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Pouring of molten metal into a mold, where it solidifies into the shape of the mold. The process was well established in the Bronze Age, when it was used to form bronze pieces now found in museums. It is particularly valuable for the economical production of complex shapes, ranging from mass-produced parts for automobiles to one-of-akind production of statues, jewelry, or massive machinery. Most steel and iron castings (see cast iron) are poured into silica sand. For metals of lower melting point, such as aluminum or zinc, molds can be made of another metal or of sand. See also die casting, founding, investment casting, lost-wax casting, patternmaking.
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