Our Process

  1. Sand Blasting
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    Sand Blasting
    To remove excess sand after break-out, the casting is sandblasted. This prepares the casting for grinding, and cleans the feed system so that it can be cut off and re-melted into new parts. Once the sand is removed, the castings are scrutinized for any defects before moving on to next step.
  2. Machining
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    Machining
    The machining process must be carried out with a high degree of precision to ensure a well-functioning product. The extent of this stage varies widely depending on the part. Many parts require only mounting holes to be drilled and countersunk. Others may require cast holes to be cleaned and reamed, threads added, drilling/tapping, lathe cleanup, slots to be milled, or critical surfaces to be dialed in. At this stage, each part receives a final thorough visual inspection for any casting defects before it is sent along to the final step.
  3. Cut-Off & Grinding
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    Cut-Off & Grinding
    Once cleaned and inspected, the casting is ready for cut-off. Using a band saw or cutting disc, the part is separated from its feed system. Then hard discs are used to clean up the remaining gates. Special care is taken not to grind beyond the finished surface level. Finally, sanding discs, and Scotch-Brite pads are used to remove the parting line and smooth the texture of the cast surface.
  4. Break-Out
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    Break-Out
    Newly poured castings can take anywhere from 35 minutes to 24 hours to cool sufficiently so that break-out does not distort the part. At this time, the casting is removed from the mold. The used mold sand is then reconditioned in a process called "mulling" for use in other molds. Chemical core sand cannot be used again, but is instead recycled into our line of concrete benches.
  5. Design
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    Design
    We offer full design services, and can produce finished parts from anything—whether doodles on a cocktail napkin or a full-scale blueprint. We believe that form follows function, and our designs depend, first and foremost, on the intended purpose. When designing a part, the full range of processes must be taken into consideration: the molding process (such as where the parting line will be), the selected alloy (e.g., what cross-sections are needed), and required machining operations (e.g., added cleanup allowances).
  6. Molding
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    Molding
    Split-patterns are molded up with sand one half at a time in a flask. Preformed sprues, runners, in-gates, and risers are used to help create a feed system for the metal to flow through. Pieces of chemical sand called "cores" are added to create precisely shaped empty spaces in the part. Once the mold halves are closed and the flask is removed, a “bottoming board” is used to support the mold for transportation. It then receives a jacket and is ready for pouring. We are primarily a green sand foundry, but we can also produce parts from ceramic shell and 3-D printed molds.
  7. Pattern Making
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    Pattern Making
    Our patterns are made from wood, plastic, rubber, wax, and aluminum. All metal shrinks as it cools, so the pattern must be larger than the desired part. These dimensions are calculated based on the alloy and size of the part using a special shrink ruler. All aspects of a pattern must have a negative draft angle with no undercuts so that the pattern will pull from the sand. The style of pattern is determined by the quantity of parts required for casting. Split patterns are excellent for individual castings, while matchplated patterns are more efficient for larger runs and delicate patterns.
  8. Pouring
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    Pouring
    Metal is melted with a propane blast furnace in a silicon-carbide crucible. After slag removal and—if required—degassing, the metal is ready to pour. The choice of alloy for a part is dependent on a variety of factors, including required tensile strength, malleability, resistance to corrosion, and antibacterial properties.
  9. Final Finishing
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    Final Finishing
    The part is now ready for deburring and final surface finish. Among the finishes we offer are polished, tumbled, burnished, and patinaed. Chroming and powder-coating are available, on request, through third parties.
Please refer to our ordering policy for more information about working with us.

For inquiries: (360) 385-6425 or  ptf@olypen.com