Investment casting also called lost-wax casting, is one of the oldest known metal-forming techniques. From 5,000 years ago, when beeswax formed the pattern, to todayâ€™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. The fragile wax patterns must withstand forces encountered during the mold making. Much of the wax used in investment casting can be reclaimed and reused and our plant uses a water based system being green friendly compared to some other castings processes.
Investment casting derives its name from the wax pattern being invested (surrounded) with a refractory material to form a ceramic shell or mold. Before casting the wax is melted out of the ceramic shell lost-wax casting leaving a clean precise cavity to be filled with metal. Many materials are suitable for investment casting including stainless steel, carbon and low alloy steels, and aluminum as examples. The liquid metal is poured into the shell that is an exact duplicate of the desired part. Investment casting can reduce and sometimes eliminate the need for secondary machining by providing castings to near net shape.
The process is generally used for small castings for example under 150 lbs. Tooling life is quite long for Investment casting as the tooling for wax injection is usually made from a high quality aluminum. The wax is liquid when injected and generally non abrasive which does not generally wear on the tooling and allows for a very repeatable, high quality pattern production for assembly.
For further information on our investment castings facility go to Precise Castings Website.