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Investment Casting Advantages And Disadvantages

Metal casting is one of the oldest but also the most basic industrial processes known to us. Casting began in ancient times and is used to make jewelry and weapons. Casting is a process of pouring liquid metal into certain molds to quickly produce complex shapes. In modern times, standard procedures have been developed to manufacture highly complex parts, especially using a process called investment casting. Precision casting uses wax, slurry, and molds to produce low tolerance, high-resolution parts without the hassle of more traditional methods. This article will show the process of precision casting, its working methods, advantages, and applications so that designers can potentially implement this technology into their own projects.

What Is Investment Casting?

In investment casting, wax or a suitable polymer pattern is applied by immersion in a refractory slurry. Once the refractory coating has hardened, the dipping process is repeated several times to increase the thickness of the coating and its strength. Once the final coating hardens, the wax melts, and the molten metal is poured into the cavity created by the wax mold. Once the metal has solidified in the mold, the metal casting is removed by breaking the refractory mold.

Schematic Diagram of Precision Casting

As shown in Figure, the investment casting process can be summarized into the following steps-master mold making, master mold making, pattern making, pattern assembly, refractory mold making, dewaxing, casting, and part removal. (Read 8 steps of investment casting).

History of Investment Casting

Since the ancient Egyptians first used investment casting from 4000 to 3000 BC, it has been used in various forms, but until after World War II, due to the increasing demand for aircraft engines and fuselage parts, investment casting The industrial importance and popularity of the company has increased.

Since the time when clay was filled around the beeswax pattern, investment casting has changed to the use of ceramic shells, and special dewaxing furnaces have been introduced.

Traditionally, the high manufacturing cost of the original mold has limited investment casting to mass production, but the introduction of additive manufacturing or 3D printing of wax molds in recent years has eliminated the manufacturing cost of the original mold and can be used for a shorter production cycle.

Advantages And Disadvantages of Precision Casting

Investment casting is a very popular casting method, and for good reason. Compared with other methods, it has many advantages and provides highly detailed parts that are faithful to its mold; however, there are some obvious disadvantages that must be discussed.

The following are the main advantages of the investment casting process:
  • Allows highly complex and extremely accurate parts with a good surface finish to be cast directly from the mold.
  • It can cast very thin parts (~0.015 inches) with extremely low tolerances (~0.003 inches).
  • Almost all metals that can be cast (aluminum, bronze, iron, etc.) are allowed.
  • The investment casting process can be automated, thereby quickly generating a large number of parts.
  • Wax can be recycled and reused in many styles.
The cost of these aspects is huge, so let us study the shortcomings of investment casting:
  • The best performance of the part is the smaller weight, up to about 75 pounds, while the large parts are usually more suitable for other casting processes.
  • The process is complex and usually requires expensive equipment and/or technical personnel to operate.
  • The cost of making wax molds is high, which limits the process of mass production projects.
  • Parts with core wires or holes less than 1.6 mm or hole depth greater than 1.5 times the diameter of the part are difficult to precision cast.
  • Therefore, although investment casting is highly accurate and easy to reproduce, it is costly and complicated to operate. In addition, this type of casting cannot produce the geometry of some parts, so please check the properties of the parts to see if they are compatible.

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If you would like to have a question then get in touch today, we are ready to assist 24/7.
We welcome your cooperation and we will develop with you.

 Factory-direct Connectivity Solutions.
 High quality, Competitive Price.
 Custom-tailored solutions.
 Problem-solving approach.