Investment Casting & Heavy-Duty Truck Parts: What Should You Know?

Admin    April 2, 2018

Each year, heavy-duty commercial vehicles move more than 9.2 billion tons of goods across the nation. The irreplaceable trucking industry is vital to the economy, and custom investment castings keep it moving. By understanding investment casting for truck parts, you’ll gain a better understanding of how not all aftermarket parts are created equally and what to look for in an investment casting manufacturer.

What is Investment Casting?

investment-casting-truck-partsInvestment casting is a time-proven metal-forming technique used for more than 5,000 years. The technique involves making a wax pattern to create a three-dimensional mold, or investment. Specialists then melt the wax and pour molten metal into the cavities within the investment. After the metal hardens, the manufacturer removes the mold to reveal the parts created. The final step of the manufacturing process is inspecting and testing to ensure the parts meet your specifications.

The process is ideal for parts that are complex or require high dimensional accuracy. Other benefits include:

  • Smooth finishes with no parting lines
  • The ability to create unmachineable parts
  • No weak joints or welds
  • Time and cost savings
  • The ability to use a variety of ferrous and non-ferrous metals

One of the greatest things about steel investment castings and those made with other alloys is the ability to convert many existing truck parts into investment casting parts. When you can make custom parts that are repeatable and of high-quality, you don’t have to worry about gambling on aftermarket replacements from unknown manufacturers. From design to logistics, you have complete control.

Investment Casting Considerations

  • Not all parts are the same: While an aftermarket truck part might look like its genuine counterpart, it might not be engineered to work with the other components in a truck as a system. Original parts have specific tolerances and mechanical properties. Custom investment casting allows you to replicate these details.
  • Cheapest isn’t always the best: Consider the value of the truck parts you need, not just their cost. A cheap part is at risk of premature failure, which could delay a fleet. Plus, buying cheap parts isn’t cost-effective if you have to replace them several times. Investment casting allows you to affordably create strong, complex, accurate parts, even those with thin walls.
  • Don’t judge a part by its packaging: Pretty boxes don’t always equal quality parts. With investment casting, you always know where the part comes from, the materials used, and the specifications the investment casting manufacturer must meet.
  • You may use a combination of metals to create a truck part: With investment casting, you can use a variety of metals and alloys, including those that are difficult to fabricate or machine.
  • Dealer parts aren’t always necessary: Parts made using investment casting techniques can be just as good, if not better, than OEM parts. The technique is often used for safety-critical automotive applications in which manufacturers must carefully control factors such as tensile strength, metallurgy and malleability.

Sinotech: A U.S.-Based Operation for Your Investment Casting Needs

trucking-industry-investment-casting-best-practicesSinotech is committed to working with those who keep the trucking industry moving forward with comprehensive custom investment casting services for OEM and aftermarket parts. For peace of mind, our team of experts guides you through every step of the process, beginning with your design. Whether you have an idea or a formal drawing, our engineers will help prepare your design and set your project up for success.

As a manufacturer of QS-9000 and ISO-certified investment castings for more than 20 years, we reduce costs by employing stringent systematic processes and working with factories throughout the Pacific Rim, including our own factory in Ningbo, China. Our experienced teams of auditors and subcontractors reduce your risks by inspecting factories in person to ensure they can meet your production needs and offer high-quality alloys at competitive rates. When you’re ready to move forward, we’ll hold a meeting to review drawings, critical dimensions, inventory requirements, timelines, quality systems, PPAP levels, and more. Our high-accuracy machining and CMM confirmation make sure your parts are dimensionally correct. Inspections include a Magnetic Particle Inspection to find inclusions or cracks.

Working with Sinotech also gives you the benefits of collaborating with a domestic supplier. Because we’re based in the United States, we operate under U.S. law. Throughout your project, you’ll receive frequent status reports and photos of the tooling progress. You’re always welcome to visit the factories in person and have video conferences with bilingual staff members overseeing production.

Sinotech is an investment casting manufacturer that many in the transportation industry trust for their safety-critical automotive parts. Contact us today to learn more about how we combine precision with high quality and affordability.

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