The melting of iron and subsequent casting into prefabricated forms has been known since ancient times. Although we cannot speak of technology at that time in the modern sense of the word, the results were astonishing.
The technology of the steel and iron foundry
The melting of iron and subsequent casting into prefabricated forms has been known since ancient times. Although we cannot speak of technology at that time in the modern sense of the word, the results were astonishing. The challenge for historical foundries lay, on the one hand, in the high melting point of iron and, on the other hand, in the correct mixing ratio of iron and carbon, where the different designations for iron and steel have their origins. All iron with a carbon content of less than 2% is today called steel. More than 2% is usually denominated as cast iron, while pure iron hardly makes an appearance. The secret in ancient times was to remove or to add carbon. Since the melting furnaces in the foundries at those times mostly consisted of natural stone and the melting point had to be reached with hard coal, large quantities of molten metal were still not possible and neither could impurities be prevented. Only modern blast furnaces, operated with coke and provided with heat resistant linings, allowed greater melting capacity and more efficient methods for a foundry. By the blowing in of oxygen, further impurities could be removed, resulting in increasingly higher quality steels and cast iron. The foundry technology grew.
Modern foundry technology in the age of chips and computer technology
Great development steps over centuries and sensational research results in metallurgy, particularly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, have produced unimaginable achievements in foundry technology. In the second half of the twentieth century, with the introduction of the electric arc furnace or medium frequency furnace, an optimum level could be achieved with regard to melting and casting processes as well as in the development of automatic processes. In the meantime, however, computer technology has provided a further innovative revolution that has led to sweeping developments in production processes, the control of casting processes as well as the design and construction of the castings. However, the possibilities are still far from exhausted and new advances in the IT sector are finding their way into the practical application of modern foundry technology. This is also the case in mould making, where CAD programs in the design and CNC controlled tooling machines in the manufacturing of casting mould models have completely renovated the process in the last decades. Another step is "Direct forming". This method makes it possible to produce moulds for prototypes and individual pieces without models.
The Silbitz Foundry Group offers the highest level of innovation
As a foundry company for cast iron and cast steel, the foundry Silbitz Group follows this trend not only with regard to innovations in the IT sector, but also with regard to the innovative implementation of the results made available from research and the in-house development department. This relates in particular to the improvement of material properties, which combines the optimization of the casting process with the specific performance required by the customer. These include boundary areas such as the new development or reverse engineering of forged parts made of isothermally tempered cast iron with spheroidal graphite cast iron, ADI. The Foundry Silbitz Group is able to react quickly to specific customer requirements and to offer solutions by means of "direct forming" through the targeted combination of computer assisted processes in the organization, production and logistics as well as casting techniques of the highest level of technology. This extends to components that are ready for assembly and also includes post-processing with machining technology.