If you are in an industry that uses food processing equipment, valve components, power generation equipment, hydroelectric facilities, or furnace parts, chances are that you have heard the term “investment casting”. But what is investment casting? And more importantly, why should you use it?
What is the Investment Casting?
Investment casting (also 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. Investment 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.
Why Should I Use Investment Casting?
There are numerous explanations why people decide to use investment castings. Here are the 5 main reasons why you should consider the investment casting process:
- Practically any metal can be manufactured by this process. This includes aluminum alloys, bronze, tool steels, stainless steels, cobalt alloys, carbon steels, Hastelloys, and precious metals.
- It can manufacture extremely complex parts that would otherwise be extremely difficult or impossible.
- It creates very smooth surfaces with no parting line. As a result, only minor machining is required.
- Very thin sections can be made. Castings with sections as narrow as .015 inches have been manufactured with investment castings.
- It produces high dimensional accuracy with tolerances as low as .003 inches.
What Industries Use Investment Casting?
Due to their massive benefits, investment castings are used in a wide range of industries. The aircraft and aerospace industries use investment castings for turbine blades, vanes, and structural components such as fan exit cases and struts. Investment castings are also used for valves, fittings, sporting goods, pumps, engines, turbines, military and small arms applications, airframes, missile controls, medical equipment, dental fixtures, gears, jewelry, machine tools, office machines, and numerous other complex parts.
If investment casting is something you are interested in, Ferralloy can help! We are experts in castings, fabrications, forgings, machining, and any of your other metalworking needs. Get the components you need, when you need them by contacting Ferralloy today!