Steel investment casting is one of the best ways to make complex parts for even the most sensitive applications. Casting is a proven technique used by ancient civilizations that today’s investment casting manufacturers still utilize to produce high quality products at affordable costs.
The Steel Investment Casting Process
Casting begins with wax that’s injected into a metal mold shaped like the desired finished product. After the wax cools, it’s removed from the mold and dipped into a ceramic slurry to make a mold casing.
When investment casting manufacturers bake ceramic mold casing, it gets hard and the wax melts out of it. The ceramic mold then gets filled with stainless steel by hand or using a machine.
After the metal in the mold cools, the factory breaks away the mold to reveal the steel part inside. The manufacturer then removes any unwanted pieces of metal and polishes the cast steel.
The Advantages of Steel Investment Casting
- Flexibility: Investment casting manufacturers can make simple or complex parts that weigh anywhere from a few ounces to hundreds of pounds. With the help of coring systems, you can even order parts that are internally complex. Plus, near-net configurations allow you to include complex details like threads, undercuts, holes, lettering, slots and serrations.
- Accuracy: Investment casting has a consistent tolerance that’s ±0.005 per inch or better, thus reducing the need to deal with draft angles or after-cast straightening.
- Smooth Finish: The investment casting process produces metal parts that have no flashing or parting lines and a smooth finish. Since the mold has a micro-finish of up to 125 RMS, you’ll also see minimal chips and shavings.
- Cost savings: Steel investment casting produces very few scraps and machining tailings, saving you on material costs. Since investment casting manufacturers can make a complex part in one fabrication process, there’s less assembly required and inventory control is simpler. The accuracy of the process also reduces handling and inspection costs.
As a U.S.-based company, Sinotech has over 20 years of experience producing QS-9000- and ISO-certified investment casts along the Pacific Rim. Our long-standing relationship with overseas factories helps ensure high-quality products at competitive prices, including investment castings for safety-critical automotive applications. Contact Sinotech to learn more about the quality control practices and the benefits of working with a domestic supplier for your investment casting needs.