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INVESTMENT CASTING FOUNDRY PRACTICE

G.M.Rajendra Prasad,
A/14, K.H.B.Colony, Puttenahalli, Yelahanka, Bangalore-560106
Mail:gmrpsbc@gmail.com. Cell: 9480504635.

Let me Confess at the outset that I am totally ignorant of Science of Investment Casting.
We have been able to Develop Investment Casting ,on our own, by trial & error method.
We do not even know if what we have done is Conventional or not.
I have not even seen an Investment Casting Foundry
The process that we have followed has given us results. Ours is a Sand Foundry, where we make
all kinds of Steels. We developed Investment Castings, on the side lines, for our sister concern
which manufactures PUMPS to reduce great deal of machining at their end.

Excepting a Wax Injection Machine for Pattern making & a Stirrer we did not have anything.
I would like to caution such of those people, who want to start an exclusive Investment Castings
unit, ensure that you have all the required equipments for an Investment Castings Foundry.

The materials we used are Colloidal Silica(30%), Godrej EZEE Soap Solution, NAV Antifoam
Solution, -325# Fused Quartz, 150# Fused Quartz, 100# Fused Quartz, 70# Fused Quartz,
60# Mullite, 40# Mullite, 30# Mullite, 16# Mullite, Investment Casting Pattern WAX.
At the end the addresses of Companies from whom we procured the materials will be given.
The other things we used are Pattern Injection Machine, a Motorized Stirrer, an Electrical
Resistant Heating Furnace & a Vessel to treat the Shells in Boiling Water.

Prepare your Wax Pattern & attach it to Central Sprue. Between the pattern & Central Sprue bar
an Adequately sized Cylindrical Wax rod not longer than 10 mm is provided. As regards to Diameter
it depends on Casting size. This acts as a FEEDER to the Casting. Ensure that proper Venting is
Provided for Air to get out of Shell before liquid metal fills the Shell. To this Central Sprue bar
Several Patterns can be attached. Now you have Wax Tree.
1) Take 4.5 liters of Colloidal silica.
2) To this add 7.5 Kgs of -325 Quartz Flour.
3) Mix it with the stirrer for 30 minutes.
4) Add 4 Drops of Godrej EZEE Soap Liquid.( This is a Wetting agent)
5) Mix it for 30 minutes. During this process lot of Foam will be generated & it has to be
removed.
6) Add 50 ml of NAV antifoam.
7) Mix it for 30 minutes.

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8) Now the Coating material is almost ready, but you need to remove few air bubbles
still present Manually along with foreign material if any.
Now your coating Slurry is ready

9)Dip the wax pattern Tree in SLURRY.


10) STUCCO it immediately with 150# Fused Quartz.
Now, What is this STUCCOING ?
When ever you have to PAINT a Wall or a Door, you first RUB(?) the surface
with Sand Paper or Emery Paper. Why do you do that?
Imagine a smooth surface & a surface with scratches, Surface with scratches will
have a greater surface area. This helps in better ADHEARENCE of PAINT on
the surface. But in case of our Shell slurry is as smooth as TALCUM POWDER &
WET. So we SPRINKLE 150# fused Quartz Flour on to the WET SLURRY COAT.
This Flour adheres to wet slurry surface.
In case of wall, we had scratches, depression, which increased the TOTAL SURFACE
AREA & in case of our Shell we have PROJECTIONS of 150# Quartz Flour on -325#
Slurry. This also increases the TOTAL SURFACE AREA.
11) Allow the shell to DRY for 8 hours in normal condition.(First coat)
Probably one could hasten drying by using INFRARED Heat but I do not know
about it.
12) After 8 hours of drying, Dip the shell in -325# Slurry & Stucco with
100# Fused Quartz. (2nd coat)
13) Allow it to dry for 8 hours.
Before each time you dip the shell in Slurry, Stir it once to ensure that DISPERSAL
-325# Fused Quartz is UNIFORM in Colloidal Silica.
Our coating Slurry is always of -325# Fused Quartz.
Our stucco material size changes.
14) Same thing gets repeated with 70# Fused Quartz or Mullite(Cheaper).
15) Stucco with 50# Mullite.
16) Stucco with 30# Mullite.
17) Stucco with 16# Mullite.
For smaller Castings about 6 or 7 coating are adequate.
For Bigger castings, you need more number of Coats to get a STRONGER SHELL.
In case of more number of coats Stucco material is 16# Mullite.
17) Now that after all the coatings, Shell is ready for DEWAXING.
18) Make a Stand in such a way(with an opening) that your shell can be kept
upside down. Keep a container ,with water in it, under the shell.
19) Start heating the shell with LPG gas flame. Wax melts & falls into water
so that no wax gets burnt out.

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20) After you have ensured that all the wax has melted & come out, Continue to
Heat the Shell. WHY?

Even though all the wax has melted & come out, a layer of Carbonaceous layer is still
adhering to the surface of the shell. As you go on heating the shell, air inside the
shell expands & comes out of the shell & fresh air enters the shell. Oxygen of the Air
reacts with Carbonaceous layer & becomes Carbon di oxide & comes out of the shell.
Keep heating the shell till no fumes come out of the shell. Ensure that you are heating
CASTING portion more than the other portions. Now you break open one Shell, you will
see milky white surface rather than black surface.
In case of Castings with larger Surface Area, the entire carbonaceous layer did not get
burnt out. So, We let a Stream of OXYGEN into the Shell(which is being heated from
Outside) at a Very Low Pressure. This resulted in burning of Carbonaceous Layer. On
breaking of Shell, it surface is WHITE. As regards to how long Oxygen has to be passed
Depends on Surface Area of the Casting.

21) WAX has ASH in it .Fresh wax will have less of ash & used wax will have more.
This ash is still adhering to the inner surface of the shell. This ash has to be removed.
This is done by putting the shells in BOILING water. Because of the turbulence of
boiling water, boiling water enters shell & removes Ash adhering to the surface.
As regards to the time of Keeping the Shell in the Boiling water, No Foreign matter
Coming out of the Shell should be Visible. Take out the shell from water & allow it dry
for 8 hours. Now your shell is ready for Preheating before Pouring the molten metal
into it.
22) Put your shells in an Electrical resistance Furnace & heat the shells to about
950 degree Celsius.
23) Take out the Shells about 3 to 5 minutes before Pouring liquid metal.
24) Place the Shells on a Sand Bed, Cover the shell with Dry sand to ensure that
Shell does not loose heat. During all this, ensure Sprue opening is COVERED
so that nothing falls into the shell.
25) Just before pouring liquid metal, remove the Lid.
26) POUR THE LIQUID METAL INTO THE SHELL.
27) Take out the shell from the Dry sand cover & allow it cool to about 250
degree Celsius in natural atmosphere.
28) Break the Shell with out damaging the Castings.
29) Cut the Feeder(attachment to central Sprue ) & Vents.
30) Grind the Cut portion with out damaging the AS-CAST Surface of the
CASTING.

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31) Now, get your Investment Casting SAND Blasted & not Shot blasted
as it leads to DENT marks on the Casting.
32) Now your INVESTMENT CASTING is Ready.

33) a-How much of Colloidal Silica(Binder) is to be used depends on your casting


Size.
b-How long OXYGEN gas has to be passed depends on Surface area of the
Casting. Larger the Surface area, longer is the time of passing Oxygen.
c- How long the Shell should be Kept in Boiling Water depends on Surface
area of the Casting. Do not keep it longer than required. What is this REQUIRED.
When you Do not see any Foreign matter coming OUT of the Shell, Shell can be
taken out of Water.
I have explained the PROCESS. If you want to Start making INVESTMENT
Castings, you will have to ESTABLISH Process Parameters for Your Condition.

Here under I am giving the Addresses of the Suppliers of Materials from whom
we Procured the materials.

1) Colloidal Silica(30%).
Dr Khan Industrial Consultants Pvt Ltd,
S-6, Ratnamanjusha, Ravi Industrial Compound, Naupada, Thane-400 602
Cell:91-932789806
e-mail: dkic@colloidalsilica.com. dkic@vsnl.net.
2) Fused Quartz.
The Universal Fused Quartz & Allied Products Pvt Ltd, Bangalore.
e-mail: ufq_fusil@hotmail.com.
Contact Person: Mr Shankar Prasad.

3) Pattern Wax.
M/s Saffroshine Organics Pvt Ltd,
C-73, MIDC, Chincholi, Solapur-413255
Phone:(0217)-2357272, Cell: 91-9890197600.
Contact Person: Mr Rajesh Zade.
e-mail: info@saffroshine.com.
4)NAV –Antifoam
M/s Navya Refractory Products, Bangalore.

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e-mail : nutan_ind_pr@sify.com.

5) Mullite.
M/s Bajaj Associates, Bangalore.
Phone:22281141,22870369.
e-mail: bajajmullite@airtelbroadband.in.

6) Investment Casting Equipments.


Such of Those People who want to get into Investment Casting in Big way,
you can not do it the way we did. We did it on the Side lines.
Contact: Mr Vivek Sangle incastt@gmail.com.
Visit: www.incastt.com.
7) Wetting Agent: Godrej EZEE Soap Solution, which is easily available
in the market.
Earlier we were using nOctonal liquid from Merck paying Rs 2200 per lit,
but later I changed over to NAV Antifoam, which is priced at Rs 250 per
litre. As regards to performance of removal of FOAM I did not find
any difference.
A word Of Caution: If you can get 150# Zircon & 100# Zircon, use them for
1st & 2nd Stucco. From 3rd Stucco onwards it is 70#,50#, 30# & 16# Mullite.
We used Fused Quartz because of Non-Availability of Zircon
This is an Option. When your Slurry it self is 325# Fused Quartz, Stuccoing
with Fused Quartz should not matter
You can also use -325# Zircon Flour for Basic Coating. 200# Zircon for First Stucco.
150# Zircon for Second Stucoo, 100# Zircon for Third Stucco. There after go for
Mullite Stucco-70#,50#, 30# and 16#.

After I started Surfing the NET, I got many things BUT not an IOTA of information
on Investment Casting. Then I decided that I will not hold this as a Secret,
instead Publish it in a Foundry Journal so that my fellow Countrymen get benefitted.
In this regard, I would like to express my deep sense of Gratitude to
Mr Babu Sathian, MD of M/s Process Pumps (India) Pvt Ltd & M/s Allcast Industries,
Bangalore, for having permitted to author this small Paper.

Before I end my Paper, as I have already stated in the beginning I still do not know
the Science of Investment Castings. This I am saying just to tell you that if you
put your Heart & Soul into it, you can Improvise the PROCESS a great deal.

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