Investment casting, similar to Lost-Wax casting, is thousands of years old. Documented for the first time around 1100 A.D.by a monk named Theophilus Presbyter. Investment casting was originally used to produce decor, religious statues, and jewelry. This casting process eventually made its way to the industrial revolution and became a favorite method of Dentists for creating crowns and inlays. Investment casting is still used in the industry today to produce intricate castings with brilliant, smooth finishes.
Investment casting is a method of casting in which a mold is created commonly using wax (though some use plastics), utilizing a gating system that works as branches allowing for multiple castings to be created from one mold. The wax mold is then coated in a ceramic shell or “refractory mold” that will keep the shape of the mold when the wax is melted out in an oven before the metal is poured to create the casting. Investment casting is a favorite choice for those looking to create an intricate end product due to the completely enclosed pattern. The term “investment” refers to the mold being filled or invested with metal.
As mentioned investment casting is ideal for creating intricate patterns. Metal castings made using the investment process can also be made very thin and with great accuracy, however, there is a negative aspect to investment casting. Though the wax can easily be reused time and time again, the ceramic shell once used is lost. This makes the process more complicated; not to mention more expensive. Though some of the investment casting process can be automated much of the process still needs to be executed manually.
General Kinematics is a great investment for any casting process. With over half a century of experience and a track record for reliability, GK is a great addition to improve the performance of your metal casting process. Ask a GK Engineer how we can automate your work-flow today, check out our metal casting equipment, or read the stories of others in the metal casting industry that have used GK equipment to improve their process!