Advancements in the Creation of Investment Casting Products
Investment casting can be used to create products with very complex tolerances. It is a precise process, but it is also complicated and time-consuming. Complication and time-intensiveness are two features that can make a process unattractive to industrial operations and their clients. One of the most highly complicating factors in the investment casting process is that the layering of ceramic materials and sand around wax patterns can take days or even weeks because of the drying time required by each successive layer of slurry. If, for example, a wax pattern needed to be immersed in seven shell layers, it could take up to a week just to finish the layering and drying process. Who wants to invest in a product that’s that labor-intensive and that time-consuming?
Well, in the absence of more advanced investment casting technologies, companies that needed products that could be produced only through such casting processes had no alternative. However, recent technological developments in the investment casting industry have opened up new opportunities for increased efficiency, decreased lead time and decreased cost per casting.
Some companies in the casting industry have developed rapid drying chambers that allow for the layering process to take place in a fraction of the time that it previously took to form a layered investment casting shell. Using this technology, investment casting products can be produced at a much faster rate for much lower prices. After the initial investment in the additional booster drying equipment, the cost of investment casting processes that involve the new, advanced equipment can be reduced considerably. Considering how much customers are interested in short lead times and low costs, the inclusion of rapid drying equipment seems like it would be a no-brainer in most situations. As technology continues to develop, the investment casting process is only going to become more efficient.