What Is Strand Casting in Manufacturing?

Manufacturing companies often rely on molds and die to create custom-sized and -shaped objects out of raw metal. Known as casting, it’s used in the production of countless consumer and business products. There are several types of casting used in the manufacturing industry, though, one of which is strand casting. So, what is strand casting exactly, and how is it performed?

Overview of Strand Casting

Also known as continuous casting, strand casting is a casting process in which molten metal is converted into a solidified billet or slab. It was invented in the 1950s, and since that time, it has become one of the leading casting processes used in the manufacturing industry.

Before strand casting was invented, manufacturing companies would create billets and slabs by pouring metal molten into a mold. Whether steel, iron or any other metal, the metal was first heated until it turned from a solid state to a liquid state. Next, the manufacturing company would pour the molten metal into a mold shaped like a billet or slab. After allowing the mold to cool, the manufacturing company would eject the casting. Strand casting is designed to create similar billets and slabs, but it uses a different set of steps.

The Steps to Performing Strand Casting

To perform strand casting, a worker begins by pouring metal into a component of a casting machine known as a tundish. As the molten metal flows to the bottom of the machine, it enters several mold passages where it begins to cool. The passages used in casting machines are typically made of copper, which allows for a natural cooling effect. Since copper has excellent thermal conductivity properties, it’s able to cool molten metal.

The outer walls of the casting will then begin to solidify, after which the casting is passed through sprayers that cool it with misting water. Once cooled, the casting is removed from the mold.

Benefits of Strand Casting

Strand casting is a highly efficient casting process that allows manufacturing companies to create metal slabs and billets more quickly when compared to other casting processes. It takes manufacturing companies less time to perform strand casting than other casting processes. Strand casting can also be automated — something that can’t be said for most other casting processes. This, of course, is one of the reasons why it’s such as an efficient casting process. Furthermore, strand casting supports a wide range of metals, some of which include steel, iron, copper and bronze.

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