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CNC pattern making high temperature castings

High temperature castings specialist, Wallwork Cast Alloys, have slashed the lead time for deliveries of new casting designs to as little as two weeks, from a previous maximum of 18 weeks. This follows a major investment in a CNC pattern making system that reduces the time taken for bespoke patterns to be designed, optimised and made into a finished pattern. The new system has also reduced the initial cost, radically altering the economics of production, so smaller batches are now viable and purchasers need less cash tied up in stock castings.

Foundry furniture – the baskets, trays and fixtures used in high temperature furnace operations make up the bulk of the Wallwork foundry output. Many of these are used for aerospace and other demanding heat treatment operations at Wallwork sites in Manchester, Birmingham and Cambridge.

This practical applications experience underpins the commercial service that the foundry provides to other hot trades. High strength castings, with low mass, permit target furnace temperatures to be achieved quickly for faster cycle times, using less energy. Understanding this means Wallwork can develop foundry furniture designs that use material efficiently but retain strength in key areas.

SolidWorks, a software package to create virtual 3D models that can be visualised from any angle, provides the basis for design development and optimisation. Once the design is complete, files are converted by CAD/CAM software into a digital file and transmitted to the CNC milling machine. Patterns are made from medium or high density resin board from which the machine removes all excess material to create a single-piece precision pattern that the foundry can use repeatedly.

Foundry manager Alex Beck commented, “With the new machine we can respond quickly to customer needs, be more flexible and even more competitive. Patterns made by this method have a good working life, but all designs are stored digitally so we can easily replicate patterns when they wear out or make modified designs if needs change.”

A new brochure is available to guide buyers of high temperature cast alloy components and furnace furniture. More information can be found on the web at].

More Information
Simeon Collins, Sales Director
Tel. +44 (0)161 797 9111 Fax. +44 (0)161 763 1861
E-mail: Web:
Wallwork Group, Lord Street, Bury, Greater Manchester, BL9 0RE


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