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Investment Castings | The Difference Between Investment and Sand Casting

what is an investment casting?

Since both investment and sand castings are metal casting methods that have been refined and improved through time, many people assume that there are no notable differences between the two. The truth is, although both create metal parts by pouring liquid metal into three-dimensional molds, each has certain characteristics that are significantly different from the other.

Surface Finish

One of the biggest differences between Investment Castings and sand castings lie in their product’s surface finish. Using investment casting creates a finished metal component that boasts of its smooth surfaces as well as low tolerances under the aluminum pattern.

On the other hand, when you use the sandblasting method, the three-dimensional model is split apart so that the final product will be released, forming a parting line that will be highly noticeable outside the finishing part. The surface of its finished components will be considerably rough as well. As a result, you’ll get to spend additional money and time to get rid of the parting line and to make the metal part’s surface smoother.

Ease of Design

In investment casting, ceramic shell mold is formed using a liquid slurry, so parts by investment casting process can be made almost any shape, giving engineers extraordinary freedom in their designs to add intricate features and complex shapes. For sand casting parts, to come out the sand easily with less friction, they usually have to be tapered (with draft angles) or shaped. It’s also a challenge for sand casting to make parts with internal voids or cavities. Sand casting requires cores properly shaped and inserted in the mold to form the part’s interior. Sometimes, several cores may be needed, and it also costs time to form and secure them within each mold.

Weight 

In case you’re not aware, you can make casting that’s much smaller than 1 lb. if you use the investment casting method. Conversely, with sand casting, you’ll find it difficult to make small and complex parts. 

Cost

In terms of cost, the process of investing casting is always more expensive than sand casting because of the fact that it is more complex and it requires more preparation.

Where can I find the best investment castings?

Learn More About Investment Castings Today!

You can always get more information about Investment Castings by giving Ferralloy, Inc. a call today. For decades, we’ve been supplying engineered products and services to a metal-working customer base on a global scale.