Research status of lost foam casting technology in China

China is also one of the earliest countries in the field of lost foam casting Technology Research (1965), which has a history of more than 50 years. However, it was in the middle and late 1980s that this technology really attracted wide attention of domestic foundry industry. With the reform and opening up and the great economic development, rapid development was made in research, development and application of lost foam casting technology. At the same time, many large-scale lost foam casting production enterprises have also emerged, such as Shaanxi fast group casting branch company, Shanxi Huaen Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Anhui Quanjiao diesel engine factory, etc.

Since the reform and opening up, China’s lost foam casting industry has gradually matured from hardware design to software technology after 30 years of exploration. Especially since 2005, the output of solid and lost foam casting Castings in China has been increasing rapidly. By 2007, China’s output of solid mold (EPC) castings was 648000 tons, surpassing the United States and Japan and ranked first in the world. By 2014, the number of lost foam casting enterprises in China has exceeded 2000, and the casting output has exceeded 3 million tons.

The research and application of lost foam technology in China is different from that in foreign countries. In some developed countries, lost foam aluminum alloy castings occupy a dominant position, while in China it is increased. In China, the main materials of EPC Castings are iron castings, accounting for about 85% of the total output, less than 15% of steel castings and less than 0.5% of aluminum castings. The lost foam cast iron technology in China has been mature, mainly gray iron, widely used in box, shell, valve body and pipe joint castings. Special cast steel (high alloy steel with heat resistance, wear resistance or corrosion resistance) is mainly used in lost foam casting. However, the lost foam casting aluminum alloy and cast low carbon (alloy) steel are more and more weak, which is the main development direction of lost foam technology in China.

In recent years, the independent R & D capability of domestic EPC design masters and molds has also been significantly improved. From the single machine production of soft and easy to manufacture to the fully automatic production masters, all of them have realized localization, basically ending the situation that the key design and production mainly rely on import. The influential manufacturers include ZHY Casting Co., Ltd., Yantai Sifang Foundry Co., Ltd., Shenyang Zhongshi Machinery & Electrical Equipment Co., Ltd., Yantai Yite Foundry Machinery Co., Ltd. Powerful mold manufacturers are: Hebei Modern Mold Co., Ltd., Luoyang Liu Mold Co., Ltd. Through the research, exploration and technological innovation of these enterprises, the technical level of lost foam casting manufacturers in China has been improved rapidly.

In addition, many research institutes, such as Tsinghua University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Hebei University Of Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun Institute of mechanical engineering, Zhengzhou Institute of mechanical technology, etc., have been studying and exploring new casting production technologies for the present situation of China’s lost foam casting enterprises, especially in the development of new foam materials, processing of foam models, surface quality control technology, and coating technology. The lost foam casting production technology suitable for domestic enterprises has been continuously developed and improved in terms of covering drying technology, vacuum low-pressure lost foam casting technology, vibration casting solidification technology, and casting empty shell casting technology after burning.