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Investment    Casting
Investment casting is a method of making small, simple or intricately shaped parts to a relatively high degree of accuracy and with a smooth surface. The first step in this process is the manufacture of an aluminum die from which the wax patterns are produced. Wax is injected into the die under pressure to give a replica of the finished components. The wax patterns are assembled onto a wax runner or tree. For small items it is possible to have several hundred patterns on a tree, which can be cast in one pour, whereas the larger items will be made with only one per tree.
The complete assembly is dipped (or ‘invested’) into a wet ceramic-based slurry and coated with a find dry refractory. Once dry the coating operations are repeated several times, using coarser grades of refractory, until the mould has sufficient thickness to withstand the force of the molten metal during the pouring operation.
After drying the ceramic shell is placed in a steam oven and the wax is melted out – hence the name ‘lost wax process.’ The shell is then fired at 1000 0 C to burn off any residual wax and to strengthen the mould.
Aluminum alloys are melted in bale-out furnaces, whilst all other alloys are melted in high-frequency induction furnaces. The metal is poured into a hot shell, enabling the material to flow into thin wall sections giving fine furnace detail.
After solidification and cooling, the ceramic is broken away from the cast and metal and the castings are cut off the tree. Careful fettling and finishing of the investment castings is then carried out, process such as heat treatment, machining,electro-polishing,Buffing,Powder Coating before final inspection in accordance with customer requirements.
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