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Castings are widely used in all types of applications due to exceptional characteristics and the great design flexibility inherent in a variety of casting processes. The casting process consists of pouring molten metal into a mold containing a cavity of the desired shape of the casting. In the sand casting process a permanent pattern is utilized to make the cavity shape. While the actual mold is used only once. One of the reasons castings are so widely used in all types of applications is due to the great design flexibility to form the internal shape of a casting, by the use of a core. The core, which is usually a pre-formed sand aggregate, is inserted into the mold to shape the interior of a casting or that part of a casting which cannot be shaped by the pattern. The core is located and held in the mold by core prints, formed by the pattern. Aluminum is an excellent casting material due to its weight, strength and capability to take on different surface finishes, along with the fact that it is 100% recyclable. Almost all aluminum castings are made from an alloy of aluminum. The selection of a particular alloy depends on the criteria demanded of alloy-the mechanical strength, machineability, surface appearance, resistance to corrosion, conductivity, pressure tightness, and other factors. The principal alloying elements are copper, silicon, magnesium, zinc, chromium, manganese, tin, and titanium.
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