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This is an image of some aluminium components produced by sand casting, pressure dire casting or invetment casting. Service that some of the Qimtek Supplier Members produce.
  • This is a component made using the Sand Casting process - a typical service offered by Qimtek Supplier Members

    Sand Casting

    Sand Casting is versatile and cost-effective, making it a preferred choice for producing large, complex shapes in various industries. 

  • This is a component made using the Die Casting process - a typical service offered by Qimtek Supplier Members

    Die Casting

    Die Casting is for industries requiring high-volume production of complex, detailed parts with excellent surface finish. 

  • This is a component made using the investment Casting process - a typical service offered by Qimtek Supplier Members

    Investment Casting

    Investment Casting is a go-to process for industries requiring high precision and excellent surface finish. 

  • This is a component made using the Garvity Casting process - a typical service offered by Qimtek Supplier Members

    Gravity Casting

    Gravity Casting s efficiency and reusability make it suitable for medium to high-volume production runs.

  • This is a component made using the continuous casting process - a typical service offered by Qimtek Supplier Members

    Continuous Casting

    Continuous casting excels in creating uniform, high-quality metal sections continuously, ideal for large-scale production needs.

  • This is a component made using the centrifugal casting process - a typical service offered by Qimtek Supplier Members

    Centrifugal Casting

    Centrifugal casting specialises in manufacturing cylindrical parts with high precision, utilising rotational force for even, dense structures.

  • This is a component made using the Shell Moulding process - a typical service offered by Qimtek Supplier Members

    Shell Moulding

    Shell moulding is adept at creating intricate, high-precision castings, using resin-coated sands for detailed and consistent parts.

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Our platform offers a suite of features designed to simplify the sourcing process for industry buyers. With ease, you can upload new projects for quotations, track the progress of your projects, review profiles of interested suppliers, and download all quotations from a single, convenient location in your Qimtek account.

Qimtek & Casting:

Casting Defined: Casting is a manufacturing process where a liquid material is poured into a mould, which contains a hollow cavity of the desired shape, and then allowed to solidify. At Qimtek, we connect industry buyers and design engineers seeking casting services with experienced UK-based suppliers. These suppliers use specialised techniques to mould materials like metal, plastic, and glass into precise shapes, guided by exacting standards. Qimtek acts as the intermediary, facilitating connections between those requiring casting services and those who provide them.

Process and Advantages: The casting process begins with melting the material, which is then poured into a molud. After cooling and solidifying, the material takes the shape of the mould. This method is advantageous for its ability to create complex shapes, high production volumes, and the versatility of working with a wide range of materials.

Industries and Applications: Casting is integral in numerous sectors, including automotive, aerospace, construction, and manufacturing of consumer products. These industries often require components with unique shapes and specific material properties.

Casting Quotes: Qimtek is dedicated to simplifying the process of collaboration between buyers and suppliers in the casting industry. Buyers utilising Qimtek's platform have instant access to a network of suppliers, each with expertise in various casting methods. This network spans over numerous subcontracting companies across the UK, each specialising in different aspects of casting, including metal, plastic, and glass. When buyers submit a quote request, it is promptly relayed to appropriate suppliers, who then respond with their offers, including competitive pricing and projected lead times, directly via Qimtek's platform or through other communication channels. This approach ensures efficient and direct communication, streamlining the process of acquiring casting quotes and making it more accessible.

Qimtek: A network of 200+ UK manufacturers.

Learn About: Casting 

This comprehensive guide delves into the intricacies of casting, a process integral to manufacturing and design. It explores different casting techniques, materials used, and their applications across various industries. The guide discusses the types of metals commonly used in casting, like aluminum, steel, and iron, along with non-metallic options. It also covers finishing processes, essential quality controls, and certifications typical for UK casting services. Additionally, the guide helps in identifying suitable casting service contracts and introduces renowned casting experts in the UK, offering insights into methods like sand casting, investment casting, die casting, and more.

 


Materials Suitable for Casting:

Casting accommodates various materials, each offering unique properties. Metals like aluminum, iron, and steel are widely used in automotive and construction industries. Non-metallic materials, including plastics and resins, cater to specific applications like prototypes and artistic creations. Here are 5 common materials used to cast bespoke components but you can discover more about the different options on our dedicated page.

  • Aluminum: Lightweight and highly versatile, aluminum is favored for its good strength-to-weight ratio and corrosion resistance. Common in automotive and aerospace parts.
  • Iron (Gray and Ductile): Gray iron is used for its excellent machinability and wear resistance, while ductile iron offers increased strength and toughness. Both are widely used in the automotive industry and for heavy machinery.
  • Steel: Known for its strength and durability, steel is used in various forms (like carbon steel and stainless steel) for applications requiring high resistance to wear and heat.
  • Bronze: An alloy of copper and tin, bronze is valued for its strength, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. It's often used for bearings, bushings, and decorative items.
  • Zinc: Often used in die casting, zinc alloys are known for their high strength, ductility, and good impact resistance, making them suitable for small, intricate parts.

Casting Finishes:

Casted parts can receive numerous finishes to enhance their appearance and functionality. These include machining, painting, polishing, and plating, crucial for meeting specific project requirements. Our platform assists in connecting with suppliers specialising in casting your components and organising the finishing processes, ensuring parts meet precise specifications. 

  • Powder Coating: This finish involves electrostatically applying a dry powder, which is then cured under heat to create a tough, durable coating. Powder coating is popular for cast components due to its excellent corrosion resistance, wide range of colors and finishes, and ability to form a uniform layer over complex shapes.
  • Spray Painting: A traditional yet versatile finish, painting is commonly used on cast components to provide both protection and aesthetic enhancement. Spray painting offers a wide variety of colors and finishes, including high gloss, matte, and satin, and can be tailored for additional properties like UV resistance and improved durability.
  • Electroplating: This process involves coating the cast component with a thin layer of metal, such as chrome, nickel, or zinc, using an electrical current. Electroplating is chosen for its ability to enhance the appearance of the component, provide corrosion resistance, increase surface hardness, and in some cases, improve electrical conductivity.

Approvals for Casting Suppliers:

UK casting services often acquire various approvals and certifications to maintain quality and adhere to industry standards. Certifications like ISO 9001 for quality management and industry-specific certifications demonstrate a supplier's commitment to excellence. Using Qimtek to connect with certified casting manufacturers and foundries is straightforward, ensuring your projects meet the highest standards.For casting companies in the UK, the most relevant certifications typically focus on quality management, environmental standards, and industry-specific requirements. Here are the top three certifications a casting company might hold:

  • ISO 9001: Quality Management Systems: This certification is fundamental for casting companies. It assures that the company adheres to internationally recognized standards for quality management, ensuring consistent product quality and reliability. In the casting industry, where products often have critical applications in various sectors, maintaining high-quality standards is essential. ISO 9001 helps in streamlining processes, improving efficiency, and enhancing customer satisfaction.
  • ISO 14001: Environmental Management Systems: Given the significant environmental aspects of casting processes (such as energy use, waste management, and emissions), ISO 14001 certification is highly beneficial. It demonstrates the company's commitment to reducing its environmental impact and ensuring compliance with environmental regulations. This certification can also be advantageous in terms of operational efficiencies, cost savings, and corporate responsibility.
  • IATF 16949: Automotive Sector Quality Management System (replacing ISO/TS 16949): If the casting company supplies products to the automotive industry, IATF 16949 certification is crucial. This standard is specific to the automotive sector and is recognized globally. It includes requirements for a quality management system where an organization needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products that meet customer and regulatory requirements. Given the critical nature of automotive components, adherence to these standards ensures reliability and quality in a highly competitive market.

Types of Casting Service Contracts:

Choosing the right casting service contract is crucial for aligning with your production needs. Options include On-Demand, Batch Production, Prototype Development, Custom Orders, Fixed-Price, and Time and Materials contracts. On-Demand offers flexibility, Batch Production optimises larger orders, Prototype Development is ideal for testing designs, Custom Orders cater to unique requirements, Fixed-Price ensures budget control, and Time and Materials offers adaptability. For casting companies, the top three service types that are especially beneficial to buyers of bespoke components are:

  • Custom Casting Projects: This service is ideal for producing custom-made, intricate designs that are not achievable through standard manufacturing processes. Custom casting allows for a high degree of complexity in shapes and is perfect for creating unique components with specific material properties. Buyers benefit from the ability to have parts tailor-made to their specifications, which is crucial in industries like automotive, aerospace, and artistic sculptures.
  • Small Batch Production: Small batch production is valuable for buyers who need a limited number of cast parts. This service is cost-effective for producing small quantities and is beneficial when the demand for parts is not high enough to justify mass production. It offers flexibility and a reduced upfront investment, making it ideal for custom projects, prototypes, or limited edition products.
  • Rapid Prototyping: Rapid prototyping in casting enables buyers to quickly get a physical model of their design. This is particularly useful for verifying the design and functionality of a part before moving to more expensive and time-consuming production stages. It's beneficial for industries where design accuracy and speed are critical, such as in product development, engineering, and design validation processes.
This is a map of the UK in dark blue with Qimtek logos on it

Local Casting Suppliers

Qimtek recognises the significance of local solutions and provides a dedicated service that connects clients with 3D printing specialists in their area. This approach not only enables faster project completion and smoother communication but also aids in reducing carbon footprints. Whether you're searching for "Casting Suppliers Near Me" or "Foundries Near Me," Qimtek is committed to ensuring your project meets your regional requirements as well as your sustainability objectives.

Casting Techniques

Explore the diverse world of manufacturing with various casting techniques. Sand Casting, a traditional method involving sand moulds, is ideal for creating large components like engine blocks and housing parts. Die Casting uses high pressure to force molten metal into metal molds, perfect for mass-producing complex parts with great detail, like automotive components and toys. Investment Casting, also known as lost-wax casting, excels in creating high-precision and detailed parts, such as turbine blades and jewelry. Discover the efficiency of Gravity Casting, suitable for producing non-ferrous metal parts like aluminum and magnesium castings. Learn about Continuous Casting, a process used for manufacturing long metal bars and sheets, widely employed in the steel industry. Explore Centrifugal Casting, where molten metal is poured into a rotating mould, ideal for cylindrical parts like pipes and bearings. Lastly, delve into Shell Moluding, a precision casting process that uses resin-coated sand to form moulds, perfect for intricate components.

 


 

This is a component made using the Sand Casting process - a typical service offered by Qimtek Supplier Members

What is Sand Casting?

Sand Casting is a fundamental casting process known for its flexibility in creating large and complex shapes. It involves packing sand around a pattern to form a mould, into which molten metal is poured. This process is widely used in industries for its ability to produce large parts with diverse alloys.

Key Capabilities: 
  • Versatile Molding: Sand casting can create moulds for very large parts, making it suitable for industries like automotive and construction. 
  • Wide Material Compatibility: It can be used with various metals, including iron, steel, and non-ferrous alloys, offering a broad range of application possibilities. 
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Sand casting is relatively inexpensive, especially for small production runs or large components. 
Typical Applications: 
  • Engine Blocks: Widely used in automotive manufacturing for producing large and complex engine components. 
  • Machine Bases: Ideal for creating large, sturdy bases for industrial machinery. Pump Housings: Suitable for producing various sizes of housings for industrial pumps. 
  • Architectural Components: Used in creating intricate, large-scale decorative elements for buildings. 

Sand Casting is versatile and cost-effective, making it a preferred choice for producing large, complex shapes in various industries. Its ability to handle a wide range of materials and part sizes makes it a fundamental technique in the world of manufacturing.


This is a component made using the Die Casting process - a typical service offered by Qimtek Supplier Members

What is Die Casting?

Die Casting is a precision casting process that uses high pressure to force molten metal into reusable metal moulds, or dies. It's renowned for producing high-volume, complex parts with excellent surface finish and dimensional accuracy.

Key Capabilities: 
  • High Production Rate: Die casting is ideal for mass production, capable of producing thousands of identical parts with consistent quality. 
  • Complex Shapes with Fine Details: It can create parts with intricate designs, thin walls, and smooth surfaces. 
  • Material Efficiency: Die casting produces parts with minimal waste, as excess material can be recycled. 
Typical Applications: 
  • Automotive Parts: Perfect for manufacturing components like engine parts, gearboxes, and body panels. 
  • Consumer Electronics: Used for creating robust and detailed casings for electronic devices. 
  • Toys and Collectibles: Ideal for producing detailed and durable toys, action figures, and model parts. 

Die Casting is essential for industries requiring high-volume production of complex, detailed parts with excellent surface finish. Its speed and precision make it a go-to choice for a wide range of applications from automotive to consumer goods.


What is Investment Casting?

Investment Casting, or lost-wax casting, is a precision casting process known for its ability to produce components with exceptional detail and surface finish. It involves creating a wax pattern, which is then coated with refractory material to form a mould.

Key Capabilities: 
  • High Precision: Capable of producing parts with intricate details and exceptional dimensional accuracy. 
  • Versatile Material Selection: Compatible with various metals, including stainless steel, aluminum, and brass. 
  • Excellent Surface Finish: Parts produced have a smooth finish, reducing the need for additional machining. 
Typical Applications: 
  • Aerospace Components: Ideal for producing complex, lightweight parts for aircraft engines and structures. 
  • Medical Implants: Used for manufacturing precise and biocompatible implants and surgical tools. 
  • Jewelry: Perfect for creating detailed and intricate jewelry designs. 

Investment Casting is a go-to process for industries requiring high precision and excellent surface finish. Its versatility in handling complex geometries and a wide range of materials makes it invaluable in applications from aerospace to fine arts.


This is a component made using the Gravity Casting process - a typical service offered by Qimtek Supplier Members

What is Gravity Casting?

Gravity Casting, also known as Permanent Mould Casting, involves pouring molten metal into a permanent mold under the force of gravity, without the use of high pressure. This method is known for producing dense, high-quality parts with good dimensional accuracy.

Key Capabilities: 
  • Quality and Durability: Produces parts with a high level of density and structural integrity, suitable for long-lasting applications. 
  • Good Surface Finish: The process yields parts with a smooth surface, often reducing the need for further finishing. 
  • Reusability of Molds: The permanent molds can be used for multiple castings, making the process cost-effective over large production runs. 
Typical Applications: 
  • Automotive Components: Ideal for producing engine parts, automotive housings, and wheels. 
  • Electrical Fittings: Suitable for creating robust and durable electrical components. 
  • Large Machinery Parts: Used in the manufacturing of large, solid metal parts that require good strength and durability. 

Gravity Casting is widely appreciated in industries that require high-quality, durable parts with a good surface finish. Its efficiency and reusability make it suitable for medium to high-volume production runs.

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"Qimtek has made the process of acquiring quotes from engineering suppliers easy for us. We just upload the drawings and specifications on their easy to use drag drop source system or email them to our sourcing account manager who then sends it onto relevant suppliers on our behalf. What we really liked was that the quotes come directly to us, reducing the time required to find a new supplier."

Subsea Design Engineer, Ocean Tools Ltd

What is Continuous Casting?

Continuous Casting is a highly efficient process used primarily in the steel industry to solidify metal into continuous strands of flat slabs, blooms, or billets. It is notable for its high production rate and consistent quality.

Key Capabilities: 
  • High Efficiency: Continuous casting can produce long lengths of metal without interruption, making it highly efficient for mass production. 
  • Uniform Quality: The process ensures consistent quality and properties throughout the length of the cast metal. 
  • Reduced Waste: It offers better yield and less waste compared to traditional ingot casting. 
Typical Applications: 
  • Steel Sheets and Plates: Widely used in the production of flat steel sheets and plates for various industrial applications. 
  • Structural Steel Sections: Ideal for manufacturing beams, channels, and other structural sections. 
  • Railroad Tracks: Used in producing long, uniform sections of steel for railroad tracks. 

Continuous Casting plays a crucial role in the steel industry, providing a cost-effective and efficient method for producing high-volume, uniform-quality metal sections.


What is Centrifugal Casting?

Centrifugal Casting is a technique where molten metal is poured into a rotating mould. The centrifugal force drives the metal against the mould walls, creating cylindrical parts with fine grain structures and a high-quality surface.

Key Capabilities: 
  • High Material Purity: The centrifugal force helps to segregate impurities, leading to parts with high material purity. 
  • Versatility in Size and Material: Suitable for a wide range of sizes and materials, including metals like iron, steel, and copper alloys. 
  • Excellent Mechanical Properties: Produces parts with superior mechanical properties due to fine grain structure. 
Typical Applications: 
  • Pipe Manufacturing: Ideal for producing high-quality pipes used in water, gas, and oil industries. 
  • Bearing and Bushing Components: Suitable for manufacturing bearings and bushings with high durability. 
  • Large Cylindrical Parts: Used in producing large cylinders and rings for industrial machinery. 

Centrifugal Casting is valued for its ability to produce high-quality cylindrical parts with excellent material properties, making it a preferred choice in industries like pipe manufacturing and machinery.


What is Shell Molding?

Shell Molding, also known as Shell Mould Casting, is a precision casting process that uses a resin-coated sand to form a mould. This technique is known for producing complex parts with excellent surface finish and tight tolerances.

Key Capabilities: 
  • High Precision: Capable of producing parts with intricate details and tight tolerances. 
  • Excellent Surface Finish: The smooth mold surface results in a high-quality surface finish on the cast parts. 
  • Complex Geometries: Suitable for casting complex shapes that might be challenging with other casting methods. 
Typical Applications: 
  • Engine Components: Perfect for producing complex, high-precision engine parts. 
  • Industrial Machinery: Used in manufacturing critical components for various industrial machines. 
  • Aerospace Parts: Ideal for casting intricate components used in the aerospace industry. 

Shell Molding is a precise and versatile casting process, appreciated in industries that require complex geometries with a high degree of accuracy and excellent surface finish. It is particularly valuable for small to medium-sized production runs of high-quality components.

This is an image of a person working on sand castings - a service supplied by Qimtek Supplier Members

Are you a casting supplier looking for clients?

Receive a steady flow of qualified casting leads from active buyers and deal directly with them.

If you're a UK-based casting manufacturer seeking new business opportunities, joining as a supplier member could be your ideal solution. By becoming a member, you'll gain access to active casting enquiries from prospective buyers. The platform has several features to help you identify new clients, including; Email alerts with new opportunities linked to CAD downloads and full buyer contact details, so you can deal direct and begin to forge new relationships, along with a feature for uploading your quotes directly. Elevate your casting business with Qimtek's Supplier Membership and open the door to valuable connections.