Introduction: Valentines Day - Aluminum Heart Chain
In this Ible I will provide a short summery of a cool project for Valentines day, metal casting is one of many hobbies that I have and when I do have some spare time I like to cast some aluminum objects. In the next steps I will briefly explain how I created an aluminum heart chain using recycled scrap aluminum.
This is the first time I tried to use the lost foam casting process usually I use the traditional sand casting process, basically the main part is taking Styrofoam placing it in casting sand and pouring molten aluminum over it...well more or less ;-).
The molten aluminum vaporizes the Styrofoam and the molten aluminum fills the shape of the previews Styrofoam. I decided to use foam hearts for this project linking them together into a heart chain.
To connect all the foam hearts I used ordinary craft sticky glue and it worked very well. For the fist casting I used Green sand oppose to oil bonded sand.
To be honest I didn't invest much in the first lost foam casting attempt and the results speaks for themselves with massive casting defects, so I decided to try again and this time to use oil bonded sand.
I created a new Styrofoam hearts chain and this time combined donuts Styrofoam links between the hearts, the links where a bit tight but I took into consideration that they might fuse with the hearts. For the sand casting I used Oil bonded sand that is much easier to use and mold around the the Styrofoam hearts.
Once all the hearts where in place in the sand I glued the sprues where the molten aluminum was poured into. I was not sure if this casting would turn out but I had no doubt that it will be more successful the the first attempt. And it was indeed!!
I opened the sand flask and carefully released the solid casting from the sand and there I revealed a really nice aluminum heart chain coming out of the smoke ;-)
The aluminum casting turned out very well and I was extremely happy with my 2nd ever lost foam casting attempt. Now the next step was cutting the sprues and cleaning the extra aluminum.
To cut the extra sprues I used my electric reciprocating saw, its quick and effortless. After cutting the extra aluminum I gave it a final clean with an angle grinder and aluminum discs scaling the grits.
* On the safety side I do recommend to use high grade face mask during the aluminum pouring process and during the aluminum cleaning part.
In the next images you can see the end results of my first aluminum heart chain, great gift for Valentines Day made from recycled scrap aluminum.