Investment casting is one of the first metal manufacturing processes. Investment casting services have existed for as long as the metal-working age. According to historians, the first investment casting application was making the medusa head sculpture, which is currently a significant historical structure in Florence, Italy. One of the main reasons investment casting applications have continued and increased over the years is that the technique allows for the use of various metals. Consequently, this write-up discusses the top investment casting metals.
Metals used in investment casting
Below are some metals that are commonly used in investment casting;
1. Stainless steel
This is one of the leading wear-resistant metals on the market. This quality makes it an ideal choice for investment casting. It is mostly used for making camping equipment, automobile parts like gears, and sporting equipment like golf clubs.
2. Low alloy steel
This metal alloy is also commonly used in investment casting. Its applications in various industries can be attributed to its low cost and incredible mechanical capabilities. The low alloy steep applied in investment casting is normally treated using various heat-treatment techniques. The aim of doing so is to make it impact-resistant and wear-resistant.
3. Aluminum alloy
Aluminum alloy is one of the most commonly utilized metals in investment casting. Aluminum alloy investment casting is used in aerospace, electronic, and military sectors, to name a few industries. Note that aluminum is one of the toughest metals on the market. This makes it an ideal raw material for investment casting in the industries listed above and more. Aluminum alloy is also easy to acquire.
4. Copper alloy
This metal is mostly corrosion-resistant and highly durable. These qualities make it incredible for various applications in different industries. For instance, copper alloy is used to make electrical and plumbing tools. Copper-based alloys are used in investment casting because they are strong and affordable to acquire.
Other metals used in investment casting are:
- Cast iron
- Carbon steel
- Supper alloys made up of nickel and cobalt
Qualities of investment casting metals
Below are some of the top qualities of the metals used in investment casting;
a. Strength and durability
All the metals used in investment casting are known for their strength and durability. These qualities are important because the manufacturing technique is commonly used in industries where strength and durability are paramount. For instance, in the aviation and the automotive industry, strong and durable parts are required.
In investment casting, the affordability of the metals is also paramount. Note that investment casting is not one of the cheapest manufacturing techniques. It is expensive to set up and complete. Therefore, using affordable metals helps.
The availability of the metal is also something that industries consider before choosing a metal for investment casting. Naturally, the easiest metals to acquire are the best option. This helps make the investment casting process easy to accomplish. Note that the process can be used to make several similar parts. Therefore, an abundance of materials is necessary.
Note that the qualities expected of the metals may differ depending on the industry and application. Thus, always understand the product you intend to manufacture, its purpose, and the level of toughness needed. Such will help you in picking the right material.