Custom Cast Ornamental Panels

From CLS Enterprises

Warning: Geek alert!
This info is here to satisfy your inner nerd if you have one.

Our castings are produced using a process called "Lost Foam Casting.” This method was developed in 1964 and has been used extensively in the automotive industry since the ‘80s. We've pioneered its use in the ornamental metalworking industry.

We start by "slabbing" foam sheets the thickness of the panel from a large billet of EPS. This slab then goes through a series of proprietary CNC machines, cutting out the shapes and conditioning the edges. We then add any embellishments like balls and rivets or carved foam details like twisted rope.

The foam patterns then go to our foundry where they are dipped in a slurry and then baked to remove all the moisture. The slurry picks up all of the details in the foam patterns. The patterns are then placed in a metal container and dry sand is then blown in to encapsulate the foam. Molten metal is then poured into the box vaporizing the foam and replacing it with metal.

Now this process may sound pretty simple, and it is if your producing car parts. But it's a lot trickier when casting ornamental panels. Every step of the way the foam wants to self destruct. Also molten metal solidifies pretty quickly so we had to develop methods to get it to flow through the entire panel without choking. We spent over two years developing the techniques and building the equipment.

Here's why our casting system is well suited for ornamental metalwork. The beauty of hand forged metalwork is not only in the hammer blows the blacksmith applies to the metal, but the ability to size and shape each element individually. This makes the final product look like it was built for its environment. Since we make a foam pattern for each casting, we can adjust each panel to work in its environment. From a design standpoint nothing compares to our panels. The freedom to create the look you want without worrying about busting the budget. What could be better?