Machining of Castings: What is Machining?

If you need unique metalcast pieces, you need castings machining. Castings aren't always perfect as soon as the leave the mold in the factory. Machining allows us to change your casting to meet your exact needs. No matter what method of machining you need for your project, we keep it simple. We use the pieces of metal, a tool, and a machine to get your metalcast piece up to your specifications. 

There are three main types of machining for metalworking:

  • Cutting: Utilizing either single point or multi point cutting tools, cutting works well for metal pieces that require defined, precise geometry. For curved and/or twisted pieces of metal, this is not the best route. 
  • Abrasive processes: such as sand casting and/ or grinding. This allows us to slowly work your metalcast piece into the shape you want, without the abrupt style left behind by cutting. 
  • Nontraditional processes: Sometimes, a piece of metal cannot go through traditional cutting or abrasive processes. This is where other methods come into play. Chemical and electrical energy are both used in times that traditional methods are not suitable.

The casting process works well for producing larger pieces, rather than needing to put small parts together in an inefficient process. However, the castings may not be as precise as required for industries that rely on extreme accuracy. While this step of the process is an important part in metalworking, the tight tolerances needed in aerospace, aviation and other markets need further refinements for their components. At Hi-Tek, we understand that your metalcast pieces need to be perfect, and we leave no room for error. Taking these casted parts through a machining process is necessary to achieve the proper measurements. 

Why Machine Castings? 

Machining is a way to remove extraneous material that is produced during the casting process. This material may be a part of the mold that is necessary to support it during casting, but it is not needed after the fact. Leaving extra material on your metalcast piece can weigh down the piece or stop it from working as required. In the aerospace and aviation markets, "pretty close" simply isn't good enough. Machine castings allow us to make your piece meet your specifications with 100% accuracy.  

Slight variations that are sometimes produced as a natural result of casting. If anything happens to the mold when the molten metal is poured in, it could also introduce other problems that need to be corrected once it comes out of the mold. Machine casting works to correct these problems in a way that does not affect the overall performance of your metalcast. 

The Machining Process

The machining process takes many forms, depending on the type of component that is being worked on, the requirements of the customer, and the scale at which it is being produced. The material may be cut from the part, ground down, or use fewer common methods for changing the shape. Simple casting works great for simple projects, but more detail requires more work. Machining works best for parts that have very detailed aspects to them, as it can be difficult or impossible to manufacture that through the casting process. When you have a metalcast piece that needs perfect details, it's important that you use castings machining to make the final product meet your exact specifications.

When you go through the machining process at Hi-Tek, we'll work with you to make sure we understand your exact specifications before we get started on your project. It's important to us that we get it exactly right, the first time around. After we talk with you and fully understand your needs, we'll input the specifications for your project into the machine, and from there, there is no possibility for human error to take over. 

Creating a prototype? We understand the process, and we're here to help. We'll take your plans, create your machined casting, and work with you on each round of revisions to your metalcast piece. We know that innovation is a tricky, time consuming business, and we're here to help you with prototypes in any way that we can. If you're not sure that we can provide you with what you need, talk to us. We like creating new things as much as you do, and we'll work with you to create a new, out of the box solution to meet your needs throughout and after the casting and machining process. 

Not all casting and machining companies have the ability to work with super-alloys. At Hi-Tek, we pride ourselves on our state-of-the-art machinery, able to handle super-alloys and more. Our experience with super‐alloys allows us to effectively take these castings through machining. We have the necessary equipment to handle these demanding manufacturing needs. In some cases, we have built the machines and processes ourselves whenever the commercially available options didn't meet our requirements. We are determined to get your project right, even if that means going out of the box and trying something unheard of in the machining industry. We understand that we're working with innovators in the aerospace and aviation industries, and that means doing things in a way that they haven't been done before. We're here to help you move forward, and that means doing things differently. 

 

How Hi‐Tek Helps with Castings Machining

Hi‐Tek uses creep feed grinding as a way to allow companies to create precise parts at scale, alongside our company's EDM, Fast Hole EDM, and other manufacturing processes. Since our customers need tight tolerancing so that vibrations are minimized on turbines, as well as reducing the wear rate at the dovetail, we needed a way to make everything perfect and economically sound. We use custom‐fitted diamond rolls, monitored power meter settings and an engineered coolant delivery system to ensure that the dovetail geometry ends up being within tolerances after the grinding process. It's important to us that we provide you with the best equipment in the field. We value your trust in us to get the job done right, and that means we need to provide you with top of the line equipment. 

 

Creep Feed Grind Capabilities

Our 10-continuous dress creep feed grinding machines utilized open structured wheels and robust coolant delivery systems to accurately and effectively remove super alloy material across complicated geometries found on fir tree / dovetail shapes as well as other surfaces.  CMM inspection is utilized throughout the department to verify, at the point of manufacturing, the dimensional quality of the grind and compliance customers’ exacting dimensional requirements. We check in on your metalcast at regular intervals to make sure that the project is progressing as expected. If we find a concern, we'll contact you and discuss options to proceed. The two 8000-gallon coolant filtration systems supporting the creep feed grind department provide the reservoir of essential coolant demanded for operation all of the equipment.  Finally, all ground surfaces are inspected to exacting standards using FPI penetrant to validate the integrity of the grinding process. 

 

About Hi‐Tek Manufacturing

Hi‐Tek Manufacturing has four decades of experience working with aviation and gas turbine companies.  We specialize in offering quality machining services for hot gas path component parts. Our equipment is capable of working with the super‐alloys that are necessary in your projects. We are always looking for new ways to innovate, so we'll be able to provide our customers with the manufacturing capabilities they request.  Another benefit of working with Hi‐Tek Manufacturing is that we have the staff on‐hand to take a piece project from start to finish.  Make complete and engine installation ready parts is well within Hi-Tek’s capabilities.  Managing the support processes such as coating and shot peening (processes outside of Hi-Tek’s in-house operations) as well as procuring customer designed cast or forged material, is all possible and familiar to Hi-Tek’s business model.  We pride ourselves on a collaborative approach with our customers so that we're always meeting their specifications and schedule needs. Need something in a rush? Talk to us. We're happy to work with you to meet the confines of your schedule.

Call Hi-Tek For Your Castings Machining Needs

As one of the top providers of engine turbine parts in the aeronautic and aviation industries, we're a trusted name when it comes to getting things done right. When you're choosing a company for castings machining, we understand that you have choices. At Hi-Tek Manufacturing, we're proud to provide our customers with a state-of-the-art product at a price that's fair. We take safety and quality just as seriously as you do. We aren't a flash in the pan company- we've been around since 1980, providing aeronautic and aviation companies with reliable aircraft parts. Our reputation in the industry precedes us, and we come highly recommended by well-known companies worldwide. Over the past 39 years, we've grown as a company, and we've ensured that our products continue to meet the high standards our customers expect. 

We understand that the devil is in the details, and we're here to work with you to make sure that your engine turbine parts are exactly what you need. It doesn't matter if you're looking for a product that you've ordered 10 times before, or if you're working on something brand new- we're here to help you get the exact, detailed piece that you need to make the idea in your mind a reality in the sky. 

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