Glossary of terms
Every industry uses seemingly familiar terms in different ways. This is what we mean by...
Allen key - also known as a hex key; a six-sided tool used as a driver for screws and bolts
Aluminium - the Americans call it aluminum. 'I' may get left out, but it's the same silvery-white metal from the boron group
Bean counter - accountants, financial officers and other similar number-crunchers
Billet - a length of metal with a square or round cross-section and an area less than 2300mm, created by continuous casting, extrusion or rolling an ingot. Billet metal can be stronger than the same metal when forged
Caster - a person or machine for casting things
Castor - a type of small wheel attached to an axle and holding bracket so it can be bolted onto other equipment. We use omni-directional castors on our big casters!
Centrifugal casting - a method of creating solid casts by rotating a mould in one plane and direction at high speed to force the resin (or white metal) outwards. It is most commonly associated with pancake moulds. Despite what you may read elsewhere, centrifugal casting if definitely not the same as rotacasting or rotational casting! Centrifugal casting: think high speed, solid casts. Rotational casting: think low speed, hollow casts
CRP or CFRP - Carbon-reinforced plastic (or carbon fibre reinforced plastic). A strong, lightweight composite material
Drive - a nifty electronic device used to control motors and get the most out of them without causing excess strain long-term. We only use the best AC drives; also known as variable speed drives (VSD), variable frequency drives (VFD) or AC inverters
Evolution RotaCasters - probably the best rotacasting (rotocasting) machines in the world
GDPR - this is nothing to do with glass-fibre. It's the new General Data Protection Regulations to protect your privacy
GRC - glass-reinforced cement
GRG - glass-reinforced gypsum
GRP - glass-reinforced plastic
Molding - that curious American spelling for moulding, but they leave 'u' out if it
Mould - a hollow container used to give a specific shape to a liquid or molten material as it hardens. Moulds can be made from a wide variety of materials including GRP, GRG, silicone, MDF, vulcanised rubber or billet aluminium. Rotacasting moulds tend to be typified by their lightweight construction in order to exploit the full capacity of the rotacaster machine
Ramp (up or down) - to steadily accelerate or decelerate; in the case of Evolution RotaCasters (rotocasters) we programme the drives to gradually build up speed (ramp up) and slow down (ramp down) so as to avoid the casting material sloshing in the mould, making air bubbles and cavities, and to put less strain on the motors and mechanical components of the rotacaster so that they last longer for you
Rotacaster - also referred to as a rotocaster or roto-caster; a device for mechanically casting hollow forms using a mould; the resulting casts can be left hollow, cut open to produce multiple shells, or back-filled to create solid objects. A rotacaster (rotocaster) usually rotates two arms simultaneously (bi-directional casting) around a fixed point and (if its a good one!) at independently variable low speeds. With an Evolution Rotacaster (rotocaster), both arms are completely independent, so you can run just one axis at a time if required or both arms at different speeds and in different directions (you can't do that with the how-to-build-a-cheap-rotocaster ones (sorry!)).
Rotacasting - the process of using a rotacaster to rotationally cast (rotacast / rotocast) an item in a hollow mould; sometimes also called rotocasting or roto-casting
Rotational casting - see rotacasting
Rotational moulding (or rotational molding if you're from the other side of the Pond) - the process of rotationally casting an item. Also see rotomoulding.
Rotomoulding (or rotomolding) - a process whereby a mould is heated and powdered, solid, or granular plastic is inserted, the mould then being rotated around two axes. The process often takes place inside a heated chamber. It's very similar to rotacasting (rotocasting), but more expensive and with fewer material options. It's also what Wikipedia thinks rotacasting is. Never mind; you can't trust everything you read online!
Spincasting - spinning a pancake mould (mold) on the horizontal axis only and at very high speeds to force white metal or liquid resin into the open cavities. It's another term for centrifugal casting
Spincaster - a machine for centrifugal (spin) casting, most commonly used to create solid items (for example, gaming miniatures). See Spincasting
Thermomoulding - see rotomoulding