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The Tooling for Sand Casting, the Classifications of Pattern in Sand Casting

The main tooling for sand casting is the pattern that is used to create the mold cavity. The pattern is a full size model of the part that makes an impression in the sand mold. However, some internal surfaces may not be included in the pattern, as they will be created by separate cores. The pattern is actually made to be slightly larger than the part because the casting will shrink inside the mold cavity. Also, several identical patterns may be used to create multiple impressions in the sand mold, thus creating multiple cavities that will produce as many parts in one casting.

Several different materials can be used to fabricate a pattern, including wood, plastic, and metal. Wood is very common because it is easy to shape and is inexpensive, however it can warp and deform easily. Wood also will wear quicker from the sand. Metal, on the other hand, is more expensive, but will last longer and has higher tolerances. The pattern can be reused to create the cavity for many molds of the same part. Therefore, a pattern that lasts longer will reduce tooling costs. A pattern for a part can be made many different ways, which are classified into the following four types:

Solid pattern - A solid pattern is a model of the part as a single piece. It is the easiest to fabricate, but can cause some difficulties in making the mold. The parting line and runner system must be determined separately. Solid patterns are typically used for geometrically simple parts that are produced in low quantities.



           Solid pattern

Split pattern - A split pattern models the part as two separate pieces that meet along the parting line of the mold. Using two separate pieces allows the mold cavities in the cope and drag to be made separately and the parting line is already determined. Split patterns are typically used for parts that are geometrically complex and are produced in moderate quantities.


Split pattern


Match-plate pattern - A match-plate pattern is similar to a split pattern, except that each half of the pattern is attached to opposite sides of a single plate. The plate is usually made from wood or metal. This pattern design ensures proper alignment of the mold cavities in the cope and drag and the runner system can be included on the match plate. Match-plate patterns are used for larger production quantities and are often used when the process is automated.


Match-plate pattern


Cope and drag pattern - A cope and drag pattern is similar to a match plate pattern, except that each half of the pattern is attached to a separate plate and the mold halves are made independently. Just as with a match plate pattern, the plates ensure proper alignment of the mold cavities in the cope and drag and the runner system can be included on the plates. Cope and drag patterns are often desirable for larger castings, where a match-plate pattern would be too heavy and cumbersome. They are also used for larger production quantities and are often used when the process is automated.


Cope and drag pattern


Another piece of tooling used in sand casting is a core-box. If the casting requires sand cores, the cores are formed in these boxes, which are similar to a die and can be made of wood, plastic, or metal just like the pattern. The core-boxes can also contain multiple cavities to produce several identical cores.

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