Do you know enough about investment casting, could you potentially be missing out on a trick, not using this method?

 

History Breakdown of Investment Casting

Investment casting is a process that goes back thousands of years and still used widely in today’s industry. The meaning of ‘invested’ is to clothe or cover with a garment. This outlines how investment casting got its name – as the wax is dipped into ceramic, covering the mould.

This casting method was first introduced in the 19th Century when dentists used the process to make crowns. Later being used in the manufacturing industry as demand rocketed around World War II, with requirements for a precision net shape manufacturing and specialised alloys.

Did you know investment casting is also used around the world to create detailed artwork including the head of Medusa sculpture which is now hosted in a Museum located in Florence.

 

What is Investment Casting/Lost Wax Process?

Investment casting also known as lost wax process is very similar to casting metal however investment casting uses wax to create a ceramic mould. The next part is where ‘invested’ comes into the mix as the wax component is dipped into a ceramic slurry.

After this process is completed the wax used is removed leaving behind a ceramic shell, which then requires molten metal to be poured into the mould. And just like that, you’ve completed the investment casting process, a small change saving costs.

This method of casting is used mostly in the medical and aerospace industry. Some parts are difficult to process economically therefore investment casting is used to create exceptional parts with a great surface finish.

 

Benefits of Investment Casting

Some of the great benefits you can receive from using investment casting include the following;

  1. Saving you costs on machinery and tools
  2. Reduce weight
  3. Reduce waste
  4. Tighter tolerances, excellent accuracy

There are many factors which can help you decide whether investment casting is the right process for you to use based on the design, cost, and the practicality to create. So is investment casting right for your business?

Investment Casting at the National Foundry Training Centre.

ECMS Partner organisation, the Cast Metals Federation, CMF, has facilitated meetings with suppliers and foundries from the investment casting sector, and the team from the ECMS, to discuss additional materials and equipment to enable apprentices to learn about this important sector of the industry. 

 

Colin Whorton MICME, Foundry Instructor for the ECMS, said “we are very keen to develop the facilities at the centre to ensure we are able to meet the needs of the industry.  So these meetings have been very informative for me to learn more about the sector and start to put a development plan in place and I am grateful to Pam and her team at the CMF for helping with this.  The support from the industry is invaluable and I am looking forward to visiting a couple of the CMF Member foundries as soon as I am able to, to start working up our plans.”

 

If you’re interested in knowing more about investment casting please send us an email over to enquiries@theecms.co.uk as we aim to provide training and support for topics of interest to the industry.