What Metals Are Lost Wax Investment Casting Used For?
1. About the lost wax investment casting
Lost wax investment casting is a casting process that uses wax patterns to create ceramic molds for making parts or product designs. For many years it was called lost wax or precision casting because it accurately reconstructed parts with precise tolerances. In modern applications, the lost wax investment casting is known as investment casting. The original process was named lost wax investment casting but is currently used interchangeably with investment casting. A unique aspect of lost wax investment casting is how it uses wax to recreate the pattern of the part to be manufactured. The casting process of lost wax investment casting involves multiple steps, starting with creating a pattern or mastering from aluminum. The way a pattern is created determines its reproducibility.
2. What metals are lost wax investment casting used for?
Lost wax investment casting uses a variety of metals to create parts with exceptional precision and tolerance. The type of metal selected for investment casting mold depends on design requirements and part type. One of the reasons lost wax investment casting is so popular is that the number of metals that can be applied to the process is limitless.
(1) Stainless steel: The main alloys of stainless steel are chromium, nickel, and molybdenum. They determine the grain and mechanical properties of the casting. The way the alloys are combined determines how resistant the casting is to heat and corrosion. Since stainless steel contains 10% chromium, it is resistant to liquid corrosive conditions and oxidation.
(2) Steel: Carbon steel, low alloy steel, and tool steel are used in aerospace, agricultural, medical, and firearms industries. Just to name a few. Steel was chosen for lost wax investment casting because it is economical, available in a variety of grades, and can be heat treated to adjust its ductility.
(3) Aluminum: Aluminum is an ideal metal for lost wax investment casting because of its machinability and corrosion resistance. When alloyed with other metals and heat-treated, it develops extraordinary strength comparable to mild steel. The fluid properties of aluminum alloys allow parts to have thin walls.
(4) Brass: Brass is a copper alloy known as red or yellow brass, and lost wax castings are used in plumbing fixtures and door hardware. The main characteristics of brass are its appearance and the quality of its finishing and polishing. One disadvantage of using brass is that its lead content limits its use.
(5) Ductile iron: Ductile iron castings have excellent surface hardness, elastic modulus, corrosion resistance, and a strong strength-to-weight ratio. The greatest advantage of ductile iron is that it is cost-effective and offers a wide range of design freedom.