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A Simple Guide to the Uses of Investment Casting

Investment casting is one of the most prevalent metal parts used by most industrial companies. These cast components embrace countless benefits that make them an alluring alternative to a wide range of businesses and industries. Investment casting provides the ultimate design flexibility for highly complex parts made from a large choice of alloys. Furthermore, the investment casting process is relatively simple, allowing high production rates and consistent dimensional accuracy to be achieved.

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Simple Facts Should Know About Investment Casting

What is Investment Casting?

Investment casting, otherwise known as lost-wax casting, is an industrial process based on one of the oldest known metal-forming techniques. It was developed over 5500 years ago and continues to be an integral part of metalworking to this day. This casting takes a wax outline of a part and coats it with a ceramic material. It is then heated until the wax is melted out of its center. Molten metal is then poured into the hollow ceramic mold. The metal hardens, gets broken out, and the part is made.

What are its Common Uses?

The uses of investment castings are immeasurable. Nonetheless, companies or industries engage in aerospace, power generation, firearm, automotive, military, commercial, food service, gas and oil, and energy industries use these metal components a lot. For instance, the firearms industry turns to cast parts for firearm receivers, triggers, hammers, and other precision parts. Investment castings are even used by beverage industry equipment manufacturers and international pressure relief valve manufacturers in the oil and gas industry. As a consequence, it’s safe to say that regardless of your industry, if your business can benefit from the advantages of investment cast parts and components, they might be the perfect metal option for any of your projects.

Why Use Investment Casting?

There are several explanations for why individuals choose to use this casting. Among the reasons why companies and industries use castings are the following:

  • It produces very smooth surfaces with no parting line, requiring only minor machining.
  • It can create exceptionally complex parts that would otherwise be extremely difficult or impossible.

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At Ferralloy, Inc., we supply machined investment castings to quality-controlled companies and industries. Contact us today!

Why is Stainless Steel Used in Investment Casting?

Stainless steel casting is among the few methods of the investment castings process. It is made by pouring molten stainless steel into a molder to solidify and achieve a solid and compact stainless steel material in the desired pattern. Same with other steel cast alloys, this material is a common component for casting production. When corrosion resistance and the properties of steel are needed in a certain product, stainless steel casting is the perfect option.

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Nitty-Gritty Facts About Stainless Steel Casting

Common Material Grades Used

Among the several stainless steel material grades used, the common ones are the 304, 304L, 316, 316L, 17-4 PH, and 2205 Duplex. 304 is the most extensively used austenite steel. It is commonly referred to as A2 stainless steel. Experts on investment castings also use 304L when slightly lower mechanical components are required. It is widely used by companies because of their versatility.

Application of Stainless Steel Castings

The reason why experts on investment castings use stainless steel is because of its unique physical properties. It is exceptionally resistant to corrosion, abrasion, and heat. Hence, it can be used in various ranges of industries, especially those which require materials that can withstand the severe environment. Stainless steel is used in building or construction purposes, pipe fitting, medical equipment, marine, kitchenware, and food machinery or processing.

According to investment castings professionals, stainless steel is one of the common materials used in building and construction. Modern construction uses more stainless steel when it comes to facades, roofing, and cladding. The reason for this is that it is known to have anti-vandal characteristics, low maintenance cost, and beautifully aesthetic.

As for stainless steel used in pipe fittings, it comes in various shapes and sizes. As conferred by investment castings professionals, stainless steel is used in this industry because it tends to be very convenient despite being durable and stable.

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Know More About Other Investment Castings

If you want to know more about the applications of stainless steel castings, contact us today!

Uses and Benefits of Investment Castings

Every individual who is in the field of metalwork is mindful of the fact that several casting methods can be used to turn molten metals into different shapes and designs for commercial and industrial purposes. The uses and benefits of investment casting are limitless. Read on to know more.

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Essential Facts you Need to Know about Investment Castings

Investment Casting Uses

As stated earlier, investment casting has limitless benefits and uses. However, it is often used as metal components for energy, gas and oil, food service, commercial, military, automotive, firearm, power generation, and aerospace industries. For instance, the firearms industry turns to cast parts for firearm receivers, triggers, hammers, and other precision parts. Investment casting is even used by beverage industry equipment manufacturers and international pressure relief valve manufacturers in the oil and gas industry. As a result, it’s safe to say that regardless of your industry, if your business can benefit from the advantages of investment cast parts and components, they might be the perfect metal option for any and all of your projects.

Benefits of Investment Castings

One of the most common benefits why investment casting is often resorted to is the fact that it requires low tooling cost. Tooling is a significant cost factor for all other types of parts, but not for investment castings. Thanks to the casting process, a long-lasting and high-quality part that requires little tooling are produced. Investment castings can be extremely beneficial. But they can also extremely difficult to manufacture. The production of these components requires expert knowledge and experience.

Despite the low tooling cost, investment casting can still provide intricate designs. Letters, numbers, product IDs, and logos can be easily added to the inside or outside components. Likewise, it requires simple methods to add thread, gears, splines, blind holes, slots, and hole profiles.

Additionally, investment casting is very consistent and accurate. These castings are extremely accurate and near net shape. Since components are created by using the same wax pattern, this accuracy can be maintained from casting to casting.

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What Are Machined Castings Used For?

Machined castings include a number of services and factors. Thus, in searching for the best company to deal with this matter, it is essential that you look for an on-site and full-service machine shop with the ability to machine a variety of alloys, as well as, to machine enormous castings up to 4500 kilograms. The company must reliable and efficient journeymen machinists that are able to handle a dynamic balancing of up to 2900 kilograms with careful use of the equipment. In addition to the workforce, it is also imperative that the company must have state-of-the-art machining equipment, specialized key seater machine, and other useful machines and pieces of equipment.

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Full Service Machined Castings

What are Machined Castings used for?

When the time comes that your casting applications require machining to tight tolerances, it is important that you get a partner or acquire the services of professional companies whom you can rely on to give a reliable and unfailing high-quality service. At Ferralloy, our skilled machinists have the ability to offer quality machined castings for wear components, valve bodies, casings, split castings, diffusers, impellers, and other specialty components that you deem important. Whether your castings were placed in our sand foundry or other materials used for castings, we have the ability to offer you an assembly, finish-machined, and semi-machined results.

Specialized Impeller Machining

Since impellers have been an essential part of the casting business from the time this process was discovered, our company is known to be experts in trade and casting processes. We can immediately assemble, balance, keyway, and finish your impeller machines and machined castings without having to compromise its quality. With our experience and expertise, we have the ability to machine keyways up to 40 inches long and 4.5 inches wide. Other machine shops can justify this because of the existing and frequent contract they have with us to complete the work.

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Dimensions and Tolerances of Machined Castings

At Ferralloy, we know that tight tolerance requirements can be attained for the most crucial components like pump and compressor castings, high-pressure valves, seals, sleeves, and rotating elements for as long as the processes are carefully followed and the materials used are made of quality components. Contact us now and tell us about your casting problems!

What is the Difference Between Investment and Sand Casting?

Investment casting and sand casting are means of producing metal parts by pouring molten metal into three-dimensional molds. Although the methods are of thousand years old, both castings have been advanced over the years to decrease the percentage of metal used and minimize any extensive finishing and machining required. However, substantial differences exist between these two methods of creating metal parts.

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Know the Basics of Investment and Sand Castings

Investment Casting Basics

Lost-wax casting, commonly known as investment casting, creates molten metal parts. The usual parts produced from this casting method are carbon steel, aluminum, brass, and stainless-steel alloys. The primary step in creating these types of metals is to build a wax version. To achieve this version, it may be done in three ways: carve and replicate the product out of wax, produce a metal mold and fill it with hot wax, or create a gelatin mold around a solid and 3D model. The produced molten metal is poured into an empty frame and left to harden. The investment and ceramic mold are then removed to get the final product.

Sand Casting Basics

Just like investment casting, sand casting starts by pouring molten metal to sand-based molds. This method often uses magnesium, aluminum, brass, bronze, steel, iron, and other non-ferrous alloys. The molds are produced by compacting sand around a model or pattern of the final product. The compacting sand is normally mixed with clay and humidified with water.

Differences

Due to the preparation needed and complexity of the procedures, investment casting is known to be more expensive than sand casting. However, the latter cannot constantly make the tiny and intricate parts possible with the use of the former method. Another notable difference between both castings is the surface finish. With investment casting, ceramic molds are used to harden the product and the finished parts display low tolerances and smooth surfaces. On the other hand, sand casting requires that the mold needs to be split apart so as to exhibit the final product.

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More Information About Investment Castings?

Ferralloy, Inc. is an international enterprise that delivers the metalworking industry with forgings, fabrications, castings, and other related products and services. If you need more information about investment casting, contact us today!

What Materials are Typically Used in Investment Castings?

If you’re acquainted with the fabrication of investment castings, you probably know how essential heat treatments are irrespective of whether your project requires ferrous or non-ferrous alloys. Without the critical phase of applying heat treatments, the mechanical properties of the materials used will not be adequately enhanced.  Therefore, a range of heat treatment processes along with the best type of materials used is important to complete the procedure.

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What are the Best Types of Investment Casting Materials?

Stainless Steel

There is a wide array of alloys to choose from when it comes to the selection process for investment castings. One of the most common materials is stainless steel because of its superior durability. In contrast with the other types of materials, stainless steel is said to be sturdy and robust. It is a potential material used by engineers and designers to increase the use of investment castings. Moreso, it is used in golf club heads, camp components, various gears, and automotive applications.

Cast Iron

Cast iron technically includes ductile iron and gray iron. It is often known for having an affordable price and high accuracy in application. Although the cast iron has a complex production method, it still possesses the ideal toughness, heat-resistance, and high strength needed to achieve its purpose. However, this investment castings material will require you to spend high production costs.

Copper Alloy

This type of investment casting material features a low possibility of wear and tear. Likewise, it is corrosion resistant and often used in applications like plumbing components, electrical components, and pump or ship propellers. Copper alloys may also include brass and bronze; however, the strongest composition is that of beryllium-copper. This type of copper alloy is created to have high corrosion resistance and high-strength alloy steels.

Super Alloy

Another material used in investment castings is superalloy. It is grounded and made from cobalt and nickel. Superalloys are frequently used in the marine, chemical, medical, energy, and aerospace industries because it can withstand wear and tear, oxidation, corrosion, and high temperatures.

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More Information About Investment Castings?

Ferralloy, Inc. is an international enterprise that delivers the metalworking industry with forgings, fabrications, castings, and other related products and services. If you need more information about investment casting, contact us today!

Castings Investment | The Value of Castings Investment

Is your current metalworking process hampered by component variance and additional cost? Perhaps you should consider switching to castings investment so that you can add more value to your project. Its manufacturing process is nothing short of versatile because it allows you to create a wide range of metal parts with various applications in many industries.

What are the Disadvantages of Secondary Operations?

Technically functioning parts can be produced by casting pieces and machining from solid. However, such secondary operations can be very inefficient when they’re being compared to investment casting. Factors such as production timeline, cost, and the required performance of the specific component need to be considered. For this reason, most manufacturers choose to steer clear of secondary operations that can negatively affect the speed-to-market, as well as part performance.

What are the Advantages of Investment Casting?

On the other hand, the investment casting process can offer near-net-shape or net-shape components without taking a lot of time. With the help of the latest software technology, manufacturers can make sure that the intricately detailed parts will come out mechanically sound even before the molten metal is poured into the mold. Furthermore, this metalworking method gives engineers and designers free rein while eliminating material waste that usually results from secondary machining.

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A Closer Look at the Value of Castings InvestmentÂ

The process involved in creating castings investment allows manufacturers to achieve repeatability and reduction or elimination of various downstream operations. Furthermore, this will further reduce loops for reworking the parts and streamlines the process of delivery from the manufacturers to the various industries they serve. While you satisfy your customers’ requirements, you’ll also get to experience the benefits of one of the most optimized and repeatable precision metal processes in all of history. If you want to know more about castings investment, call Ferralloy, Inc. today. We’re the leading global supplier of engineered products and services and we offer total supply chain management to a diverse metalworking customer base.

Rolled Ring Forgings | Processing Issues Rolled Ring Forgings Resolves

Did you know that compared to other traditional metalworking methods, using rolled ring forgings allows you to resolve the most common manufacturing problems? Rolled ring forgings are created from a circular piece of the metal preform that’s been punched at the center, rounded out and cut until the desired part weight is achieved. To prove this point, check this out:

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What are the Common Ring Processing Issues that Rolled Forgings Can Solve?

Failed Structural Integrity

When manufacturers use the casting method in creating rings, the parts they produce often fail the acoustic requirements. This implies extra cost as the rings have to undergo further welding and machining to be able to satisfy the requirements in terms of connectivity. Moreover, welding and machining the rings increase their chances of producing substandard rings. Aside from this, their ability to resist corrosion is also significantly affected and their original shape will also be altered. On the other hand, the ring shape of ring forgings won’t be altered and their resistance to corrosion won’t be diminished because there would be no need for further welding or machining throughout the entire manufacturing process. Thanks to their directional grain flow, forged rolled rings exhibit superior strength.

Lack of Strength

Cast rings generally lack strength. This means that the cost of their upkeep will become potentially higher because weaker rings are prone to breaking and have a shorter lifespan. If you want more durable rings that are less likely to suffer breakage even under heavy strain and pressure, you’d be better off with forged rings.

Increased Wastage

In most cases, more materials are wasted when rings are cast, rolled, and welded from plates. Also, the shapes and sizes of the rings produced by such methods don’t usually meet the desired quality. On the other hand, forged rings can be customized in terms of size, thickness, and shape without wasting the material.

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Do You Need Rolled Ring Forgings?

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Investment Casting | Controlling Casting Quality

The quality of the parts produced via the investment casting method is highly dependent on the quality control of each link. Thankfully, any stainless-steel casting manufacturer can influence the casting quality by paying close attention to the three basic aspects that are based on the casting defects that usually take place in the production process.

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What are the Three Major Aspects of Casting Quality?

Control of Raw Material

It’s important to note that due to the direct contact of the stainless-steel investment casting with the alloy melt, the surface layer material can strongly influence the casting’s overall quality. Furthermore, a stable channel of supply of alloy raw materials, as well as auxiliary materials, is extremely critical. When it comes to charging materials, strict control must be implemented, and the materials must be clean and rust-free before they are placed in the furnace. Lastly, to avoid introducing impurities into the alloy melt, it’s best to strictly follow the operating procedures.

Control of Coating and Dewaxing

Unless the manufacturers pay close attention to coating slurry quality control and monitor the binder extract’s gelation time in the coating slurry, it would be impossible to detect and give up the surface coating that has already deteriorated. Furthermore, it’s best to make sure that the permeability, as well as the thermal conductivity of the shell, are monitored and the wax mold’s surface layer needs to melt before the entire wax mold expands and causes the shell to crack. Lastly, the shell’s drying rate needs to be perfect because the dryness of the shell affects its strength and its tendency to crack when the wax mold expands during the dewaxing process.

Control of Roasting, Smelting, and Pouring

The shell must be fully roasted. During the allow smelting process, ensure proper deoxidation as well as slag removal treatment. Finally, the pouring temperature must be appropriate so that the molten steel completely fills the cavity and produce excellent surface quality.

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Investment Castings | When to Use Investment Castings for a Project

If you have a project of metal parts and you’re not quite sure about the production process that it requires, it’s best to look into the investment casting technique. Better yet, talk to an expert at producing investment castings and other engineered metal products. In most cases, people choose the investment casting method when they need to make a component more than just once or if they want to reduce the cost of producing parts that require high precision or if the metal components that they’re looking for have internal details that are more complex than the usual. However, there are other reasons why investment castings may just be what your next project would need:

Your Current Manufacturing Process Exhibits Inconsistency from Part-to-Part

Compared to products that were produced by forgings, sand castings or even weldments, investment castings feature incredibly smooth surfaces without the parting lines or draft angles. Although the cost of its production per unit may be a little higher than its counterparts, you’ll still find it to be cost-effective because investment castings require no further machining operations. However, what makes the investment casting technique the ideal replacement for your current manufacturing process is the fact that it has the ability to create the desired parts with a distinctive degree of consistency.

You Find it Difficult to Find the Best Raw Material Stock Size for Your Specialty Alloy

The investment casting method involves liquifying ingots through the process of melting. Once they turn into liquid, they are poured into a ceramic shell. This implies that one of the best things about investment casting is that it allows you to melt most alloys in order to create a component that’s a near-net shape. Despite the lack of available raw material, it’s still possible to produce parts by adding the elements they require.

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Curious About Investment Castings?

For more information about quality investment castings, contact Ferralloy, Inc. today. We are the leading comprehensive engineered product resource.