Why Investment Casting Companies Choose Investment Casting
Investment casting companies make products for clients from a variety of sectors in the economy. They can make investment cast products for the automotive industry, sporting goods companies and even the hardware products industry. Why do companies choose investment casting over other kinds of metalworking and forming processes? Let’s do a few side-by-side comparisons between investment casting and a few alternative processes.
It’s possible that a hammer could be machined out of a solid chunk of metal. It would be extremely wasteful (most of the metal would be machined away), time-consuming and labor intensive. Machining is obviously not the most appropriate way to manufacture a hammer. What about forging? Forging certainly would be more appropriate than machining, but there are some big drawbacks. Forging imparts pitting and parting lines, and directional stress can be a consequence of the process as well. Forging tooling costs can also be more expensive than investment casting. Die casting seems like the most viable alternative. Unlike machining and forging, machining expenses are low, and the surface finishes of die cast products are generally better than those two alternatives. However, die casting tooling costs can be very high, and the equipment involved can require expensive maintenance.
Investment casting is often more attractive than these other options because it is capable of creating products with good surface finishes and at a lower cost. The process can create products with comparatively tight tolerances, and complexity of product geometry is more easily achievable with investment casting than it is with several other metal forming processes. Also, investment casting produces products with limited variation within production runs, which means greater product consistency. Investment casting companies choose investment casting because of its favorable features compared to other metalworking and forming options.