Casting is a process by which a fluid melt is introduced into a mold, allowed to cool in the shape of the form,
and then ejected to make a fabricated part or casing. Four main elements are required in the process of casting: pattern,
mold, cores, and the part. The pattern, the original template from which the mold is prepared, creates a corresponding cavity
in the casting material. Cores are used to produce tunnels or holes in the finished mold, and the part is the final output
of the process.
Casting may be used to form hot, liquid metals or meltable plastics (called thermoplastics), or various materials that
cold set after mixing of components such as certain plastic resins (e.g. epoxy), water setting materials such as concrete or plaster, and materials that become liquid or paste when moist such as clay, which when dry enough to be rigid is removed from the
mold, further dried, and fired in a kiln.
Substitution is always a factor in deciding whether other techniques should be used instead of casting. Alternatives include
parts that can be stamped out on a punch press or deep-drawn, items that can be manufactured by extrusion or by cold-bending, and parts that can be made from highly active
The casting process is subdivided into two distinct subgroups: expendable and nonexpendable mold casting: