When it comes to molding component parts, a couple of options come to mind. Talk about sand casting, die casting, permanent mold, and even the metal injection mold technique.
But all of these techniques, none has the reputation and popularity of precision casting for component parts. Across industries – aerospace, manufacturing, health, tech, medical, chemical processing, etc., investment or precision casting is the go-to molding technique for everyone.
But why exactly is that so? Why is everyone embracing the lost-wax technique and not other component casting methods?
The reasons can be seen below.
Design flexibility and versatility
Perhaps the first reason everyone jumps at precision casting is that it gives a rare design flexibility. Things you cannot expect to do with other techniques, investment casting makes it possible in a twinkle of an eye.
For example, while other techniques like sand casting may struggle to carve out net shapes, precision casting does that with relative ease.
Talk about casting logos, names, letters, rare and intricate shapes? Investment casting does everything easily.
Investment casting can even handle thin-wall sections and complex passageways. That’s how much flexibility the method offers.
Cheap and affordable tooling option
While other techniques may require a fortune to gather necessary equipment, precision casting always comes for a fraction of the costs of others.
Thanks to this relatively cheaper tooling cost, most investment casting companies get your jobs done at very affordable rates.
Freedom of alloy choice
Another interesting thing about investment casting is that it allows for alloy versatility. Whereas other methods like die casting limit your options (can’t pour steel alloys, for example), investment casting allows you to cast almost any metal alloy you can think of.
Talk about metals and alloys such as ferrous, aluminum, nickel, copper and cobalt, bronze, magnesium, carbon steel, stainless steel, etc.
This is a wonderful opportunity, especially for those businesses in industries where different machine alloys are required for operations, e.g., oil and gas, medical equipment, fluid & material handling, etc.
Wide range of applications
It is safe to say precision casting is a technique designed for everyone. Because there’s hardly any industry where it doesn’t find application.
Thanks to its flexibility and alloy versatility, investment casting makes for good considerations in the production of tools and parts such as turbine blades, medical/surgical equipment, firearm tools, automobile parts, jewelry, etc.
In fact, it even enjoys significant applications in many major construction and manufacturing processes.
Suited to all casting sizes
It is a well-known fact that not all casting processes are ideal for all situations. While some are great for molding small casts, there are those specifically designed for large casts.
Investment casting is the only exception to this rule.
Investment casting has room for both large and small casts. Are you looking to forge a very small piece of tool for your automobile machining? Say something in the lines of an ounce (28 grams)? Or maybe you want a pretty large casting for your railroad track project? Do not look beyond investment casting. The process can handle casting as little as 0.001 ounces or as heavy as 100 ounces.
Elimination of material waste
One of the reasons parts sometimes cost a lot to make is because of the need to use excess materials. Since most methods lead to products that require lots of machining, it’s always important to use a sufficient amount of the material to avoid altering the product shape and size during machining.
In contrast, investment casting is cast to size. That means you get exactly the net shape and size you aim for. Thanks to this proper material management, there’s little to no reason to use more material than required.
By and large, precision casting encourages the judicious use of casting materials. And this, in turn, leads to lesser overall production costs.
Excellent end product
If product excellence is what you’re after, no casting method beats precision casting. While other methods require lengthy machining processing to arrive at smooth results, investment casting requires little to no secondary machining at all.
In fact, the surface appearance of the end product you get is straight-up smooth and exceptional, typically averaging a 125 RA surface finish.