Investment casting is one of the oldest manufacturing processes. It dates back thousands of years and is used to make pipe fittings, turbine blades, armament parts, lock parts, hand tools, and even jewelry. They can be made using a wide variety of metals. Those include aluminum alloys, bronze alloys, magnesium alloys, cast iron, stainless steel, and tool steel. Let’s take a look at the process that goes into making investment castings.
When it comes to creating the pattern, the injection is inserted into the metal die and are formed as one piece. The cores are used to form any internal features on the pattern. These patterns are then attached to a central wax gating system. The gating system forms the channels through which the molten metal will flow to the mold cavity.
These patterns are then dipped into fine ceramic particles, coated with coarse particles, and then dried to form a ceramic shell around the patterns and gating system. This process continues until the shell is thick enough to withstand the molten metal. The shell is then placed into an oven and the wax is melted out leaving. This leaves a hollow ceramic shell.
During this step, the mold is preheated and the molten metal is poured. This fills out the mold cavity.
After the mold has been filled, the metal then cools and solidifies into the final casting shape. Cooling time depends on the thickness of the part, thickness of the mold, and the material used.
Removal and Finishing
After the molten metal cools, the mold is then broken and the casting removed. Finishing takes place when the final product is grinded or sandblasted to make it completely smooth.
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