We know that investment casting is capable of producing near net shapes, offers a tremendous design freedom and can create parts with finer details and excellent mechanical properties, but, in order to make sure that this process is the right option for your project, we provide rapid prototyping services, providing you with an investment casting for evaluation.
Working with a variety of investment casting foundries , we are not only specialized in the field of aluminum investment casting, but we also produce casting in various other materials, including:
Typically working with 304 grades, as well as 202 grades
Also known as lost wax casting, investment casting is a process which dates as far back as 2 500 B.C and is the commonly applied in instances where both solid parts and complex, hollow cores are required. At Guteng, our specialized team is able to manufacture both solid and hollow parts.
Because different processes are used in order to manufacture different types of parts, we use different investment casting foundries in order to ensure that your finished product requirements are fully met.
Waxless Cores, Soluble Wax Cores and Urea Wax Cores.
Low Temperature Wax, Medium Temperature Wax and Low Temperature Wax with Polymer additives.
The Investment Casting Process at Guteng
First the wax injection mold is designed and built, enabling us to manufacture castings to our clients' exact specifications. From here, the wax injection mold is used to create the wax pattern, and in high volume productions, multi-cavity tools are used in order to accelerate the production of wax.
The patterns are now assembled and, treeing and gating systems to allow for optimal pouring are added. Once this stage is complete, the wax pattern is dipped into a ceramic slurry, coated with a refractory, dried and repeated until the required strength and thickness is achieved.
Our ceramic molds are dried in an atmospherically controlled area, both between slurry dipping and after the desired strength and thickness has been achieved.
Once drying is complete, an autoclave reclaims the wax from the ceramic shells and the shells are preheated and cured.
These cured and preheated ceramic molds are now filled with molten metal , left to set, broken off and the finished casting is cleaned - it is also in this stage when the gating systems and runners are cut off.
The Benefits associated with Investment Casting
Investment casting offers many alloy options and is able to produce intricate forms with undercuts. When compared to other casting methods, the tooling cost is lower and the process itself is able to produce castings that are dimensionally accurate.
Neat net shapes can also be produced and, a good surface finish and the absence of a 'parting line' are also considered as great advantages of the process. Close tolerances, the preplanning of unmachinable parts and the fact that it can replace die casting where only short runs are required, also adds to the list of benefits.
When compared to machining as a process, investment casting is able to offer a lower labor and material cost. When compared to sand casting, this process delivers more precise and tighter tolerances, a better surface finish, a wider variety of alloys and an increased design capability.
Compared to Metal Injection Molding (or MIM), investment casting processes are able to produce larger parts and can be used to produce smaller run quantities more economically. Furthermore, the investment process offers a lower tooling cost when compared to MIM as well as a lower alloy cost.
Also, because investment casting allows for a greater design freedom, it is able to produce more complex geometries than forging is capable of producing.
The Disadvantages of Investment Casting
Limited to small castings (though it has been used to cast sizeable parts), the process itself is an expensive one and only becomes an economically viable option when castings are manufactured in high volumes.
Compared to the casting processes, it needs a long production-cycle time. Problems also arise in the fact that holes cannot be smaller than a 16th of an inch (or 1.6 mm) and is recommended not to be deeper than one and a half times it diameter.
Weighing both the advantages and disadvantages of this process is an integral part of deciding whether the investment casting process is suited for your project. While a disadvantage may be an eliminating factor in one project, it might not play a role in another.
Guteng's Post-Casting Processes & Services
Because we are a high quality castings company, we offer a wide range of post-casting services, which may include:
Machining castings to size can be done in Guteng's specialized facilities using either a CNC Lathe or CNC Milling.
Our material testing services include tensile, hardness and elongation testing.
We typically offer hydrostatic testing for hollow parts.
This is mainly done in aluminum investment casting where porosity can be a problem.
Being an ISO9001:2008 registered firm, you can be sure of our Western quality standards, affordable China prices, skilled craftsmanship and experience, making us one of the best investment casting companies operating within the industry today.