1 March 2017

Advantages and disadvantages of investment casting

Whatever product you produced, a variety of processes can be used. With all of them, it is important to identify which will produce the best quality part at the most cost-effective price. Investment casting allows for a quality end product and rapid turnaround, not to mention offers an array material, sizes and configuration options. This may be the best process for your casting need. But before making your decision, here are some advantages and disadvantages of the process to help you better discern if it is the right option. 

Advantages of investment casting :

  • A complex shape which is difficult to produce by any other method is easily produced by this process.
  • Formation of hollow interiors in cylinders without cores.
  • A fine-grained structure at the outer surface of the casting obtained because free of gas and shrinkage cavities and porosity.
  • This process can produce very fine details and thin sections.
  • Almost any metal can be cast and any intricate parts can be castable. 
  • Very close tolerance and better surface finish can be produced.
  • Dimensions should not vary because there is no parting line.
  • Castings produced by this process are ready for use with little or no machining required because of the excellent surface finish. 
  • Controlled mechanical properties can be obtained.
  • It is easily possible to achieve dimensional accuracy and tighter tolerances of 0.075 mm (0.003 inches).

Disadvantages of investment casting :

  • The process is normally limited by the casting size and mass.
  • More alloy component segregation during pouring under the rotational forces. 
  • Contamination of the internal surface of castings with non-metallic inclusions. 
  • Inaccurate internal diameter. 
  • Investment castings require very long production cycle times as compared to other casting processes so time-consuming process. 
  • Difficult to cast objects requiring cores.
  • More expensive process because of large manual labour involved in the preparation of pattern and the mould.
  • Due to its high cost and long cycle times, this process is practically infeasible for high-volume manufacturing.
  • Holes cannot be smaller than 1/16 inch (1.6mm) and should be no deeper than about 1.5 times the diameter. 
  • It is limited to small casting and presented some difficulties where cores are involved. 
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