About AFS and Metalcasting

Metalcasting Industry Information and Demographics

Metalcasting is a process in which molten or liquid metal is poured into a mold made of sand, metal or ceramic, to form geometrically complex parts. All major metals can be cast. The most common are iron, aluminum, magnesium, zinc, steel and copper-based alloys. Metal castings are used in cars, trucks, planes, trains, mining and construction equipment, oil wells, kitchen appliances, pipes, toys, space shuttle, wind turbines, nuclear plants, tanks, bombs, and more.


  • 1,935—Number of metalcasting facilities in the U.S. In 1991 there were 3,200 plants and in 1955, 6,150 plants.
  • 75%—Percentage of firms that are small businesses (less than 100 employees).
  • 200,000+ —Number of people employed by the U.S. metalcasting industry.
  • 90% of all manufactured goods contain some metal castings.
  • You are rarely more than 10 ft. from a metal casting in the United States.

Production & Applications

  • 10.7 million—Total U.S. tonnage of castings produced in the U.S. in 2017.
  • $31.5 billion—Total value of all castings produced in the U.S. in 2017.


  • 1642—Year the Saugus Pot became the first casting produced on U.S. soil, near Lynn, MA.
  • 7—Number of metalcasters that signed the Declaration of Independence: Philip Livingstone, George Taylor, James Smith, George Ross, Stephen Hopkins, Charles Carroll and James Wilson.

Detailed Industry Statistics

Census of Global Casting Production--View casting shipment tonnages by nation from the past decade.

2018 Metalcasting Forecast

Metalcasting Terms--This Glossary of Metalcasting Terms provides the casting designer and purchaser with practical definitions of common metalcasting phrases and terms.

Spotlight On: Metalcasting Documentary

The documentary Spotlight On: Metalcasting was produced by AFS and aired nationally on PBS. The five-minute documentary provides an overview of metalcasting and the importance cast components play in our society.

Watch the Spotlight On: Metalcasting Documentary

Industry Links

American Iron and Steel Institute 
American Metalcasting Consortium  
American Scrap Coalition 
Ductile Iron Society 
Foundry Educational Foundation 
Foundry Industry Recycling Starts Today (FIRST) 
Investment Casting Institute 
Iron Casting Research Institute 
Non-Ferrous Founders' Society 
North American Die Casting Association 
Steel Founders' Society of America