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What is Investment Casting
2016-03-11

Investment Lost Wax Casting , also called lost-wax casting in the industrial process in known as one of the oldest techniques for metal forming. Conventionally, the patterns for an investment cast were made possible by beeswax. At present, high technology waxes and, refractory materials and specialist alloys are already used in this procedure. This type of casting is relevant in allowing accurate and versatile varieties of metals and alloys.

Well, one of the most advanced investment castings today is lost foam casting which eliminates some of the steps in the entire process. Although the procedure is commonly used for smaller casts, it is able to produce complicated tasks such as door frames for aircraft and steel and aluminum castings. Other hand, this process requires lower costs for equipment, it is relatively more expensive than sand and die casting systems. Meanwhile, it also requires some minor surface finishing and machining.

The production of the master pattern is the start of the whole process. Wax, clay, steel, plastic, and wood are all raw materials that used to create the original pattern. Then, the next step is to produce the mold or the master die, which is usually made out of metal or steel. Once the molds have been done then the wax patterns will be produced as well. While this pattern is merely wax made. Besides, plastic or frozen mercury are also being considered in the process. In general, patterns are done in two ways: first is where wax is poured into the mold and swished to produce even coating; and the other is through leaving the filled mold until it is cool and the desired thickness is obtained. Once the wax patterns are removed from the mold, it’s time to assemble them.

Investment is definitely an important part of the process. The ceramic mold itself is termed as the investment. This is produced by repeating three important steps in the process namely coating then stuccoing then hardening. Then, the step next investing is dewaxing or drying. This period takes a long time, from 16 up to 48 hours. What is more, there are also some essential steps left called preheating, pouring, and removal.

We all know that the application of the investment castings is wide. They are commonly used in power generation as well as aerospace industries. They produce complicated shapes for turbine blades and are also important in making out cooling systems. Some of the common examples of blades produced from the process are directionally solidified, conventional equiaxed and single crystal blades. Moreover, investment castings can also apply in military, medical, automobile, and commercial fields.