Investment Casting Process
The investment casting process will produce near net shape parts with a high as cast finish (RMS 60 to 200) and tight tolerances (0.005″). The investment casting process produces a visually attractive tight tolerance part with a complex shape that will need very little secondary machining to complete.
Investment casting involves an expendable pattern, typically made by injecting wax or plastics into a metal die. The pattern is then coated with a refractory slurry that will set at ambient temperature to produce a mold or shell. The shell is then turned upside down and the expendable wax or plastic is melted out. To complete the refractory shell, ceramic cores may be inserted for additional details. The alloy is then poured into the shell, creating the part’s intricate shape.
Investment castings are generally limited to 10 Lbs (4.5 kg’s) or less, and usually made with steel or stainless steel alloys, but other alloys, such as aluminum can be used. However, the process is very labor intensive, which makes investment casting an attractive candidate for off shore production, where labor is very cheap.
- Cost effective
- Extremely versatile shapes
- Accurate dimensional control
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