Investment casting also known as “Lost Wax Casting” is one of the oldest manufacturing processes, dating back 5000 years, in which molten metal is poured into an expendable ceramic mold. The ceramic mold is formed by using a wax pattern – a disposable piece in the shape of the desired part. The pattern is surrounded, or “invested”, into ceramic slurry that hardens into ceramic mold. Parts with complex geometries and intricate details can be created through this process.

The process eliminates the parting line and reduces the machining cost. All types of ferrous as well as non-ferrous metal can be casted by this process. It is most suitable for expensive, hard and high strength metals / alloys, which are difficult to machine.

Comparison of investment casting process with other common casting process

Investment casting Vs. Metal Fabrication

Investment casting can be far more accurate and precise than metal fabrication. It is less labor intensive, often offers substantial weight savings, costs less, provides more material choices, greater design flexibility, shorter lead times, and quicker prototyping. Metal fabrication may require parts to be constructed from multiple individual pieces. Investment casting allows the same part to be made in one continuous piece.

Investment casting Vs. Die Casting

Investment casting offers far shorter lead times, greater alloy flexibility (including ferrous materials which cannot be die cast), greater design flexibility, better piece to piece consistency, and produces parts closer to net shape which therefore require less machining. Tooling cost for investment casting is also dramatically less expensive than die cast tooling.

Investment casting Vs. Sand casting

Compared to sand casting, investment casting offers tighter dimensional tolerances, better surface finishes and produces near-net shape parts which require less machining and allows castings of complex-geometry parts.

Investment casting Vs. Machining

Precision investment casting offers lower per piece costs over long production runs and thereby reduces material costs. It has a ability to work with a larger selection of alloys. Additionally, machining offers no economy of scale with volume.

Investment casting Vs. Forging

Compared to forging, investment casting offers tighter tolerances and lower tooling costs, and provides near-net shape parts which require less machining and additional processing. With investment casting, it is also possible to produce complex geometries, which forging cannot offer.

Our process offers many advantages over other manufacturing methods, as the inherent characteristics of precision, superior surface finish, unlimited geometric details inside and out, and the ability to cast most metals, renders the process superior and usually at less overall cost.  Some specific examples for choosing our investment casting process are as follows :

Replacing your sand castings

Replacing your machined from stock components

Replacing forgings

• Significantly better surface finish

• Tighter dimensional tolerances

• No need for tapering or draft angles in investment cast part design

• Castings free of parting lines and general surface defects

• Superior metal integrity with less inclusions

• Less machining required to finish

• Near-net shapes eliminate or reduce machining

• Lower overall production time

• Almost no lost material value in producing chips

• Components cast in stronger metals that are too hard or impossible to machine

• Quicker product turnaround and significant cost savings in labor and tooling

• Superior surface finishes free from forging parting lines and pitting

• Uniform internal stresses

• Ability to tool up for shorter runs at substantially less cost

• Internal geometries such as holes and pockets not possible to forge

Replacing weldments

Replacing stampings and assemblies 

Replacing powder metallurgy components

• One piece casting with lower cost than welding pieces together

• Stronger parts due to no joints necessary

• Superior surface finish

• Design is not restricted by available shapes of wrought bars and plates

• Ability to cast in logo’s, lettering, and intricate features

• Greater design flexibility

• Decreased tooling and maintenance costs

• The addition of design features that cannot be stamped can now be included

• The ability to allow for thickness variations

• The ability to use stronger materials that do not respond well to stamping

• A superior surface finish and tighter tolerances

• More complex shapes than powder metallurgy can provide

• Many more alloy options with castings

• More stable parts, since powder metallurgy shrinks during sintering, causing larger variations in cast dimensions