Development of lost foam casting in China

China began to explore the lost foam casting process in the 1960s, which has a history of more than 50 years. Before the mid-1990s, the research on lost foam casting process in China had gone through a long period of development and experimental exploration. During this period, although the output of lost foam casting in China was low, it also made great achievements. From 1965 to 1966, China Machinery Research Institute and Shanghai Institute of mechanical technology began to experiment, study and explore the lost foam casting method, and produced 11T large steel castings in 1966, which is the first large castings produced in China. In 1970 and 1974, 50t heavy steel castings and 32.5t large iron castings were successfully poured respectively; It fills the gap in China’s foundry industry and lays a foundation for the rapid development and wide application of lost foam casting in China’s industry.

In 1978, the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced the successful test results of its new lost foam casting method of using iron pellets as molding sand and vacuum pumping technology. In 1982, China established the first production line of lost foam castings. After more than 40 years of long experiment and exploration, China’s research on lost foam casting has made great progress and development at the beginning of the 21st century. At present, China has made some breakthroughs and achievements in the research of lost foam casting, and has opened up a development path of lost foam casting with the characteristics of the primary stage of Chinese socialism. Lost foam casting has the following characteristics in the process of rapid development in China:

(1) From the 1960s to the beginning of the 21st century, the output of lost foam castings in China has been very low until 2005. By 2007, the output of castings in China reached 648000 tons, surpassing Europe, America and Japan to become the first in the world. China is a large foundry country, but not a powerful foundry country; In 2011, the output of lost foam casting has reached 1.5 million tons, but the output of aluminum alloy casting is less than 0.5%, and most domestic lost foam products are concentrated in cast steel and cast iron. The technology and conditions for the production of aluminum magnesium alloy complex parts are not mature, and there is still a big gap with western developed countries in automatic production and management.

(2) At present, the research on lost foam casting technology in China has made some progress and breakthrough, and has reached the world-class level in some aspects. For example, from 2009 to 2010, I produced 13800 tons and 18000 tons of lost foam castings respectively. In recent years, the production of large castings has reached 14T ~ 20t, reaching the international leading level.

(3) At present, lost foam casting is used in small and medium-sized production lines in China. It is difficult to use in large-scale production lines, and the variety of castings is relatively single. Therefore, large-scale and diversified production is the development direction of lost foam casting in China.

(4) In western developed countries, magnesium aluminum alloy castings dominate. Until the beginning of the 21st century, China’s magnesium aluminum alloy lost foam castings account for less than 0.1% of the total output. Therefore, the production of magnesium aluminum alloy castings is the development trend of China’s lost foam casting, especially the rapid development of automobile industry in recent years. China is required to increase the experiment and Research on the production of magnesium aluminum alloy lost foam castings.

(5) In terms of lost foam casting production technology, due to the lack of production experience of large-scale production line in China and the unclear key technologies, it is difficult for large-scale production line to be put into operation, while for small and medium-sized production line, the stability of products is not enough and the stereotypes are not good. Therefore, at present, China should strengthen the research on lost foam casting technology, pay attention to the development of high-tech technology, strengthen the construction of lost foam casting automatic production line with Chinese development characteristics, and narrow the gap with industrial developed countries; Catch up with the world’s advanced level in production and technology.

So far, lost foam casting technology has been rapidly developed and widely used in China; However, there is a big gap between domestic lost foam casting and developed countries in terms of product type and quality, product complexity, production scale and efficiency. In the exploration and research process of developing lost foam casting technology, we should pay attention to the application of high-tech new technology and new equipment in production, and gradually and stably enter a prosperous and mature period of lost foam casting in China. The level of lost foam casting in China has Chinese characteristics, but there is still a long way to go to catch up with developed countries such as Europe, America and Japan in casting technology, which requires continuous exploration and accumulation of experience.

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