Metal casting has a historic pedigree as the manufacturing process first used by man to produce intricate metal articles and art objects. It played a major role in the industrial revolution and remain the basis of current manufacturing equipment and manufactured goods. The process plays an important part in aerospace component production and , as such, remains at the leading edge of technology development. Despite the competition from plastics and ceramics, metal still remain the dominant material in the production of captital equipment and manufactured goods. Metal casting will continue to play a major role, as a menufacturing process of considerable versatility, for the foreseeable future.
In common with other manufavturing processes, metal casting has not remained static and there have been significant developments in both the metallurgy of cast alloys and in casting processes. It is the development in processing, and particularly those devised to improve precision, which is the focus of this pass age. The objectives of these introductory passages are to establish the context within which precision casting processes are operated.
This requires a definition and description of metal casting, a consideration of the attributes of metal casting in relation to other manufacturing processes, a summary of the structure of the foundry industry, and a definition of the term precision in the context of metal casting.
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