Metal Casting Basics 101

Metal investment casting can yield almost any shape from almost any alloy, with nearly any features you can imagine incorporated right into the mold.

When producing highly complex, intricate parts or assemblies, no other fabrication technique can equal the cost-performance superiority of investment casting.

In comparison, you should look to investment casting for:

Design Freedom And Versatility
With more than 120 different ferrous and non-ferrous casting alloys available, Aero Metals can produce castings in virtually any metal and for any investment cast application. The investment casting process is very versatile and produces a wide range of cast and casting-based assemblies for a range of industries. It provides the maximum design flexibility for manufacturing complex, one-part structures.

Lower Tooling Costs
The initial wax injection mold used to produce the patterns, averaged over the part volume, is often lower that other manufacturing tooling costs. Aero Metals produces its molds in-house and maintains them free of charge for the life of the program. A quality tool produces a quality part and will be more cost efficient in the long run. Aero Metals uses the latest technology and innovative practices to ensure consistent and precise wax patterns.

The investment cast procedure at Aero Metals provides reliable process controls and repeatability that are maintained from lot to lot.

Tight Tolerance Control
Aero Metals is capable of holding +/- 0.002‶ in some cases, however, +/- 0.004‶ is more characteristic to standard investment casting tolerance. As in many modern methods, the price of the part will increase as the tolerances of the part become tighter and the inspection requirements become more rigid.

Waste Reduction
The investment casting is produced from wax patterns, which are reclaimed, remelted and used again. The wax pattern is used to pre-qualify the metal part and further reduce metal scrap. More importantly, the investment cast process produces parts to net- or near-net shape, which significantly reduces or eliminates the amount of secondary machining waste. Any scrap can also be remelted and poured again. It’s actually a very green process.

Value-Added Design
Unlike many other casting production methods, investment castings do not require any draft. The design engineer is free to incorporate such features as logos, numbers and letters into the component. In addition, through holes, slots, blind holes, external and internal splines, gears, and thread profiles can be cast to reduce secondary machining time and total part cost.