The Cost of Casting
Investment casting has several costs associated with it. While the exact cost of each project will vary because each individual case is different, there are still some elements that affect the final price. Knowing what they are will help you to take your castings into consideration when preparing your budget. So, take a look below at the factors that can influence the total cost of the process.
Type of Metal
The choice of metal is dependent on the end use of the casting. In most cases, the requirement will come from the engineer who has designed the casting. The properties, availability and price are other factors which influence the material selection. The same metal or alloy will vary in cost over time due to their availability and even the world economy; interest rates and transport fees can also influence the price of materials.
Factors like Brexit can have an impact on it as well, especially because outside of the European Union the UK will no longer benefit from preferential tariffs with other countries. Some metals and alloys will continue to be more expensive than others; titanium, as an example, is a lot costlier than aluminium.
The material selection at Dean Group is vast, which allows you to choose from several metals and alloys – and to make your project more cost-effective. You’ll want to keep in mind that certain materials also need additional processes and surface treatments, which can increase the cost.
If your project requires a prototype so you can test the practicality and functionality of your design, you can opt for rapid prototyping. This will give you a better idea of how the part will perform in the real world.
There are many advantages to choosing this service. For example, it has a short production time, can help you to validate or compare several casting options before full-scale roll-out, lets you make changes to the design without costly modifications to the final part, and is manufactured from your own CAD data.
There are several rapid prototyping techniques, but creating a high-quality, high-integrity casting with good dimensional accuracy and a quick turnaround tends to be more expensive, so take this into account before making your decision.
However, considering rapid prototyping allows you to validate your design and it may be the most cost-effective solution in the long-term, even if it requires an upfront investment.
How easy a casting is to shell can also be an influence on cost. For projects with more complex geometries, a reduced airflow during drying is expected but can extend the amount of time it takes to fully dry the part – this, in turn, can cause the binder in the ceramic slurry to set, which slows down production. Complex designs may also require additional processes and treatments, which can further add to the cost of the part.
The quantity of shell layers is another factor to consider. The more complex the structure you need in your project, the more layers will be required, which will be more expensive.
Production Technique or Technology
The production technique that is used, as well as the technology, can have an impact on your final cost. At Dean Group, we offer several casting methods, including aluminium investment casting and commercial grade investment casting. We also provide die casting.
Different methods will be best suited for specific requirements. Our premium grade investment casting process, for instance, allows for the production of parts up to 150kg (through our supply partners in China) and also have short UK lead times. It’s all about what you need for your project. Of course, the tighter the tolerances and the more accurate the dimensions, the costlier a part can be, so that’s something else to keep in mind.
Do your parts require any kind of surface treatment? This could be anything, including heat treatments (such as annealing and carbonitriding), assembly, machining (like milling and spark erosion) and surface treatments and finishes (plating, anodizing and mirror polishing). Additional processes can add up to the final cost of the part, so don’t forget to budget for this.
At Dean Group, we offer a comprehensive list of casting processes, treatments and finishes, so we’re confident we can meet the demands of your project and industry.
Looking for an investment castings company that can help you to keep costs down? Dean Group are continuously developing our services so that we can carry on offering excellence to our customers – and at competitive prices. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to talk to you about your investment casting needs.‹ Back to NewsContact Us