Whitehall Products manufactures its address plaques and many other products by sand casting aluminum into the desired three-dimensional form. As each address is unique, a custom mold is created by packing sand around a pattern of the part to be cast. Once the sand is packed, the pattern is removed, leaving a cavity in the sand mold. Molten metal is then poured into the cavity and allowed to cool and solidify.
Sand casting is the most widely used metal casting process as it is capable of producing complex objects in one piece. Most engine blocks and cylinder heads are made using this technique. Low-cost tooling and short set-up times also make sand casting attractive.
Die casting is also a common cast technique. Instead of using a one-time sand mold, die casting using a mold machined out of steel to precise dimensions. This allows the mold to filled under higher pressure to fill every part of the mold and creates a precise, detailed part. Die casting is typically used for smaller, more intricate parts that require higher precision and tighter tolerances. While the steel mold is more expensive to create, it can be used multiple times.
Overall, sand casting is a more versatile and flexible process, while die casting is more precise and efficient for certain types of parts.