Iron is received in ladles from the cupola and is poured from these into moulds. Ladles are made of rolled steel plate and plastered inside with a wet mixture of silica sand and fire clay. Large ladles are lined with fire-clay bricks, plastered over with clay. Small ladles are carried in ladle shanks by one or more men, and large ladles must be carried by the crane. A "bull shank" is shown in Fig. 31. Before receiving molten metal, ladles must be thoroughly dry.

Metal for a very large casting must be gradually assembled in several large ladles until there is enough to fill the mould. After it is tapped very hot into the ladles, it is kept hot by a charcoal fire on the surface of the metal.

All ladles and crucibles must be skimmed at the pouring spout with an iron bar while pouring. Very hot metal makes a good impression in the mould, but is very searching, requires more venting of the mould, and shrinks more than a metal not so hot.

Fig. 133.   Foundry Cupola.

Fig. 133. - Foundry Cupola.