Production of iron castings up to 50 t

Production of iron castings up to 50 t


RAFAMET Foundry is a manufacturer of iron castings weighing up to 50 tonnes and measuring up to several metres, mainly for the machinery sector. They specialise in grey and ductile iron castings, as well as special alloy castings.

Much of the production is carried out in moulding pits up to 20 metres long. The company also offers a wide range of services related to its main activity: construction of foundry models, consultancy and advice in the field of foundry technology, mechanical machining of castings, laboratory work and repair of castings using the Metalock method.

Over 70% of their products and services are exported to international markets

The foundry from Kuźnia Raciborska is a recognised European manufacturer of mounting plates, as well as special plates, for example for measuring and testing stations. The plates are purchased by the largest machine tool manufacturers, including those in Germany, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic. The plates are also supplied to research and development laboratories in the automotive sector as elements on which test and measurement stations are prepared.

The production of the mounting plates is based on a carefully developed technological process, supported by a series of strength calculations and analyses carried out using the latest engineering solutions. The result of these activities is a high quality product characterised by high strength and rigidity. The plates delivered to the customer are machined, prepared, have a high tolerance class and are equipped with a complete set of elements necessary for assembly.

The plates are produced in sizes up to 9000×3000 mm, with a load capacity of up to 35 t/m2. The Rafamet Foundry produces sets of plates joined together to form fields, according to individual customer requirements. The largest field produced so far measures 16×14 m.

Rafamet Foundry produces castings using lost foam technology, which is an alternative to the traditional casting process. Lost foam technology, also known as full mould, uses polystyrene (EPS) patterns that are completely embedded in the casting mould.

Liquid metal poured into the mould fills the cavity and simultaneously burns out the model. The lost foam process is economical for complex castings because the polystyrene model can replicate undercuts, angular recesses and optimised contours. In many cases, this method is much less expensive than the traditional method of using wooden patterns, due to the lower cost of pattern production.

The advantages of using lost foam technology include greater design flexibility than with wooden patterns, the ability to produce complex castings for all grades of iron, lower costs for one-off and prototype production (the cost of an EPS pattern is approximately 20% of the typical cost of a wooden pattern), shorter delivery times (EPS pattern production takes 1 to 3 weeks) and the additional possibility of reducing the weight of the casting.

The range of services offered by Rafamet Foundry includes the development of prototypes and EPS model designs, technological support in the casting design process and the economical selection of suitable castings for the lost foam process compared to conventional casting methods.

The main users of lost foam castings are companies in the automotive industry that produce body panels pressed from sheet metal – the castings are used to make dies and punches. The technology is also used for one-off and prototype production where investment in an expensive set of wooden models is not justified.

The largest burnt EPS casting produced by the Rafamet foundry measured 8000×2500×900 mm and weighed over 20 tonnes.

Fot. Rafamet Foundry

Fot. Rafamet Foundry

Do you know that …

The foundry uses ITACA’s advanced MeltDeck 8 system for the thermal analysis of molten iron, which allows the actual physico-chemical state of the molten alloy to be studied. This system allows the determination of quality parameters together with approximate mechanical properties.

Such analysis facilitates the optimisation of the chemical composition by continuously monitoring the actual characteristic points on the crystallisation curves and determining the most optimal state of the iron.

In 2015, strength analyses were carried out and measures taken to optimise the design of the mounting plates produced since 2009.

Thanks to the results obtained in 2015, a new design of mounting plates with a loading capacity of 35 t/m2 was introduced into production. Plates with such parameters attract the interest of the most demanding customers, with whom continuous business cooperation was established in 2014-2015.