Investment casting process is known to its capability of producing clear net shape, high-dimensional accuracy and intricate design. Consistent research effort has been made by various researchers with an objective to explore the world of investment casting.
Investment casting has been used to manufacture weapons, jewellery and art castings during the ancient civilization. Today, its applications include jewellery/art castings, turbine blades and many more industrial/scientific components. The present paper reviews various investigations made by researchers in different stages of investment casting and highlights their importance. The paper initially highlights the investigations made on pattern wax properties, effects of blending, additives and fillers. Different ways through which pattern properties (like surface finish, dimensional accuracy, etc.) could be enhanced by properly controlling the injection processing parameters are thoroughly discussed. The paper also looks into the investigations made to enhance the strength, surface finish, etc. of ceramic shell for ferrous alloys/non-ferrous alloys as well as superalloys in investment casting. Investigations made on incorporation of nylon fibers and polymer additions confirm that a ceramic shell reinforced with nylon fibers attains additional permeability compared to the one with polymer additions.
Investment casting, precision-casting technique for forming metal shapes. A typical process for bronze castings involves six steps:
1. A gelatin mold is formed around the solid sculptured form.
2. The mold is removed (in two or more sections) from the sculptured form, and the inside of the mold is filled with wax or coated with a layer of wax of the same thickness as that desired for the final casting.
3. The outer gelatin mold is then removed, and a second mold, of heat-resisting clay, is formed around the wax shell, the interior of which is filled with a clay core.
4. The mass is baked, hardening the clay and melting the wax, which runs off through openings in the outer mold.
5. The hardened mold is packed in sand, and molten bronze is poured through the openings to fill the space vacated by the lost wax.
6. The mold is broken, and the bronze form remains.
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