white metal casting probs

A while ago, i started making some parts for my models i done, and started making models of them and casting them in white metal. When i first started i used the metal that came with the handcasting starter kit i bought. It was OK for some things but as it cools with a matt finish it wasnt as good for other things (such as the lightbars, which get painted metalic blue, so a shiny silver base gives much better results) so i bought some some different metal which was KA Low Melt Alloy, which cools with a nice shiny surface - perfect just what i was after, apart from one promlem i just can get any castings to come out good.

Ever lightbar ive tried to cast, comes out with dimples in it. At first i thought i migt be the mold so i tried the older (matt finish wm) in the mold and it gives a perfect smooth casting, new metal dosent.

I check the info for the metal and it says porosity problems indicate the metal has been over heated - which is the problem i am having but cant under stand because as soon and the metal has melted in the ladel i pour it into the mold.

Ive tried load of times, and at first thought i could be air getting trapped in the middle of the mold/lightbar so made small channel for the air to escape into - still didnt work, tried moving the model side to side to help the metal flow still didnt work.

This metal should have better flow properties better for finder/smaller detals yet it seems to be worse and musch more of a pain than the cheaper metal.

Anyone got any suggestings as what could be causing the problem

------------- Diecast Fire & Police Service Models Collection and Custom Conversions

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My experience with casting is with mainly with superalloys (turbine blades). I'm not sure if this applies to the alloys you are using, but one problem that we can have is shrinkage as the alloy solidifies. One design practice is to consider how the part cools off or "freezes". You like to have a reservoir of molten metal to supply the part as solidifies and shrinks, filling in the voids. If for example, the ends solidify first and leave a pocket of molten metal trapped in the middle, as it cools off it will shrink and pull away from the mold surface.

I'm not sure if this is the problem you are having, but I would suggest that you look at your mold design. You may need to add some gates or risers to feed the metal to the mold differently to prevent sections from freezing off.

Not a definitive answer, but something to try.

Good luck,


Reply to
mark johnston

Have you tried pre warming the moulds I have had much better results from hot moulds. If you start casting in a cold mould and consign the first few casting stright back into the pot the mould soon warms up. You might also try hollowing out the masters, so instead of a moulding a big block you cast a shell. The thinner section may help the casting to cool evenly. HTH

Reply to
Les Pickstock

So polish the one.

Probably from shrinkage while cooling.

That doesn't mean you're not using too high a heat.

Shrinkage for sure.

Try R8 alloy.

Other than custom cutting an aluminum mold with a large reservoir for molten metal and preheating the mold....nope.

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As it happens I just subscribed to the Yahoo 'Casting' group. It has 3000 subscribers, and covers white metal too. Perhaps worth a try?

Rob de Bie

My models:

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Me 163B site:
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AQM-34 site:
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Rob de Bie

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