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Investment Casting - Everything you need to know

  • Also known as precision casting, the investment casting process is exactly what the name tells you. It is a technique used in the metallurgical community to facilitate and speed up the process of making the same metal parts and machine parts.
  • It has an interesting past in the art world, with ancient studies showing how it became the object of choice for making jewelry and ornaments. But today it is a program used on a large scale, involving many factory workers.
  • In this article, you’ll learn more about this process. You’ll learn how it works and why it’s so economical. So if you’re interested in seeing this technology in your daily life, read on!
Investment Casting

What is investment casting?

  • This is an investment casting process that exceeds all expectations in terms of accuracy. The casting process is usually performed by pouring a liquid material into a mold cavity. The liquid solidifies over time through chemical reactions or cooling. To complete the process, the solidified part, also called the casting, pops out of the mold or breaks.
  • Using wax, plastic or even wood, make the mold according to the desired pattern. The shell is then made and hardened in a high greenhouse. The liquid metal is then poured in and allowed to cool. This is where the precision of the technique comes in particular.
  • The wax and material used for the mold is perfect for the pattern, and it can have a lot of curves or sharp edges. It may even have a few dents and scratches. But the casing fills all those points, and they stay in place after the material melts.
  • As soon as the liquid metal is poured in, it fills every inch of the shell, down to spots and dents. This provides the perfect surface. If the pattern is perfect, the piece will be perfect.
Investment Casting1

What is the use of investment casting?

  • It is a precision casting manufacturing technology. This is because it can reproduce patterns of complex shapes with fine details.
  • Today, this is mainly used by investment casting companies for metal parts and machine parts. Investment casting is used in the firearms, food service, gas and oil, and energy industries.
  • Investment castings are used in a variety of industries, including firearms, food services, gas and oil, and the energy industry. And it exists in your daily life, such as refrigerators, cars, and other items. Instead of making each item individually in an investment foundry that uses heavy machinery and lots of people, they can make thousands of pieces using permanent castings or even disposable castings.
  • It can even be used in art and decorations. In fact, it can be used in industry. But small business owners and artisans can use different kinds of materials to make art and jewelry on a smaller scale.

Why is it called investment casting?

Investment casting is a centuries-old casting technique based on lost wax casting. The procedure is known in this way because the mold models used in this casting process are “invested” with liquid materials. In investment casting, investment materials are used to make molds into which liquid metal can be poured.

Investment Casting2

What's the difference between casting and molding?

  • Since you know what investment casting is and that it involves molds, you must wonder if there is a difference between the two.
  • Yes, there is. The fundamental difference between molding and casting is the materials used in the operation. Casting is usually done with metal, but molding is done with plastic. In both cases, the molten material is poured into a mold or die to form the final shape.
  • This is an aluminum investment casting step in which technology plays an important role. Today, the 3D printing business is becoming more accessible, making the molding process more common.
  • You can find many small businesses online that make molds using plastic models made by 3D printers. Resin is the most common material they use to make crafts from these moulds. They use these molds to make tripods, earrings and many action figures.
  • On a larger scale, some investment foundries and industries are starting to see the benefits of using 3D-printed models to make permanent molds. This way, patterns and modeling processes can be cheaper, faster, and require less time and money to achieve similar results. Even the more accurate the 3D printer, the more expensive it will be.

What is the difference between investment casting and sand casting?

  • Sand casting and investment casting are two processes for producing metallic objects that involve pouring molten metal into a mold. Although these techniques are thousands of years old, they have been developed over time to reduce the amount of metal used and the amount of machining and polishing necessary. However, there is a big difference between the processes used to make the two metal parts.
  • Their processes may look similar, but the key difference is in the mold. One uses sand and the other uses wax.
  • Investment casting also requires high upfront production costs to develop wax designs and ceramic shells, and then to make a smooth finished product. Although sand casting is cheaper than investment casting, it requires post-treatment to treat the rough surface of the final product.
  • Let’s look at both methods to better understand how these differences affect each investment casting coating process.
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