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Rootes Build in Scotland

Die-casting Plant
New processes

The die-casting plant is an entirely self-contained unit, and in addition to providing the aluminium castings for the Linwood factory, it also supplies castings to companies outside the Rootes Group.

  Main aisle of die-casting plant
Looking down the main aisle in the Die-Casting Plant, with the specialised high pressure casting machines in the foreground. Note the fork-lift trucks delivering the molten aluminium to the holding furnaces.

Aluminium ingots are fed into bulk melting furnaces at the far end of the building, and special fork-lift trucks with insulated crucibles maintain a continuous supply of the molten metal to the smaller, holding furnaces beside the casting machines.

Die-casting is the casting of metal under pressure, and the main advantages are speed, ease of control, economy and extreme accuracy - which also means the minimum of machining.

Two methods are used: low-pressure die-casting to produce the cylinder blocks, and high-pressure for the gearbox, clutch and hypoid casings, and various smaller components.

   Service tunnel underneath the plant
A unique feature is the service tunnel below ground, which houses the air, gas, electricity and water supplies. This allows full ease of servicing without disturbing the production area overhead.

   Melting furnaces
The line of bulk melting furnaces, handling 3½ tons of aluminium in the hour. The metal storage area is immediately behind, and consumption is approxiamtely 100 tons per week.

By means of air pressure, the molten metal is forced into the 'die' to make the casting. This is then removed, cooled (known as 'quenching'), and 'clipped' at adjacent machines to trim off any access material, which is returned to the bulk melters to avoid waste. The casting is then fettled and machines, ready for despatch.

A comprehensive inspection system is used and a percentage of castings go for X-Ray examination. Spectrograph equipment analyses the intake of metal to confirm its specification, and the laboratory is constantly developing new techniques.

The interior of the Plant is remarkably clean and fume-free, the air-exchange units renewing the whole atmosphere 12 times every hour over the central aisle - bordered by the casting machines - and five times per hour over the remainder of the working areas.

There is ample room for expansion, with increased production capacity.


Supplied on September 24, 2005 to by Mr. Barry Massey (chief buyer at Linwood) via his son: Guy Massey

The cylinder blocks for the die cast engine were cast in this die-casting plant in Linwood. Then they were sent down to the Stoke plant at Coventry. After machining and assembly, Imp engines and gearboxes were returned to Linwood for installation by train. This was not something that PR was eager to mention.

The Imp Site
   Imp History
      Linwood Car Factory of Rootes (Scotland) Ltd.
         The Opening of Linwood
from a 16 page 1963 booklet:
"Rootes Build in Scotland"
page 5-6: Die-casting Plant
© Franka
file version: 30 May 2020