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History of Casting
History of the Full
Mold Casting Process
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24 pound cannon for Nirayama Reverberatory Furnace

History of the Full Mold Casting Process

Name origin
The Full Mold Casting (FMC) process is called in various ways: Lost-Foam Casting, Lost-Foam, EPC process, FMC Process. It is a word contrast to Cavity Mold of wood pattern process which its mold has a space inside it.
The history
The basic patent of FMC process, which was pended by H.F. Shroyer of the United States, concluded in 1958. Following that, in 1964, H.B. Dieter and T.R. Smith have developed the Dry Sand method preceding the development of Magnetic method of A. Wittmoser and Hoffmann (German) in 1967.
The enforcement right of the basic patent of FMC process was obtained by an insulating compound production company in Germany, Gruenzweig & Hartmann company (abbreviated name G+H) in 1961. Wittmoser o‚† RWTH Aachen University who assumed the Vice President of said company greatly contributed to the technology's industrialization and its spread throughout the world. Wittmoser became the foster parent of FMC process.
In Japan, around 1965, Mitsubishi Yuka Badische Co.,Ltd. has acquired the re-enforcement right of the patent from FULL MOLD INTERNATIONAL managed by Wittmoser and the technological development was carried out by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. There were surprisingly 120 companies devoted to the FMC process once at maximum.
From the left: Mrs. Roomheld (President's wife), President Kimura, R&D department director Kanno, Mrs. Kimura, Professor Wittmoser (October 1993, At a hotel of suburban Mainz City )
From the left: Mrs. Roomheld (President's wife), President Kimura, R&D department director Kanno, Mrs. Kimura, Professor Wittmoser(October 1993, At a hotel of suburban Mainz City )
Press dies produced by FMC process
Press dies produced by FMC process
Mass-manufactured product by lost-foam
Mass-manufactured product by lost-foam
In those days, the quality of this process was still low so it could only be applied to the production of press dies for automobile in order to fully make use of its advantages. In November 1993, since Wittmoser who played the central role in popularizing FMC has suddenly passed away, the licensed group network closed down and from there on, each company individually developed their business. It could be understood that the FMC process is adopted by chemical manufacturers, those who produce foam polystyrene, in the object of expanding the related products. There was a large worldwide debate on which method would exceed the other: top pouring casting plan supported by Wittmoser or bottom pouring casting plan promoted by the President Kimura.
>After the 1980s when the basic patent was lapsed, the FMC process started to be applied to smaller products as shaped tubes and automobile parts, although it has been specializing in large-scale castings as press dies until then.
In 1980, General Motors and in 1982, Ford has applied the FMC technology to cylinder head of aluminum alloy. In 1984, Fiat has taken the technology into the mass-manufacturing of small-scaled products. These applications were mainly performed by adopting molding method using vibrating molding machine utilizing sand without binder. This technology is most commonly called as lost-foam. Its application to small-scaled mass-produced products was also developing at about same time in Japan. It was the start of the second boom of FMC.
On the other hand in the case of large-scale castings, due to the residual (cinders of foam polystyrene) issue of FMC process, its application to other products except press dies was not progressing desirably. However, there was no doubt in FMC process being the most appropriate method for manufacturing single casting since it does not require wood patterns. Our company has been putting effort in application of the technology to the fields of machine tools and industrial machines since 1974. We call this technology as gNew Full Mold Casting process (in short, New-full). Since this New-full technology was our own technology and it was only limitedly applied to single casting, it did not lead to another big trend.
It was in 1987, when the method of making Full Mold patterns by utilizing CAD/CAM was introduced to our company. This technology has provided a chance of expanding the opportunity to the field of mass-production. We have taken the challenge of mass-manufacturing machine tools by the FMC method. This technology was developed to be applied to compounded castings of machine tools and industrial machines a little more later in the future.
Full Mold process applied to Industrial machine castings
By introducing CAD/CAM system into the FMC pattern making process in 1987, the pattern production was completely transformed into a new system. Traditionally, a pattern was made by first imagining a space of a product from its two-dimensional drawing, create parts by using tools as band saw and assembling them. Together with the development of computers, the traditional hand-made pattern making shifted to the pattern-making by CAD/CAM. We have succeeded in completely giving up the hand-made process in 2002. This revolution in pattern making process has increased the prospect in the field of mass-produced castings.
Pattern making by CAD/CAM
Pattern making by CAD/CAM
Various applications of solid data
Various applications of solid data

The FMC process, having Wittmoser as its foster parent, has been handed over to our company and been applied to all sorts of products regardless of mass-produced, single production or type of casting.


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