Once the metal has cooled, the flask is broken open and the casting removed. The sand is cleaned and recycled for future casting operations.




Investment casting

LMC-Couplings stainless steel cam & groove couplings and stainless steel cam & groove handles are produced using the investment casting process. The basic concept of investment casting is the creation of a sacrificial wax or plastic mould, which is then coated with refractory material to form the casting mould.
Model makers create metal dies containing the primary patterns. Wax is injected into these dies to create the wax pattern. The wax pattern contains many different patterns gated together by sprues and risers. The wax pattern is then covered with a refractory material by dipping in ceramic slurry, or coating with refractory moulding material. The mould is then baked, and the wax allowed to drain out or vaporize. Molten metal is then poured into the mould. Removing the cast metal from the mould is difficult because the mould material often resist to removal. Chemicals, high-pressure water jet washing and sand blasting are some of the methods used to remove moulds.


Die casting

The basis of the die casting process is to force molten metal into a reusable mould under high pressure. The metal then cools, the mould opened and the casting is ejected. Moulds for die-casting are quite complex, and are usually made from steel alloy in two sections (the cover and ejector). The die must be able to withstand high temperatures and pressures, and so is typically made from steel alloys containing chromium or tungsten. To increase die life and improve throughput, dies are normally cooled using water, air or nitrogen. There are two major types of die-casting machines. Hot chamber die-casting machines are used for low melting point materials.
In cold chamber die-casting, the metal is fed from the holding furnace into a chamber, from where a plunger forces it into the die. Materials best-suited for die casting are zinc, aluminum, magnesium, copper, lead and tin. High pressure die-casting is generally limited to non-ferrous metals, due to the difficulty of making refractory moulds capable of withstanding the high temperatures and pressures involved.

Hot forging

Hot foring is a production process were the mechanical strength of the finished product is made by use of forging installaton. The raw material (brass or aluminum) is preheated and then forged into the final mould. Afterwards the forged part is machined to it's final shape. Due to the forging process the intergranual structure is crossed and forms a highly mechanical resistant part.
Forged couplings at LMC-Couplings are for example brass TW couplings, brass and aluminum safety clamps.