Investment Casting Facility
Investment casting is an industrial process based on and also called lost-wax casting, one of the oldest known metal-forming techniques. From 5,000 years ago, when beeswax formed the pattern, to today’s high-technology waxes, refractory materials and specialist alloys, the castings allow the production of components with accuracy, repeatability, versatility and integrity in a variety of metals and high-performance alloys. Lost-foam casting is a modern form of investment casting that eliminates certain steps in the process.
There are a variety of materials that can be used for the investment casting process, including stainless steel alloys, brass, aluminum, and carbon steel. The material is poured into a ceramic cavity designed to create an exact duplicate of the desired part. Investment casting can reduce the need for secondary machining by providing castings to shape.
The process is generally used for small castings, but has been used to produce complete aircraft door frames, steel castings of up to 300 kg and aluminium castings of up to 30 kg . It is generally more expensive per unit than die casting or sand casting, but has lower equipment costs. It can produce complicated shapes that would be difficult or impossible with die casting, yet like that process, it requires little surface finishing and only minor machining.