Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How can I save money on castings when the
shape is complex and quantity is small?
A. One way to save money on castings is by using
Styrofoam patterns. They are much less costly than
conventional patterns and the resultant castings have
excellent dimensional integrity.
Q. What are examples of parts where you can
use Styrofoam patterns?
A. You can save money on castings for gear segments,
blocks for automotive stamping dies, valves, pump bodies
and impellers and other complex shapes by using
Q. What’s the best kind of project for
A. Styrofoam patterns are primarily used for short-run
casting programs – or to verify casting design.
Q. Isn’t wood the lowest cost pattern material?
A. The general rule is that three Styrofoam patterns can
be produced for the same cost as a single wood pattern.
Q. Is there an alternative to machined, heat treated
steel weldments that provides equal wear resistance?
A. Most steel weldments that are heat treated and
machined can be cast to near-net shape Ni-Hard or a
Wellsville proprietary material.
Q. How does a forging compare with a
casting for strength?
A. Where there are complex, multi-directional stresses
(as opposed to a single, unidirectional stress), engineered
castings are superior. A forging is stronger in one direction
based on the direction of flow determined by the hammer.
If multi-directional strength is required, a casting is
Q. What about tooling costs for a forging
vs. a casting?
A. The tooling cost for a forging is generally higher than
for traditional casting patterns and substantially higher
than the cost of Styrofoam patterns.
Q. What’s the least expensive way to make
a complex part?
A. The casting process wins, hands-down. A complex
part can be cast to “near net shape,” minimizing or
eliminating machining and the material waste that
Q. What is meant by “near net shape?”
A. It means producing a part so that it is closest to the
desired final part, and minimal final machining is required.
Q. How do I get closest to my final shape, with a
part that has complex, multi-directional stresses, in
the least amount of time, and at the lowest cost?
A. A casting produced with rapid prototype tooling is the
answer. A trial casting could be available in a few days,
depending on complexity. Casting is the answer when
time and budgets are short.
Q. I want to simplify our assembly rebuild process.
Can you help?
A. If you have a casting that’s part of an assembly,
we can replace the full assembly, including casting,
fabrication, bearings, etc. using modular manufacturing
techniques, and our assembly rebuild team. Pricing
and turnaround is very favorable.
Q. Can you recommend a material that won’t
gall in a sliding friction application?
A. Our ductile iron-based WD3 is an excellent alternative.
It’s a proprietary Wellsville material with exceptional
Q. Where have your proprietary materials
been used successfully?
A. Excellent examples are V rolls for material transfer in
steel mills, run-out tables, guiding equipment, wear plates,
and for the straightening of round bar stock. WD3 has
excellent sliding friction characteristics.
Q. Is this material appropriate for high-temp use?
A. Our proprietary material, WD3 is made for applications
under 500°F. WD3+ is ideal for temperatures up to 1300°F.
Q. What casting materials do you recommend
for high chemical resistance?
A. Ni-resist and Ni-hard are both highly resistant to
strong acids, strong alkalis – and the sour gases found in
petrochemical drilling and production.
Q. We’ve had problems with casting porosity.
We need low porosity castings that satisfy X-ray.
What’s your suggestion?
A. Wellsville has produced low porosity castings that
satisfy X-ray examination. Our solidification modeling
eliminates porosity in the engineering stage, so parts
don’t develop deleterious defects and inclusion porosity.
We understand porosity and the problems it causes with
machine shops downstream, and have focused on low
porosity castings as a specialty.
Q. But how to you get “low porosity?”
A. Close control over chemistry, expert solidification
modeling, tight control over pattern and gating design,
and good foundry practice, virtually eliminate porosity
as an issue. Our ability to prevent shrinkage defects,
and porosity defects, sets Wellsville apart from
conventional ductile iron foundries.
Q. What is solidification modeling?
A. Solidification modeling is a computerized simulation
tool used for complex castings. It is particularly useful
for castings that have many different section thicknesses
where changes occur and the risk of porosity defects is
high. Solidification modeling determines the best way
to produce the part, so you generate scrap on the screen,
not in the casting.
Q. Is solidification modeling always appropriate?
A. It’s always useful, but not always critical.
Q. What’s the toughest problem you’ve solved
with solidification modeling?
A. Another foundry had difficulty producing a low porosity
ductile iron wear casting; the high vacuum was defeated
in use, and the parts failed. Through expert application of
solid modeling, Wellsville produced a porosity-free casting.
The vacuum held and the parts were successful.
Q. Is solidification modeling specific to the material?
A. Yes. The solidification modeling software is sophisticated,
and compensates for a variety of materials and chemistries,
so that the results accurately represent the final casting.
Q. Does solidification modeling add time to the project?
A. No, we produce a solidification model while the pattern
is being built – think of solidification modeling as the foundry
version of “simultaneous engineering.”
BACK TO TOP >