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Do You Know About Lost-Wax Casting?

Lost-wax castings are commonly known as precision castings or investment castings. It is a procedure of designing and building an object with the use of a variety of metals. From simple to complex objects, lost-wax casting use metals like bronze, brass, silver, or gold to create an original pattern or model.

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The Lost-Wax Casting Process

A Little Bit of History

Investment castings are known to be the oldest metal-forming procedure that dates back in 4000 BC. Even though it is the oldest known technique, innovations and technique evolutions made it possible to offer exceptional metalwork. Likewise, it is extensively used to produce objects for art, dentistry, and jewelry. 

Making the Mold

The investment castings process starts with carving a mold out of wax. To get exceptional metalwork, you need to look for a casting industry that can handle your design’s size and complexity. The experts’ skill and the equipment used should be in line with what you want your finished product to be.

Upon making and casting the mold, it will be intensively polished to comply with the exact measurements and dimensions. It is then used to create another wax mold that will be heated and transformed to create a more flexible mold. 

Assembling the Wax Pattern

To guarantee product quality, investment castings use different methods such as coordinate measuring, ultrasonic, and dye penetrant. These methods will be used according to where the metal components will be used. Dye penetrant testing is a nondestructive method, and it includes cleaning the surface of a product, then applying a colored penetrant or dye. The wax pattern will primarily depend on which way will be used.

Finishing the Metalwork

The casted components are sandblasted, machined, ground, or files to attain the desired surface finish and final geometry. If necessary, the cast components are likewise heat-treated to improve the mechanical properties of the metalwork.

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If you want to know more about the products designed through investment castings, contact our experts at Ferralloy Inc. today!

How the Investment Casting Process Works

To produce many specific metal components, the metal undergoes certain processes to achieve the shape and quality. For products like investment castings components, it needs to undergo a rigorous process called machining. This process is very complicated and crucial to the quality of the metalwork. You also need to remember that there are various tools and techniques within machining specific to the component and its purpose. 

Depending on what the investment casting component will ultimately be used for, the rigid and complex process it undergoes may still vary. To find out more about how the investment casting process works, below are the applications and types used. 

Machined Investment Casting Applications

Investment castings are essentially used in power generation and aerospace industries to produce a variety of components. The process in investment casting includes the operation of machining the metal after it has been manufactured. This is to have it made and delivered to the company’s exact specifications. In the power generation and aerospace industries, it is imperative to guarantee that any accurate measurement is achieved in machined investment casting. 

Types of Machining

The tools, techniques, and technology involved in machining vary between different tools used for cutting. There are times where machined investment casting needs a specific texture or an exact measurement. Likewise, in each case, an additional device is utilized. A few of the different machining operations types include turning, drilling, boring, reaming, and milling. 

A single edge cutting tool is used to eliminate excess material from a rotating component to produce a cylindrical shape when it comes to the turning process. As for the drilling process, a round hole is being created. A single bent tip is used to advance the precision of an already roughly made hole. 

The reaming process involves the removal of a small amount of excess metal from an already drilled hole. Lastly, milling is a rotating tool with several cutting edges utilized to create a straight surface.

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How Accurate is Investment Casting?

Investment casting is one of the first and most common types of metal components. The procedure to create these components involves pouring molten metal into a ceramic mold. The metal solidifies within the mold, and then the metal casting is broken out. Industries that focus on food equipment, railroad, heat treating, steel production and processing, coal mining, road construction, oil, aerospace, aircraft, and other countless industries discovered the benefits of this type of casting.

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Accuracy of Investment Casting

Near Net Shape

Investment casting is extremely accurate and near net shape. Since metal components are created by using the same wax pattern, this accuracy can be maintained from casting to casting. Additionally, this process uses stainless steel, aluminum alloy, titanium alloy, or superalloy to create and yield precise metal components that can withstand high and low temperatures.

Additionally, near net shape manufacturing is an ideal solution for those wanting to save money as much as possible. This is because near-net-shape manufacturing does not require finishing steps. So, when you do not need any time for machining done, you can save on production costs.

Intricate Design

When using investment casting, engineers can design and create a lot to customize your product. Logos, product ID’s or numbers, letters, thru-holes, slots, blind holes, external and internal splines, gears, and thread profiles are just some of the intricacies that can be done.

Guarantees Product Quality

To ensure product quality, investment casting uses different methods such as coordinate measuring, ultrasonic, and dye penetrant. These methods will be used according to where the metal components will be used. Dye penetrant testing is a nondestructive method, and it includes cleaning the surface of a product, then applying a colored penetrant, or dye.

Ultrasonic testing is also nondestructive testing that works by sending high-frequency wavelengths through an object to detect cracks and other possible flaws. Lastly, coordinate measuring uses a probing system in the machine, and data collection allows for precision, which results in durability.

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Where to Look for Investment Casting

It is important to ensure that any exact measurements are achieved in machined investment casting. At Ferralloy Inc., we have the experience and authority to provide this service and product to you. Contact us today!

Comparing Die Casting and Investment Casting Methods

Die casting, and investment casting are 2 of the foremost important types of casting. Die casting is a method wherein molten metal is created and formed into a mold cavity by way of enforcing high pressure. On the other side, investment casting is a process that involves the injection of wax into the aluminum cavity. Both die casting and investment castings have different advantages and disadvantages. Read on to know more.

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How Does Die Casting Differ from Investment Casting?

Die Casting

As stated earlier, die casting differ from investment castings in such a way that the former involves a metal casting procedure. It is categorized by the use of a mold cavity to apply high pressure to the molten metal. These molds are then machined, designed, and created from higher strength alloys. Additionally, the majority of die castings are iron-free.

Among the notable advantages that clients opt to choose to die castings over investment castings are the following: it has an exceptional economic effect, high productivity, and creates good product quality.

Investment Castings

Investment castings involve an exact and strict casting process through the use of the lost-wax process to create components in the metal cast alloys. This process is known to be very accurate, creating components with accurate dimensions and smooth surface finishes. With this process, the machining and finishing processes are reduced. Thus, it will be more cost-effective without even compromising the quality. The only downside when choosing investment casting is that it is more expensive than sand casting.

Other Differences

Casting predominantly includes special casting and sand casting. Investment casting is included under special casting while die casting is considered pressure casting, which is another major type with the same level as investment castings. As for the cost, die casting costs are higher than investment casting since the former involves post-processing operations and high-processing costs. However, when large production is needed, die casting is recommended because investment casting is a manual process that requires more time and cost.

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Where to Get Die Casting or Investment Castings?

If you’re planning to get components or materials that underwent die casting or investment casting process, contact Ferralloy today for more inquiries!

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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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

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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 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!

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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