Can Centrifugal Casting Beat Forging for Stainless Steel?
Michael Alba posted on November 22, 2016 |
Impact and tension tests demonstrate comparable mechanical properties to forged stainless steel.
LAWAI’s centrifugal casting process for stainless steel. (Image courtesy of LAWAI.)
LAWAI’s centrifugal casting process for stainless steel. (Image courtesy of LAWAI.)
LAWAI Industrial Corporation, a manufacturer of stainless steel by way of centrifugal casting, recently had the mechanical properties of its 17-4 PH stainless steel tested by the Taiwan branch of inspection company SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance). The testing revealed that the stainless steel produced by centrifugal casting was mechanically comparable to stainless steel produced by forging.

Centrifugal Casting

Centrifugal casting of stainless steel makes use of centrifugal force to drive out impurities. The molten metal is poured into a spinning die and the high amount of force causes impurities in the metal to move towards the inner diameter, where they can then be removed. This video illustrates the process:

The results of SGS Taiwan’s impact and tension tests reportedly came as a surprise, as it was expected that centrifugal casting would result in weaker stainless steel than that produced by forging. However, the average Charpy impact energy of the 17-4 PH stainless steel was 50 Joules/cm2, equivalent to forging at the same temperature.

Advantages of Centrifugal Casting

According to LAWAI, centrifugal casting has a number of benefits over forging, such as a denser grained structure, longer lifetime, lower cost and higher production flexibility (small quantities can be produced without affecting the cost).

Now that stainless steel produced by centrifugal casting has been shown to be as tough as forged stainless steel, LAWAI believes this product will be a good option for those who currently prefer forging.

For more metal manufacturing news, read Outsourcing Metal Injection Molding.

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