Investment casting benefits
Investment casting, also known as lost wax process, allows the production of components with high accuracy, repeatability, versatility and cast integrity in a wide variety of metals and high-performance alloys. It can produce complicated shapes that would be difficult or impossible to produce using other methods and often requires little surface finishing and only minor machining. One of the oldest casting processes dating back nearly 5,000 years to the production of ornaments, statues and jewellery using natural beeswax, nowadays investment casting is used in many commercial and industrial applications that require complex metal parts.
Investment casting advantages:
- High accuracy and integrity: production of near net shapes
- Precision: details such as holes, lettering, threads, serrations can be cast
- Consistency and repeatability: virtually no tool wear
- Wide choice of alloys: ferrous, non-ferrous, exotic incl. materials that are difficult to machine
- Material flexibility: multiple metal options from the same tooling
- Production flexibility: accommodating both high and low volume
- Reduced production costs: minimal material wastage, machining can often be eliminated and labour costs reduced
- Reduced assembly work: several parts can be combined into a single casting
- Low initial tooling costs
- Added value: ability to incorporate company name, logo, part number etc.
New Microscopy Facility inside the in-house Laboratory.
This new testing equipment will ensure the integrity and high quality standards of the investment castings through accurate analysis of the material chemistry composition, it will provide an ability to review material micro-structures, and facilitate optimisation of material properties. See more details here.
Dean Group Capabilities
More than 40 years in the casting industry has generated a vast amount of technical knowledge and experience Dean Group applies to meet the industry requirements on a daily basis. We are continuously expanding our capabilities, investing in new technology and working towards new certifications and approvals.
Investment casting (premium grade) capabilities:
- Up to 30 kg UK casting capacity
- Up to 150 kg China casting capacity
- Size capabilities: max limit of 1000mm x 620mm x 380mm
- Short UK lead times
- Consistent China lead times with stockholding options
- Small to large volume runs
- General cast tolerances to ISO 8062-3:2007
- ISO 9001, ISO 9002, TS16949 approvals
- Baseefa and Atex parts
- Wide market applications: oil & gas, automotive, aerospace, rail and more
- 3D design support with digital casting simulations
- Rapid prototyping prior to production
- A wide range of finish options including painting, polishing, plating, anodizing and more
- Heat treatment, machining, assembly options
The investment casting process can be used with virtually any material from light or strong alloys to exotic and rare materials.
- Stainless steels & heat resistant alloys
- Carbon steels
- Nickel & cobalt alloys
- Copper based alloys
- Aluminium alloys
- Vacuum alloys
- Zinc alloys
More detailed material information and specifications here.
Investment casting (or lost wax) process is labour intensive and requires extensive technical knowledge and experience at each stage of the process to ensure the quality and excellent integrity of the parts.
- An aluminium tool is cut directly from the 3D CAD data
- Wax replicas are produced from the tooling
- Waxes assembled onto runner system – “tree”
- A ceramic shell is built around the assembly using a dipping and drying process (investment)
- The shell is dewaxed with high pressure steam
- The shell is fired in an oven
- The molten metal is poured into the shell
- Ceramic is broken off once the metal has cooled
- Parts are cut off the “tree”
- Ingate (feed positions) are ground off
- Finishing and machining if required
- Necessary inspection
We always encourage potential customers to visit our UK investment casting foundry. We provide detailed tours which involve all the stages of investment casting process as explained above. Please contact us if you would like to arrange a visit or discuss the process in more detail.