Foundry Moulder Coremaker Careers

How to become Foundry Moulder Coremaker

What does a Foundry Moulder Coremaker do?

Moulders or coremakers use a pattern and moulding material to produce the hollow moulds into which molten metal is poured to make castings. They decide how the mould is to be made, depending on the size and shape of the pattern. Very large moulds are made in specially designed sand pits in the foundry floor.

Moulding methods include:

  • sand moulding – sand mixed with clay and water is compacted around a shape and molten metal is poured in to produce the casting
  • resin shell moulding – sand impregnated with resin is heated to form a hard shell into which molten metal is poured
  • investment casting – or lost wax casting involves making a wax replica cast. Special heat resistant coatings are appplied before the wax is melted away to leave the heat resistant casting
  • polystyrene casting – loose sand is applied to a polystyrene pattern. Molten metal is then poured into the mould, burning away exposed polystyrene to form the casting
  • die casting – moulds are made from heat resistant metals
  • Shaw Process – silica gel is bonded with ceramic powders under high temperatures to produces high quality precision castings.
Moulders check that the sand and resin mixtures contain the right proportions of silica sand, resin, or hardener. The mixtures are then packed firmly around the pattern. When the moulding mixture has hardened, the pattern is carefully removed and hand tools are used to repair any damage. The moulders or coremakers then close the pieces of the mould together, ready for the molten metal to be poured in.

Some moulds may be made by one person; larger moulds may require a team of moulders/coremakers.

What's the working environment like working as a Foundry Moulder Coremaker?

Most moulders/coremakers work a 37-hour week. Some foundries operate a shift system involving evening and weekend work. Opportunities for overtime are common.

Some moulders work at a bench and at other times in a specially designed moulding pit. The work is strenuous and involves a lot of bending and lifting. They wear protective overalls, including safety footwear and when necessary, eye shields and ear defenders.

Most foundries have dust and fume extractors fitted.

What does it take to become a Foundry Moulder Coremaker?

As a foundry moulder/coremaker, you will need:

  • patience and attention to detail
  • the ability to visualise moulds from two dimensional plans
  • a methodical approach to work
  • an understanding of the principles of casting and the reaction of metals
  • flexibility to work on different types of moulds
  • good communication skills
  • good eyesight
  • the ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • an awareness of health and safety issues.

Foundry Moulder Coremaker Career Opportunities

There are still opportunities to train and work as a moulder/coremaker, but the introduction of computerised machinery means that foundries making large numbers of identical castings tend to employ machine operators with a range of different skills. In jobbing foundries where smaller quantities of castings are made, more of the work is carried out by hand.

Foundries can be found in most industrial areas. There may be opportunities to work overseas.

A moulder/coremaker with good organisational and communication skills can become a supervisor or manager. Those who do well on training courses may be offered a chance to train as technicians. This can lead to a career in cast metals technology, mechanical or electrical engineering.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Foundry Moulder Coremaker that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

The Institute of Cast Metal Engineers
National Metalforming Centre
47 Birmingham Road
West Bromwich
West Midlands
B70 6PY

Engineering Council
10 Maltravers Street
Tel: 020 7240 7891

SEMTA (Science Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance)
14 Upton Road
WD18 0JT
Tel: 0808 100 3682

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