What is an ingot?

Ingot is a piece of usually relatively pure metal material that is molded to perform other processes. Ingots can have different dimensions. In general, when we talk about ingots, we mean a cube or a cube with different lengths of edges (trapezoidal cube).

The easiest and fastest way to produce casting ingots. This method is based on a heart whose internal dimensions are determined by the correct size of the ingot and the amount of molten metal that is poured into it.

Ingot casting is done for a wide variety of metals. Ingots can be produced as a prototype or a series of metal mills. Thanks to modern technology and the required size, there is also the production of ingots with special sizes and heavy weights.

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How to produce ingots

Ingots can be produced by the classical casting method or by mechanical production. There are different types of ingots depending on their sizes, shapes and materials. Ingot quality is monitored and evaluated at every stage of production, from simulation to completion.

In the casting method, the ingots are produced by cooling the melt in the mold. In the first stage, the mold is designed based on complete solidification and creating the appropriate grain structure required for subsequent processes. The structure formed by the cooling of the melt strongly affects the physical and mechanical properties of the material.

The shape and size of the mold is designed to make it easier to work with ingots and subsequent downstream processes. A suitable mold is a mold that minimizes melt loss and helps to easily remove solid ingots. Loss of melt or ingot increases the cost of producing the final product.

There are a variety of shapes and designs for a variety of molds that may be selected to suit the physical properties of the melting and solidification process. Templates may be horizontal or vertical. They may also have grooved or flat walls.

The groove design transfers heat due to having a larger contact area. Depending on the need for heat transfer, the molds may be of a slow-melting material or traditionally sand (for example, for iron ingots). Some molds also have a hydrophilic system to accelerate the cooling of the melt.

Ingot molds are made conical to prevent cracks due to uneven cooling. Cracks or fissures occur when the conversion of a liquid to a solid changes in volume. Creating these ingot defects may make the ingot useless and require re-melting, recycling or even occasional disposal.

The physical structure of a crystalline material is highly dependent on the cooling method and deposition of molten metal. During the casting process, the metal cools rapidly in contact with the ingot walls, and depending on the melt that cools and the amount of cooling in the mold, a cold zone with a columnar structure of dendrites containing oxygen and oxide is created.

The cooling effect of the mold creates a progressive solidification front that has several areas. Over time, the formation of dendrites or buds in the freezing area is controlled.

Types of ingots:

Ingots are divided into three categories, which are:

Tin ingots

Antimony ingots

First class lead ingots

Application of ingots

In steelmaking, the first step among casting products is the production of ingots. Ingots usually require melting and casting or shaping and machining methods to produce a useful end product; Such as cold work, hot work, cutting or milling.

Non-metallic and semiconductor materials may also require the raw material in the form of ingots; Especially when they are produced by molding methods with parts made from these materials. Precious metal ingots, such as gold ingots, can also be considered as currency or foreign exchange reserves. Therefore, the making of ingots is done for different and specific purposes.

Depending on the type and size of ingots, these important products play an important role in the construction industry and in the manufacture of tools and machinery. Cast ingots can weigh from 300 kg to 9 tons, so they are especially used in heavy industry, shipbuilding and heavy cranes.

Casting molds with special dimensions increase the scope of application of ingots and create the ground for creating different options of use.

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