The casting of metals, such as iron, steel, bronze, brass, gunmetal etc. See the separate entry for bell founding.
|Historic area of significance|
|Area currently practised||UK|
|Origin in the UK||Bronze Age|
The number of foundries is falling as part of a domino-effect from the loss of the British steel industry.
- Sand casting – where a pattern, made of wood or original item is placed in a sand box, sand rammed around it, the pattern removed and molten brass poured into the cavity. This includes bell founding.
- Investment casting or lost wax – where a pattern is moulded in rubber, wax facsimiles are formed from the mould, these facsimiles may be joined if there are many small ones in the form of a ‘tree’ inside a flask or, if the object is large a form is made and that is then filled with plaster. The flask is then heated in a kiln, the wax is melted out (lost) and molten metal is poured, sometimes under vacuum, into the cavities that remain in the flask
- Shell casting – where the wax facsimile is dipped numerous times into a slurry until a shell is built up rather like battering fish. Once the shell has dried then the wax is melted out and molten metal poured into the empty shell(s).
- Die casting – where a negative of the desired finished object is engineered in metal and then injected with molten metal.
- Greensand moulding
- Chemically bonded sand moulding
- Investment casting
- Lost foam moulding
- Spun casting
Issues affecting the viability of the craft
- Cast Metals Federation
- Institute of Cast Metals Engineers
Craftspeople currently known
A list of foundries can be found on the UK Foundries and Scottish Foundries websites. This list includes both ferrous and non-ferrous foundries. The Cast Metals Federation website also offers a search facility for foundries.
Foundry Trade Journal Magazine – www.foundrytradejournal.com
Cast Metals Federation – www.castmetalsfederation.com
Institute of Cast Metals Engineers – www.icme.org.uk
Casting Is the Future – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2JPfHofainKQiiNt2ZoB1g
Casting is the Future – www.castingthefuture.com