Precision investment casting

Just as the name suggests, precision casting (also called investment casting) is a production process allowing the accurate production of highly detailed parts in the smallest dimensions. The products manufactured with the investment casting method manage to impress with a high level of detail, dimensional accuracy and high-quality surfaces. Investment casting is a lost-wax process and the resulting products usually require minimal post-processing.

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How does the lost-wax casting process work?

The patterns used in the lost-wax process are usually made of wax or, more and more frequently, from plastic. To begin with, a pattern of the planned item is created from wax (or plastic). Then channels and paths are added to the pattern. These will later allow the molten casting material to be poured into the finished mold. The pattern is then completely coated with a molding material to create a “shell mold” around the wax model. This shell is then subjected to heat so that the wax melts and runs out. A negative space formerly occupied by the wax remains.

Using the shell mold, it is now possible to create a precise rendition of the desired part. Depending on the materials used, the shell mold requires some finishing works, for example vacuum drying or burning.

In the next step, liquid metal or another suitable material is poured into the mold through the channels. Once the metal has solidified, the shell mold is hammered away, releasing the rough casting. Since the mold is destroyed in the process, this manufacturing process is also referred to as a “lost-mold process”.

What are the advantages of precision investment casting?

The investment casting process offers many advantages compared to other manufacturing processes. It provides a nearly unlimited number of design possibilities and allows the cost-effective production of even the finest metal parts. Additional advantages of the lost-wax process include:

  • The representation of complex geometries.
  • No inaccuracies due to the use of parted molds.
  • Hakes the rendition of inner contours easy
  • High surface quality
  • Cost-effective process for the production of prototypes in the original process.
  • Makes the production of thin-walled components for weight optimization possible.
  • Allows for a wide range of alloy materials.
  • Has low initial costs
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Which materials can be used to manufacture precision investment casting products?

A large variety of materials can be used for precision investment casting, including:

  • steels (resistance against corrosion or heat, case-hardened steel, tempered steel).
  • Nickel-based and cobalt-based alloys.
  • Cast iron.
  • Aluminium-based alloys.
  • Titanium and titanium-based alloys.
  • Zinc and zinc-based alloys
  • Copper and copper-based alloys
The most important information at a glance

Materials: Stainless steel, aluminium, titanium, magnesium, copper, brass.
Component: 0.005–50-0 kg.
weights:
Dimensions: 500 mm x 500mm x 500mm.
Tolerances: According to BDG directive, VDG code of practice P690 D1-D3
.
Quantities: Small, medium-sized and large batches.

 

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