GK Foundry Safety

Modern Casting

Intern’s Blog—The Five Senses of a Foundry

The time had come to see a metalcasting facility, and I was amped for my first tour.  I had only seen pictures and videos, and this in no way, shape or form could substitute for visiting the real thing. I had a vague idea of what to expect, but that idea was quickly turned upside down.

Although seeing pictures and watching videos was handy for learning the basics of metalcasting, I was only using my eyes. On my first plant tour, the rest of my senses were stimulated. The sights, smells and sounds were overpowering at first, but I was ready to be fully immersed in it and experience the real thing. The burning of the molten metals and chemicals could be smelled throughout the place. This was something the videos couldn’t prepare me for, a tough smell for a tough industry. 

Another thing I wasn’t expecting and couldn’t experience viewing videos or pictures was the heat emanating from the molten metal. It was so hot, I thought I would leave with a sunburn or a tan. The workers handling the molten metal were decked from head to toe in safety outfits I thought resembled spacesuits—they were fully protected and safe, and I was given an idea for my Halloween costume. 

Something that immediately caught my eye upon entering the work floor was the hypnotic glow of the molten metal. I couldn’t turn away from the beautiful, bright gleam. A gooey glowing river of molten metal flowed effortlessly into its assigned mold, and I was mesmerized.  If you looked too long, your eyes would sting, but it was hard not to stare. 

Taking in a metalcasting facility’s sounds offered another adventure. Loud booms, screeches, pops and buzzes rang in my ears. The only sense I didn’t experience was taste. I think that’s for the best.

The environment was noisy, hot and laced with smells, and I truly tip my hat to the hardworking metalcasting men and women who provide us with the service of making castings. Having gone behind the scenes of the metalcasting process, I was impressed by all the workers and steps it takes to go from concept to finished casting. The entire facilityworks together to manufacture the perfect part, and all the sights, sounds and smells are added perks.


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