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Shell Moulding | Shell Mould Casting | Croning Shell Process | Resin Sand Casting Process

Shell Moulding Process Overview

When making simple or complex near-net form castings, shell moulding is used to ensure tight tolerances and a high degree of dimensional stability are maintained. Shell moulding is a technique used to produce high-quality castings.

Shell mould casting process is sometimes referred to as resin sand casting process, hot shell, and core casting process.

Check this Article: Introduction to Special Casting Process

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The phenolic resin and mixture of sand is the primary moulding material, and it is much more expensive than green sand and furan resin sand because of their coating. Furthermore, this sand cannot be recycled or repurposed. As a result, shell moulding iron castings are more expensive than other castings.

Because shell moulding is a process that can be completely automated, it is the most widely utilized technology for mould and core production today. This casting technology, sometimes known as the crowning process, was developed and patented by J. Croning during World War II and is still in use today. Shell moulding is a process that is used to create thin portions while also achieving a high level of surface finish and dimensional accuracy.

Shell Moulding Machine


Why Shell Mould Casting process is ideal?

It is one of the most ideal casting processes for complex and other thin sections, and it is also referred to as shell mould casting in some circles. This method provides great precision as well as a superior surface polish. In addition to being easily automated, one of the key advantages of this casting process that makes it suited for use in a variety of casting industries is that it is inexpensive. Because of all of these advantages, this technique is adaptable and may be used in a variety of sectors.

Shell mould casting technique

It is possible to cast using a mould similar to a shell, which is constructed of sand and resin and used in the shell mould casting technique. These moulds are lightweight and extremely strong, making them ideal for automatic casting operations. Despite the fact that this process is suited for both ferrous and non-ferrous casting, it is most commonly utilized for steel casting.

Shell molded steel castings

It is necessary to create a metal design that is resistant to high temperatures and can endure abrasion caused by contact with sand during the initial step of shell moulding. The pattern is brought into contact with the sand and resin mixture that will be used to make the shell mould. The mould is then placed in an oven, where the resin is allowed to cure completely.

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The pattern is surrounded by a thin shell as a result of this operation. When compared to the heavy mould used for sand castings, the thickness of the mould can be reduced to 10-20 mm. When the skin has been fully cured, it is carefully peeled away from the pattern, which is the shell mould.

In this post, we will cover the shell mould casting process, including its pros and limitations, as well as its applications.

Introduction to the Shell Moulding Process and Its History

Shell mould casting was invented by a man by the name of Croning, as you would have guessed from the name of the process. In particular, the procedure was developed in 1944 by Johannes Croning, a German engineer and entrepreneur. When Mr. Croning first started his foundry firm in the late 1920s, he raised the necessary funds by selling patents to American corporations. He was still working in Germany near the end of World War II when he came up with the idea for the Croning procedure.

After meeting with Mr. Croning and discussing his invention in 1947, American intelligence agents flew to Germany to speak with him. Their study was thorough, and it enabled American businesses to further develop and use the new technology in the future. While working to perfect both the method and the machines involved in casting, American (as well as German) foundries worked tirelessly throughout the 1940s and 1950s. As early as the late 1950s, shell mould casting was already being used in foundries all over the world to produce a wide variety of sleek, durable parts.

Shell Molding Terminology

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Cope is the upper half of a two-part casting mould that is used for casting.


An interior core is a prefabricated sand shape that is inserted into a mould to make the interior of a casting, or the interior of a hollow component.

Core box:

Core box is a piece of tooling that is used to create a core.


Drag is the bottom portion of a two-part casting mould that is used for casting.


Patterns and core boxes having a draft on the vertical sides allow the core or sand mould to be removed without distorting or ripping the pattern or core box.

Ejector Pins:

In this case, the ejector pins are projecting attachments that are used to push the mould away from the pattern once it has hardened.

Green Sand Molding:

Green Sand Molding is a typical casting procedure that uses damp, clay-bonded moulding sand to create the final product.

Investment Casting:

Investment Casting is a casting process that uses wax and ceramic materials to produce beautiful surfaces and tight tolerances on finished parts.


An aluminum mould is an inflexible frame into which liquid metal is poured in order to make a casting.


A pattern is a duplicate of the part to be cast that is used to shape the mould before casting.


Riser is a reservoir that is built into the mould and is used to keep pieces from shrinking while they are being cooled.


Runout occurs when liquid metal seeps from a mould that is either faulty or insufficiently sealed.


The shakeout is the technique of vibrating mold-casting combinations in order to remove the mould from the casting during the casting process.

Shell Moulding:

A casting procedure in which a thin layer of resin-bonded sand is used to make a mould is known as shell moulding.


During the investment casting process, a tree is a collection of wax or plastic patterns that are put together.


Venting is the process of allowing gas to escape from a mould, either through minute pores in the sand or through channels that have been pre-planned.

The basic principles of the shell-molding process

To create a solid, instantly hardened shell mould, the procedure relies on the capacity of a thermosetting resin and sand mixture to take on the shape of an externally heated metal pattern before being cured.

There are two portions to each shell mould, which are referred to as the cope and drag sections. The two sections are connected together with resin to make a full shell mould. The cores are inserted within the mould before the two parts are sealed together if an interior design is required for the mould.


Parameters governing the shell-molding process

Sand that has been coated with a thermosetting plastic resin is placed onto a heated metal pattern, which cures the resin.

The shell segments are separated from the pattern and then assembled in the correct order. When the poured metal has solidified, the shell of the finished casting is torn away from the casting.

The Shell Moulding Process Has Its Advantages:

High dimensional precision and smooth surfaces are achieved at a faster production rate than sand casting.

The Shell Moulding Process Has Its Limitations:

It is necessary to use costly metal patterns. Plastic resin increases the cost of the item, and the part size is limited.

Metals often used in the Shell Moulding Process include:

Cast irons and casting alloys of aluminium and copper are used in the production of these products.

The Shell Moulding Process has size restrictions:

30 g minimum, generally less than 10kg; mould area is usually less than 0.3 m2; 

Tolerances for the Shell Moulding Process are as follows:

Approximately 0.005 cm

Shell Moulding Process Draft Allowance:

1/4 to 1/2 degree

Surface finish of the Shell Moulding Process is as follows:

Microns ranging from 1/3 to 4.0 microns

Manufacturing via Shell Moulding Process: Properties and Factors to Consider

  1. It has an extremely smooth and solid interior surface on the inside of the shell mould. It makes it possible for the liquid metal to flow easily into the mould cavity during the casting process, resulting in castings with a very good surface finish on the outside. Shell mould casting, as opposed to green sand mould casting, allows for the production of complex pieces with thin sections and smaller projections than green sand casting.
  2. High dimensional accuracy is also achieved by the use of the shell mould method during manufacturing. It is possible to achieve tolerances as small as 0.010 inches (0.25 mm). It is normally not essential to perform any additional machining after casting using this method.
  3. Shell sand moulds are less permeable than green sand moulds, and when the binder comes into contact with the molten metal being poured for the casting, a huge volume of gas may be released into the atmosphere. This is why shell moulds should be kept in a well-ventilated environment.
  4. The cost of the thermosetting resin binder increases the expense of shell mould casting, but it decreases the expense due to the fact that only a tiny percentage of sand is utilized compared to other sand casting procedures.
  5. Shell mould casting methods are simple to automate and maintain.

Shell mould casting is an expensive technique because of the specific metal designs required, making it a less viable procedure for short batches. Manufacturing using shell casting, on the other hand, maybe more cost-effective for large-scale production.


Shell Moulding Process Steps

Shell moulding is a natural technique that uses resin-coated sand to produce the mould. It is an expendable process in nature. It is the ideal method of casting for applications that need precision and accuracy. It gives improved dimensional precision, higher production, and is also more cost-effective from a labour standpoint.

Shell mould processing is divided into several steps, the most important of which are as follows:

  1. Initially, a metal-matched plate must be prepared.
  2. The process of mixing resin and sand
  3. The heating of pattern to necessity temperature
  4. Flipping the pattern’s direction
  5. Curing the shell and baking the finished product
  6. Disposing of the investment
  7. Inserting cores into the holes
  8. Repeat the process for the opposite side of the mould
  9. Assemble the mould
  10. Filling the mould with molten metal
  11. Casting removal
  12. Cleaning and trimming


The Shell Moulding Process is divided into eight steps.

a) Shell moulding pattern making

A two-piece metal template in the shape of the required component is generated, often from iron or steel, and then cast into the desired part. A variety of other materials are occasionally employed, such as aluminium for small-scale production or graphite for the casting of reactive materials.

The construction of a pattern is the first step in the shell moulding procedure. Different foundries employ a variety of different ways to create patterns, but the end result is largely the same. It is a pattern that is an approximate reproduction of the part that will be cast, taking into consideration expected shrinkage and other requirements of the process.

It is necessary to design two patterns in order to build a two-part shell mould, in which two halves are merged to form a complete mould. The bottom half of the mould, known as the drag, will be created by one person, while the top half, known as the cope, will be created by the other.

b) Creating the corebox

Following that, the pattern requires its critical sister component: the corebox. In casting, the corebox is a piece of tooling that is used to make the core, which is then placed within a mould so that the casting has a hollow chamber in the midst of it. It is very similar to the mechanism by which patterns are produced to create coreboxes. Once again, the corebox (as well as the final core) must take into consideration the metal shrinking as it cools in the mould during the manufacturing process.

c) The fabrication of the mould:

Once the corebox and pattern have been completed, it’s time to locate some resin-coated sand to use in the construction. In order to aid removal, each pattern half is heated to temperatures ranging from 175 to 370°C (350 to 700°F) and coated with a lubricant. Following that, the heated pattern is clamped to a dump box that holds a mixture of sand and a resin binder to create the final product.

The dump box has been turned upside down to allow the sand-resin mixture to coat the pattern. After being heated, the design partially cures the mixture, which has now hardened and formed a shell around it. After each pattern half and surrounding shell has been fully cured in an oven, the shell is expelled from the pattern half.

d) Mould assembly:

The two shell sides are tightly fastened together to form the entire shell mould. If any cores are required, they are placed into the mould before it is sealed shut. The shell mould is then inserted into a flask and held in place by a backing substance to complete the process.

e) The process of pouring:

The mould is securely fastened together while molten metal is poured from a ladle through the gating system and into the mould cavity, filling the cavity completely with metal.

f) Cooling:

After the molten metal has been poured into the mould, it must be allowed to cool and solidify in order to get the final shape.

g) Casting removal:

It is possible to remove the casting from the mould after the molten metal has cooled to a safe temperature. In order to remove any extra metal from the feed system as well as any sand from the mould, trimming and cleaning processes are required.

h) Casting is being finished.

The finishing process for a shell mould casting varies greatly depending on the component being cast, the materials used, and the facilities available at the foundry where the casting is being done. For example, some parts necessitate the use of machining. Some of them merely require that they be cut out of the moulds and that their rough edges be filed down.

Others will require heat treatment. Others, which require greater strength, must be heat treated more than once to achieve it. While the shell moulding technique enables foundries to make complicated parts, there are some instances in which many sections will be cast and welded together to form a single unit.

Shell mold casting advantages and disadvantages

The Advantages of the Shell Moulding Process

  1. It is feasible to achieve good casting detail and dimensional precision.

Given that phenolic resin is used in shell moulding as the sand binder, the smooth and firm surfaces of sand moulds ensure that the castings have good surface smoothness after they are finished. The surface quality of the following photograph can be evaluated by examining it.

Furthermore, this technique generates less sand residue during manufacturing, it has the potential to eliminate some iron casting faults, such as sand inclusion, sand holes, and air holes, in the finished product.

Due to the fact that this moulding material is a sort of hard mould, there will be less swell than with sand moulds, resulting in a smaller dimensional tolerance. This advantage will be extremely beneficial in the production of high accuracy rough castings, as well as in the reduction of machining costs.

  1. Moulds are light weighted, allowing them to be kept for long periods of time.
  2. When compared to die-casting, it offers greater design flexibility.
  3. Costs is cheaper than investment casting.
  4. Compared to mechanical green sand moulding, capital plant expenditures are less expensive.
  5. Metal yields are rather high in comparison to other materials.
  6. Sand to metal ratios are low, which is a good thing.
  7. Provides a superior surface polish and higher dimensional accuracy than conventional sand castings, while incurring cheaper fettling expenses than the latter.
  8. Casting can be used to create thin pieces, complex elements, and intricate designs.

Wall thicknesses of less than 5mm will be considered extremely thin, similar to those of sand castings. These cast goods could only be produced using the shell moulding process.

Furthermore, hot shell and core moulds are created by moulding machines, it is possible to produce castings with complicated structures, particularly intricate inner structures, when using this method

  1. A procedure that is simplified enough to be managed by semi-skilled operators.
  2. The casting process is fully automated and mechanised, resulting in a higher production rate for the unit as a result.
  3. Reduction in the amount of foundry area required.
  4. The overall cost of machining is greatly lowered because to the increased production efficiency, improved quality of the finished product, and lower labour expenses that are achieved through the use of this technology.
  5. Because the majority of the job has been accomplished by the moulding machines, this process can be carried out by women without the need for any special skills. In comparison, the green sand casting method is rather different.

Gas-Related Issues are less prevalent: Due to the fact that the mould is itself dry, any issues that may develop during the casting process as a result of gases are considerably reduced in the case of shell moulding. Another advantage of using Shapes is that they are more versatile. Shell moulding enables for the creation of complex shapes with a high level of finish quality.

  1. Waste: Because of the nature of the operation, shell moulding produces less trash and rubbish, and the tooling costs are lower.
  2. It has the potential to boost the unit’s overall profitability.

Disadvantages of the Shell Moulding Process

  1. The cost of a match plate is higher.Due to the necessity for metal patterns (iron patterns) in this procedure, it will be more expensive overall. So it is not suited for the production of small quantities of castings or for the processing of minor orders.
  2. In comparison to green sand and furan resin sand, phenolic resin sand is more expensive, and it is unlikely to be recycled. Because of this, the price of shell moulding castings will increase.
  3. There is a limit to the size of the casting

Generally speaking, shell moulding machines are used to create the outer shells and cores of castings. These machines are restricted in their dimensional capabilities. As a result, the majority of shell moulding castings will be shorter than 400mm in length and lighter than 20kg in weight. This method is incapable of producing items that are either excessively lengthy or too heavy.

Despite the fact that the shell and core moulding technique has these drawbacks, its advantages are also quite significant. As a result, an increasing number of iron foundries are turning to it to create tiny and medium-sized iron castings. As we all know, it is being used by many metal foundries in various nations to create steel castings in order to replace the lost wax casting technique.

  1. The presence of severe dust and fume concerns.
  2. In the case of steels, there is a carbon pickup.


Shell moulding applications

Steel lids, gear blanks, chain seat brackets, refrigerator valve plate, and small crank shafts for air cooled IC engines, automobile transmission components, cast teeth bevel gears, brake beam, hubs, and track rollers for crawler tractors.

Steels such as carbon steel, alloy steel, stainless steel, and low alloys, aluminium alloys, and copper are all cast in the shell moulding process. This procedure is used to cast castings that require a thin section and good dimensional accuracy, among other characteristics. The croning method is used to cast body panes, vehicle hoods, small-size boats, bath tubs, drum shells, connecting rods, gear housings, lever arms, and other components of mechanical devices.

Shell Fondant Mold


What exactly does the term “Shell Moulding” mean?

Shell moulding, also known as shell-mold casting, is an expendable mould casting process in which a mould is formed by pouring resin over sand and hardening the resin. Shell mould casting is a metal casting process that is similar to sand casting in that molten metal is poured into a disposable mould before cooling and solidifying.

What is the purpose of Shell casting?

It is frequently employed for small to medium-sized pieces requiring great precision. Shell mould casting is used for both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, depending on the application. Cast iron, carbon steel, alloy steel, stainless steel, aluminium alloys, and copper alloys are the most often used metals in construction.

Is a shell the same as a mould?

It is possible to create a shell mould with the help of an inexpensive sand-based mould. An injection mould is a hollow shell with thin walls that is made by adding a mixture of sand and resin to a pattern, which is a metal item that has been shaped to resemble the finished product. This template can be used to make a number of different shell moulds.

What is the difference between sand mould casting and shell mould casting?

Sand moulds are used to make cavities in the sand and then pour the molten metal into the cavities created by the mould. The mould is taken from the pattern and the molten metal is poured into the mould, whereas shell moulding involves covering a heated pattern with sand combined with a bonding resin to make a mould.

Why is resin shell mould casting employed in the manufacturing industry?

Shell moulding is a process in which fine sand is coated with a thermosetting resin, which provides the relatively high strength required for the production of a thin section, or shell, mould. When zircon sand is used in place of silica sand, it is possible to achieve even greater accuracy in castings than before.

What is shell sand?

Shell sand is composed of carbonate shells from marine creatures that have partially decomposed. Shells, barnacles, sea urchins, snails, and skeletal calcareous algae are the primary constituents of this organism. Shell sand is being mapped not just because it is a significant product, but also because it is a valuable geological resource.

What kind of sand is utilised in the process of shell moulding?

Shell moulding requires the use of a dry and fine sand. If you use clay, it is entirely free.

What is the reason that Shell Moulding is not preferred?

It is necessary to use a special metal template, which makes it more expensive for large castings. Small batch production is not an option with this system. Shell moulds are less permeable than green sand moulds when compared to one another.

When it comes to shell casting vs. investment casting, what is the distinction?

When it comes to producing parts with intricate interior cavities and good surface finishes, investment casting is well-known for its ability to maintain tight tolerances and manufacture parts with smooth surfaces. Shell mould casting, which involves the use of heat-bonded sand patterns and cores, also provides a high level of quality in the same categories as the previous methods.

For hollow castings with thin walls, what type of casting is used?

Shell mould, and Slush casting produces hollow castings with thin walls, which are known as hollow castings. Thin-walled profiles with a superior surface polish are produced with this procedure.

What type of substance is used as a binder in the shell moulding process, and how is it dried once it is applied?

It is possible that some resin binder will be burned away due to the thin shell and the heat generated when it becomes hot, resulting in great collapsibility.

Is the core removed during the shell moulding process?

The sand walls of a shell mould are typically 7 to 8 mm thick, depending on the size of the mould. They need to be assembled once both the core mould and the shell mould have cooled down and are ready to be used. In this step, the mould is separated from its pattern and the core is separated from its corebox.

What is resin coated sand, and how does it work?

Hot sand is mixed with solid flake-shaped phenolic resin in a core sand mixer, and the resin melts and covers the quartz grains as it cools. Premixing is the term used to describe this step in the process (premixing time is between 40 and 60 seconds).

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