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Investment Castings

Investment castings

Investment Casting Process

Our Global suppliers use the investment casting process to benefit our customers. The investment casting process provides incredible design flexibility, numerous material options, and superior quality. Best of all, investment casting is typically more cost effective than traditional casting methods.

First, high temperature wax is injected into an aluminum molding tool to form a wax impression of the component. It is then removed and multiple patterns are assembled into a tree of parts. Around this wax tree a ceramic shell approximately 3/8” thick is built. The wax is melted out, resulting in a hollow ceramic shell. The ceramic shell is then fired for strength and molten metal is poured into the shell. After the alloy is cooled, the ceramic shell is removed, and castings are cut-off the tree and cleaned and subjected to heat treat if required. Depending on tolerance requirements, some secondary machining may be required for proper function.

Lost Wax Casting Process
Investment Casting is commonly referred to as the “lost wax casting process”. Here's how the process works. First, high temperature wax is injected into a ceramic shell mold to form a pattern. The wax is then removed from the mold after it has cooled. The pattern created by the removed wax form now resembles the component. This mold is then heated in a fire oven, and molten metal is poured into the mold. After the metal has cooled and set, the precision castings are cleaned and subjected to further heat treatments. Depending on the specific design requirements, some machining may be performed to bring the castings to their precise final form.

Investment casting is an extremely cost effective and highly accurate process. Also, many high strength and corrosion resistant materials can be used in investment casting, including:

  • Low to high carbon alloy steel
  • Tool steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Nickel base alloys
  • Cobalt base alloys
  • Aluminum alloys
  • Brass alloys

Investment casting is also known as the lost wax process. This process is one of the oldest manufacturing processes invented by the Egyptians in about 5,000 years ago. Intricate shapes can be made with high accuracy. In addition, metals that are hard to machine or fabricate are good candidates for this process. It can be used to make parts that cannot be produced by normal manufacturing techniques, such as turbine blades that have complex shapes, or airplane parts that have to withstand high temperature.

The types of materials that can can be used in this process are aluminum alloys, bronzes, tool steels, stainless steel, satellite, haste alloys, and precious metals. Parts made with investment castings often do not require any further work or machining.

To begin the process and to find out how much you can save, please send us a drawing to get a "no obligation quote".
LCC Network keeps all drawings confidential, we cover or remove all trade names or proprietary information.
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