What is the investment casting process?
Investment casting, also known as the lost wax process, is one of the oldest manufacturing processes known to man. Intricate shapes can be made with high accuracy with metals that are hard to machine. Investment Casting can be used to make parts that cannot be produced by normal manufacturing techniques, for example, turbine blades that have complex shapes, or airplane parts that have to withstand high temperatures.
The first step is to inject wax into an aluminum die to receive a wax part, identical to the casting part needed. The wax model is attached to a wax sprue. The assembly is repeatedly dipped into liquid ceramic slurry and covered with fine sands to form a robust thickness. After the ceramic mold is completed, the wax is steamed out, leaving a hollow cavity into which the molten metal can then be poured. Because the mold is formed around a one-piece pattern, very intricate parts can be made. Parts made with investment casting often require very minor completion by machining, saving both time and money.
What are the benefits of Investment casting?
Produces near-net shape configuration with precise detail and dimensional accuracy.
Allows greater design freedom from very simple to highly complex parts.
Can utilize a wide variety of alloys.
Reduces costly machining operations saving time, labor, materials and money.
Provides superior repeatability.
Several parts can be cast as one unit eliminating the need for welding and thus reducing assembly, handling and inspection costs.
Offers production freedom at the planning stage and gives engineers design flexibility to choose more exotic materials with little change to the cost.
What materials does UPC cast?
We cast metals ranging from low-alloy steel to stainless steel, and air-melted nickel-based alloys.
Is there a minimum or maximum order size?
No. We can cast from one to a million parts, but UPC specializes in small to medium size lots.
What size and weight parts can UPC produce?
UPC produces custom-made finished products ranging in weight from 5 grams to 55 kilograms. As far as size goes, UPC can handle parts measuring up to 700 millimeters length, and a diameter of up to 500 millimeters.
How does Investment Casting compare to other methods as far as costs go?
Investment Casting is the only way to go if you need a complicated part that would require a lot of machining operations and the material used is costly.
What are the advantages of casting at UPC?
UPC’s highly-skilled engineers, of whom three are metallurgists, can accurately design any project, no matter how intricate, to near-net shape, minimizing waste of costly steel and nickel based alloys and reducing the need for time-consuming machining. These experienced metallurgical engineers do not hesitate to improve known alloys for better mechanical properties for the customer’s benefit. The engineering and production teams work together in the same modern facility in northern Israel, ensuring that production issues are resolved on the spot. UPC prides itself on short development time and quick delivery.