Looking for high-quality investment castings with fast turnaround times? Look no further than SIPX Casting. Our investment casting foundry in Chongqing, China, specializes in producing premier-quality investment castings using a range of super alloys and high-performance materials. With SWF, INF,ISO 9001 certification, we’re able to serve critical industries such as medical, aerospace, and automotive. Trust SIPX Casting for your investment casting needs.

investment casting automotive parts

investment casting automotive parts

investment casting valve parts

Investment casting valve parts

 

investment casting handle

investment casting handle casting

medical equipment investment casting

Medical investment casting

Investment casting pipe parts

Investment casting pipe parts

Investment Casting

Investment casting also called lost wax casting, which is a time-honored manufacturing process that involves pouring molten metal into a ceramic mold. To create the mold, a disposable wax pattern is first made in the shape of the desired part. This pattern is then surrounded, or “invested,” in ceramic slurry, which hardens to form the mold.

Once the mold is formed, the wax pattern is melted out, hence the term “lost-wax casting.” While this process is one-to-one (one pattern creates one part), it allows for the creation of parts with complex geometries and intricate details.

Although production time and costs may be higher than other casting processes, investment casting offers unparalleled flexibility and precision.

What is investment casting?

Creating A investment casting Mold

Mold design

Unless investment casting is being used to produce a very small volume (as is common for artistic work or original jewelry), a mold or die from which to manufacture the wax patterns is needed.

2 Wax pattern creation

Wax pattern creation

For every individual casting produced through investment casting, a new wax pattern is required, making the number of wax patterns needed equal to the total number of castings. 

3 assemble wax pattern tree s 150x150 1

Assemble Wax Patterns Tree

Assemble the wax patterns to a gate or system. Multiple patterns are assembled to allow for large quantities to be produced at one time.

4 creating shell s 150x150 1

Shell building

creating a ceramic shell around the wax pattern to create a mold for the molten metal. The wax pattern is first coated with a ceramic slurry, which is then dried and repeated several times to create a thick, durable shell

5 wax removal s 150x150 1

Wax Removal

Once the shell has hardened, turned upside down, placed in an oven. They are heated to melt and remove the wax, leaving behind a cavity in the shape.

Melt And investment casting

Casting and cooling

The ceramic mold is preheated to around 1000 – 2000°F (550 – 1100°C) and filled with molten metal, liquid metal flows into the pouring cup, through the central gating system, and into each mold cavity on the tree. Then wait for cooling and solidify

7 casting removal s 150x150 1

Casting Shell Removal

Once the casting solidifies, break the ceramic shell, and cut the individual investment castings from the sprue. Finally remove the excess metal from casting body by grinding.

investment casting Finishing and Subsequent processing

Finishing and Subsequent processing

Sandblasting, grinding, and machining is performed to finish the casting dimensionally. This process allows for high precision and quality in the final product, making it a popular choice in various industries.

Advantages of Investment Casting

Investment Casting allows the production of parts with intricate geometries and high precision, which is not feasible with other casting processes. So precision casting usually refers to it. Additionally, investment casting can use a range of materials, including high-performance alloys, making it popular choice in industries such as aerospace, automotive and medical. Investment casting offers several benefits in terms of design flexibility, accuracy and precision, smooth surface finish, and a wide range of material options.

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1- Design flexibility

Investment casting allows for the production of complexries and intricate details that may not be achievable with other casting processes. This provides designers with greater flexibility to create parts unique shapes and features.

Investment casting is almost not limited by part structure, size and complexity, and has a very wide range of applications.It can cast various alloy castings with wall thickness from a few tenths of a millimeter to several meters, length from a few millimeters to several meters, and mass from a few grams to hundreds of kilograms.

invest casting parts to show Design flexibility

To produce investment castings, it is not only necessary to adopt advanced and reasonable casting processes and equipment, but also to make the part structure itself meet the requirements of casting production. It is also necessary to ensure the quality of investment castings, simplify casting workers, and make the part structure itself adapt to the casting process. This kind of performance that requires and guarantees the quality of the cast parts is called the casting process of the part structure. The main design steps of a qualified cast part include:

① Functional design

② Modify and simplify the design based on casting experience

③ Metallurgical design (melting Selection and applicability of mold casting materials); consider economy.

When analyzing the casting process of the part structure, we must first consider ensuring the quality and use requirements of the investment castings to prevent the one-sided pursuit of simplifying the casting process. If the structural design is found to be unreasonable during the review. Research should be conducted with the design unit and user unit, and modifications should be made while ensuring the use requirements.

The review and analysis of product parts mainly have two aspects: first, to review whether the part structure meets the requirements of the casting process; second, under the established part structure conditions, consider the main defects that may occur during the casting process, and determine whether the part structure meets the requirements of the casting process. Measures should be taken to prevent this in the design.

The casting process plan should be based on the actual production conditions and the production batch size of the investment castings. The parts to be produced by the casting method should be analyzed for the process. After comparing various possible plans, it should be formulated based on the actual and possible conditions.

Whether the structure of the investment casting is reasonable is closely related to the type and performance of the casting alloy, the quality requirements and output of the investment casting, the casting process method and production conditions, etc. In some cases, the economic effects of improving structural craftsmanship can be compared with the effects of rationalization, mechanization, and automation of the production process.

2-High accuracy and precision

tight tolerance investment casting parts

Investment casting offers high dimensional accuracy and precision, ensuring the final product meets strict specifications and requirements. This is particularly important in industries such as aerospace and medical, where precision and accuracy are critical.

According to the comparison with other casting methods, Investment casting has the best performance in tolerances. You can find out the dimensional tolerance of investment casting in the following table. Most of the finish product with investment casting method will not involve machining to meet the clients’ requests. Just simple blastering is enough.

Dimentional Tolerance of Castings

Dimentional Torlerance of CastingsCasting dimensional tolerance refers to the allowable limit deviation of the size of each part of the casting. Many factors in the casting production process will affect the casting dimensional tolerance. At the same time, the casting dimensional tolerance will have a great impact on the casting production cost within a certain range. Therefore, scientific methods must be adopted. standards to coordinate the requirements of both supply and demand parties.

In China, casting dimensional tolerance standard GB/T 6414-1999 "Castings Dimensional Tolerances and Machining Allowances" is equivalent to ISO 8062:1994 "Castings Dimensional Tolerances and Machining Gold System". This is the basis for casting process design and inspection of casting dimensions. It specifically stipulates the dimensional tolerances of various casting alloys produced by sand casting, metal mold casting, low pressure casting, pressure casting, investment casting and other methods, including the basic dimensional tolerances of castings. Difference value, wrong type value. The tolerances stated are those normally achievable under normal production conditions. It is divided into 16 levels from fine to coarse, named CT1 to CTI6.

The standard also stipulates the dimensional tolerance levels of castings produced in batches and mass production , small batches and single pieces  for easy selection. and for casting dimensional tolerance values.

Tolerance classes for mass-produced rough castings (GB/T6414—1999) (ISO 8062:1994)

Casting Method Tolerance CT
Casting Material
Cast Steel Cast Iron Ductile Iron Malleable Cast Iron Copper Alloy Zinc Alloy Light Metal Alloy Nickel Based Alloy
 Handmade Sand Casting 11-14 11-14 11-14 11-14 10-13 10-13 9-12 11-14
Machine Moldeling Sand Casting 8-12 8-12 8-12 8-12 8-10 8-10 7-9 8-12
Metal Mold Casting or Low Pressure Casting   8-10 8-10 8-10 8-10 7-9 7-9  
Die Casting         6-8 4-6 4-7  
Investment Casting Water Glass 7-9 7-9 7-9   5-8   5-8 7-9
silica sol 4-6 4-6 4-6   4-6   4-6 4-6

3-Smooth Surface Finish

The investment casting process results in a smooth surface finish that requires little to no additional finishing or polishing. This is ideal for parts that require a high-quality surface finish, such as those used in medical implants or jewelry, Household items, such as cabinet door handles, pot handle casting, casting faucets, robot accessories, etc. If you are looking for a casting method with good rough surface performance. Investment casting is the right choice. 

Of course, there are many facts that affect the roughness of investment castings. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that lead to rough casting surfaces and the corresponding improvement measures in detail below.

 

 

investment casting parts to show good surface
  • The viscosity of the surface layer slurry is too small, causing the surface of the casting to be rough. The improvement method is to increase the viscosity of the surface layer slurry.
  • The material control time before hanging the sand is too long, resulting in rough surface of the casting. The improvement method is to optimize the material control time and train the operators not to wait for the slurry to gel before hanging sand. If the sand cannot be hung, the surface quality of the casting cannot be guaranteed.
  • The surface sand is too coarse, causing the surface of the casting to be rough. The improvement is to use finer sand. Try to use 100-mesh sand for the surface layer. If it is too coarse, it will affect the surface. If it is too fine, the air permeability will be poor.
  • When the surface layer is covered with sand, the distance between the sand and the module is too long, causing the sand to penetrate the surface layer, causing the surface of the casting to be rough. The improvement measure is to make the drop of sand as small as possible when hanging sand to reduce the chance of sand penetrating the surface slurry film.
  • There are bubbles in the slurry, causing holes on the surface of the mold shell and eventually causing the surface of the casting to be rough. Recommended corrective actions are to replace or reduce the wetting agent or use a defoaming agent (at a minimum). Also adjust the mixing conditions to ensure that no air is incorporated.
  • During the slurry preparation or adjustment process, the refractory material is not completely wetted, resulting in rough surface of the casting. The corrective measure is that the slurry must be stirred evenly, and the slurry must be awakened for at least 24 to 48 hours.

4-Wide Range of Material Options

Wide range of material options of investment casting

Investment casting can use a wide range of materials, including high-performance alloys, stainless steel, and titanium. This provides designers with the flexibility to choose the best material for their specific application, ensuring the final product meets the required performance and durability standards.

The diversification of investment casting materials has made it widely used in multiple popular industries, including automotive, aerospace, electric, petrochemical, agriculture, medical equipment, shipbuilding, and construction industry, etc

A Good Investment Casting Manufacturer-Factors to Consider

When choosing an investment casting manufacturer, there are several factors to consider:

  1. Quality of products It is important to choose a manufacturer that produces high-quality that meet your specifications and requirements.
  2. Experience and expertise: Look for a manufacturer that has experience and expertise in producing castings for your specific industry or application.
  3. Production capacity: Choose a manufacturer with production capacity to meet your needs, both in terms of volume and lead time.
  4. Customer service and support: A good investment casting manufacturer should provide excellent customer service and support, communication, technical assistance, and after-sales support.
  5. competitiveness: While cost is an important consideration, it should be the only factor. Look for a manufacturer that offers a fair and competitive price while maintaining high-quality standards.
Investment Casting
Investment Casting

Applications of Investment Casting

Investment casting is a versatile manufacturing process used in a variety industries, including aerospace, automotive, medical, military, and more. It is particularly well-suited for the production complex and intricate parts with high precision and accuracy. Some common applications of investment casting include blades, engine components, medical implants, jewelry, and firearm parts. The ability to use a wide range of materials, including exotic alloys and high-performance materials, makes casting a popular choice for applications that require durability, strength and resistance to corrosion and wear.

Co-worked with Customers Use Investment Casting Parts

Metal casting parts customers 3

FAQ

  • What is investment casting and how is it different from other casting methods?

A: Investment casting is a manufacturing process that involves creating a mold, pouring molten metal into the mold, and then removing mold to reveal the finished part. It is different from other casting methods in that it allows for the production of highly complex and intricate parts high precision and accuracy.

 

  • What industries use investment casting?

A wide range materials can be used in investment casting, including stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass, and various alloys.-performance materials such as titanium and Inconel can also be used.

 

  • What industries use investment casting?

Investment casting is used in various industries including aerospace, automotive, medical, military, and jewelry.

 

  • What should I look for in an investment casting manufacturer?

When choosing an investment casting manufacturer, it is important to consider factors such as quality of products, experience and expertise, production capacity, customer service and support, price competitiveness.

 

  • How can I get a quote from a investment casting manufacturer?

To get a quote from an investment casting manufacturer, you typically need to provide them with the part design, material requirements and expected production volume.

 

  • What is the typical lead time for investment casting?

The typical lead time for investment casting varies depending on the part complexity and production volume, but can range from a weeks to several months.

 

  • How can I ensure the quality of my investment cast parts?

To ensure the quality of investment cast parts, is important to work with a reputable manufacturer that uses quality control processes and has a track record of producing high-quality.

 

  • What are some common defects that can occur in investment casting?

Common defects in investment casting include porosity, shrinkage, cracks, and surface irregularities.

 

  • What is the cost of investment casting compared to other manufacturing methods?

Investment casting is generally a more expensive manufacturing method compared to casting methods, but it offers benefits such as the ability to produce complex parts with precision and accuracy.

 

  • What is the minimum order quantity for investment casting?

The minimum order quantity for investment casting varies depending on manufacturer and part complexity.

 

  • What post-casting services do investment casting manufacturers offer?

Investment casting manufacturers typically offer post-casting services such as machining, surface finishing, and assembly.

 

  • What is the typical tooling cost for investment casting?

The typical tooling cost for investment casting depends on the part complexity and production volume, but can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.

 

  • What is the maximum wall thickness for investment casting?

The maximum wall thickness for investment casting depends on the material and part geometry but is typically around 1 inch.

 

  • What is the maximum weight limit for investment casting?

The maximum weight limit for investment also depends on the material and part geometry, but can range from a few ounces to several hundred pounds.

 

  • Can investment casting be used to produce parts with internal cavities?

Investment casting can be used produce parts with internal cavities using ceramic cores.

 

  • What is the typical surface finish for investment cast parts?

The typical surface finish for investment cast parts is around -250 RMS (root mean square) but can be improved additional surface finishing processes.

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