One of the staples of the New Year is setting fitness goals for yourself. Any fitness fanatic knows that the gyms always get more crowded on the first of January as every newcomer chants the phrase ‘New Year, New You’ in their heads. Whether you’re a cardio junkie or a weightlifter, this is the time of year to experiment and push yourself with your workouts. One of the easiest ways to push yourself is to incorporate weights into your workouts with dumbbells. But have you ever wondered how dumbbells are made? What is the process that gets them from the factory floor to the gym floor?
Dumbbells are made from various materials, the most common including cast iron and stainless steel (oftentimes with a rubber coating to make it easier to handle). Each type of dumbbell has its own benefits and drawbacks and every avid weightlifter will likely have their die-hard preference one way or the other. But in the case of cast iron dumbbells, the first step of the process involves designing and creating a pattern for the dumbbells. They typically have a few standard shapes, but the design and patterning process involves creating a computerized version of the weights where the measurements are exact and the interior weight will be evenly distributed.
The next step is the molding process, which is typically green sand casting for cast iron dumbbells. This involves green sand, which is wet content sand that is naturally bonded. Sand is loaded into a flask, a pattern is pressed into it, then the pattern is removed and the mold cavity is ready. The raw cast iron is then put through a Spectromax Machine to qualify it and then it’s heated at extreme temperatures. Molten cast iron is poured into the sand mold cavity and then takes 6-8 hours to cool. The final steps involve polishing and inspecting the dumbbell for any imperfections such as cracks, pinholes, and improper weight.