Are you looking for investment casting? You may not be sure if you need it, a reason we will be taking a look at what it is first.
What is Investment Casting?
Investment casting is a popular manufacturing process through which a pattern made of wax is covered by refractory ceramic material. After the ceramic material gets hard, it transforms into the shape of the wax pattern. It is based on the ancient lost form casting which was common during the wartime.
The process is also similar to the lost wax process which had been used for more than 5,500 years through history. The origin of the process is traced to ancient China and Egypt. Today the manufacturing process is assisted by modern technology and driven by processors, computers, and robotics. 15% of the global casting is carried out through this method.
The Process of Investment Casting
At first, the wax pattern is created and coated with the ceramic material. Then after it takes the shape of the pattern, the wax is melted and drained out. Molten metal is then filled in the space of the wax pattern. The ceramic mold holds the metal while it slowly transforms into the solid stage.
Applications of Investment Casting
Investment casting finds its use in many industries for making products like jewelry, dental fixtures, machinery parts, turbine blades, ratchets, gears, and other objects with complex form or structure. It is also utilized for manufacturing airplane engines both for military and civilian use.
The use in jet propulsion brought investment casting to the limelight and made it popular in various industries. The method is utilized for high-tech industrial applications for heavy to light casting, ranging from 35 KGs to 350 KGs. It is widely used for intricate casting designs which cannot be easily done through other casting techniques.
The equipment used in Investment casting may be cheaper, but the process is not. It is more costly than sand casting but has a huge demand for its ability to craft out complex castings conveniently. The technique has also been used heavily in the realm of spacecraft.
Benefits of Investment Casting
Investment casting provides many advantages over the traditional methods. The benefits include:
· It is possible to cast impossible and complex designs using the technique
· You get an excellent surface finish
· Less surface area to attend to
· The casting possesses great dimensional tolerances
· It creates a product with the shape desired by the client
· Investment casting works for a wide variety of metals and high-performance alloys
Disadvantages of Investment Casting
The primary disadvantage of Investment casting is the cost involved. It is mostly felt for short-run productions and is incurred on account of labor, expensive refractories and the multiple operations it requires to create the casting. Other disadvantages include:
· Objects which need cores may be hard to cast with this technique
· The dimensions of holes are restricted. They cannot be smaller than 1.6 mm and deeper than 1.5 times the diameter
· It requires longer production cycles and may not be suitable for all industries
Irrespective of its disadvantages, investment castings still finds widespread use in many industries due to the perfection and ease of use. You could use it too. All you need to do is to call in the right investment casting experts for your needs –and they would be able to do it all for you. In fact, you could reduce the costs it takes for your organizations, and be a lot more productive than you thought possible.