Investment Casting

u

Expendable mould and pattern
– A mould is used to generate wax pattern of the shape required. A ceramic slurry is cast around the wax pattern, the wax melted out and the metal cast in the ceramic mould. The mould is then destroyed to remove the casting. –‘ Lost wax process’

Production Engineering 3

A De Silva

Production Engineering 3

A De Silva

Investment casting
Materials
– All metals, including precious, reactive and radioactive alloys (cast in vacuum).

Process variations
– Use of thermoplastic resin instead of wax.

Production Engineering 3

A De Silva

Investment casting- Economic considerations
– Production rates of up to 1000 pieces/hour, depending on size. – Lead times are usually several weeks, but can be shorter. – Best suited to metals having high melting temperatures, and/or which are difficult to machine or which have a high cost. – Material utilisation is high.

Production Engineering 3

A De Silva

but increase the cost significantly. Production Engineering 3 A De Silva . – Wax or plastic patterns can be injection moulded for high production runs. – Ceramic and wax cores allow complex internal configurations to be produced.Economic considerations – Pattern costs can be high for low quantities.Investment casting.

Investment casting . but dependent on complexity. – Equipment costs are low to moderate (high when processing reactive materials). – Suitable for small batches (10-1000) and high volume production. Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .Economics – A 'tree' of wax patterns enables many small castings to be handled together. – Tooling costs moderate.

Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .Investment casting .Economics – Labour costs are high. – Low finishing costs. Gates and feeders are removed by machining and the piece may he cleaned by sand/bead blasting. Can be labour intensive as many hand operations required.

Investment casting. u Figurines. u Pump casings. u Jewellery.Applications Turbine blades. u Automotive engine components. u Machine tool parts. u Aero-engine components. u Hip prosthesis u Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .

Die & wax pattern for In. Production Engineering 3 A De Silva . Cast.

Investment cast hip prostheses Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .

Production Engineering 3 A De Silva . – Wax pattern must be easily removable from its mould.Investment casting. – Uniform sections are preferred. – Practical way of producing threads in hard to machine materials. or where thread design is unusual.Design Aspects – Very complex castings with unusual internal configurations possible. – Fillets should be as generous as possible. – Complex shapes may be assembled from several simpler shapes. Abrupt changes should be gradually blended in or designed out.

– Bosses and undercuts are possible with added cost. but best for parts <5 kg. both blind and through are possible. Length to diameter ratio for blind holes is typically 4:1.Investment casting. – Minimum section ranges from 0. depending on material cast.3 and 2 min.5 to 1' desirable on long extended surfaces.25 to 1 min. – Draft angle usually zero. but 0. – Maximum section is approximately 75 min. – Machining allowance usually between 0.5 g to 100 kg in weight. A De Silva Production Engineering 3 . depending on size. or if mould cavity is deep.Design Aspects – Holes. – Sizes range from 0. – Inserts are not possible.

– High strength castings are produced. Production Engineering 3 A De Silva . – A process capability chart showing the achievable dimensional tolerances is given below. – Good to excellent surface detail possible. – No parting line on casting.Quality issues – Moderate porosity.Investment casting . – Grain growth more pronounced in longer sections which may limit the toughness and fatigue life of the part.3 µm Ra can be achieved.4 to 6. Surface roughness in the range 0.

Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .

Shell Moulding u A sand casting process that uses thin. resincoated sand shells instead of moulding boxes to produce the casting envelope. Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .

Shell Moulding Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .

Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .

u Best for large quantities of precision parts in lower melting point alloys. u Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .Permanent Mould Casting Large quantities þ permanent mould u Problem however is to find a mould material that can withstand the melting point of the cast metal.

Permanent mould casting Die Casting Gravity die casting Pressure die casting Centrifugal casting Low pressure High pressure Hot chamber Cold chamber Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .

Gravity die casting Simplest of the die casting processes u Molten metal is poured under gravity into a pre-heated metallic. The die is then opened and the casting ejected. graphite or refractory die where it solidifies. u Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .

Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .

Shell moulding example Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .

Less popular than gravity and tends to be used purely for the production of car wheels. – for example: copper. Production Engineering 3 A De Silva . magnesium. – Carbon steel can be cast with graphite dies.Gravity die casting u Materials – Usually non-ferrous metals. tin and zinc alloys. but sometimes iron. u Process variations – Low pressure die casting: » uses low pressure air to force the molten metal into the die cavity. nickel. lead. aluminium.

Production Engineering 3 A De Silva . If accuracy and surface finish is not an issue. but dependent on size.Gravity die casting-Economic considerations u u u u u Production rates of 5-100 pieces/hour common. can use sand cores instead of metallic or graphite for greater economy. Material utilization is high. Lead times can be many weeks. There is little scrap generated.

Equipment costs are moderate.Gravity die casting-Economic considerations u u u u u u Production volumes of 500-1000 may be viable. Labour costs are low to moderate. Production Engineering 3 A De Silva . Tooling costs are moderate. Finishing cots are low to moderate. Suited to high volume production.

u Gear and die blanks. u Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .Typical applications Cylinder heads. u Connecting rods. u Pistons.Gravity die casting .

8 to 1. – – – – – – – – Undercuts are possible with large added cost. Draft angle ranges from 0. Commonly used for castings <5 kg. Placing of parting line important. Minimum section = 2 mm. Machining allowances in the range from 0.1º to 3º. i.Gravity die casting . Maximum section = 50 mm. avoid placement across critical dimensions. A De Silva Production Engineering 3 .Design Aspects – Shape complexity limited by that obtained in die halves. Inserts are possible with small added cost. Sizes range from 100 g to 300 kg in weight.5 mm.e.

– Redressing of the dies may be required after several thousand castings.Gravity die casting .Quality issues – Little porosity and inclusions. – 'Chilling' effect of cold metallic dies on the surface of the solidifying metals needs to be controlled by pre-heating at correct temperature. – Large castings sometimes require that the die is tilted as molten metal is being poured in to reduce turbulence. – Mechanical properties are fair to good. – Collapsible cores improve extraction difficulties on cooling. Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .

75 mm should be added for dimensions across the parting line.Gravity die casting .8 to 6.3 µm Ra can be achieved. – Process capability charts showing the achievable dimensional tolerances using various materials are given on the next page. Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .Quality issues – Surface detail good. Allowances of ±0. – Surface roughness in the range 0.25 to ±0.

– Hot-chamber die casting » is used for low melting temperature metals due to erosive nature of molten metal. Can be either plunger or goose-neck type. Production Engineering 3 A De Silva . The die is then opened and the casing is ejected.Pressure die casting Molten metal is inserted into a metallic mould under pressure where it solidifies. u Process variations u – Cold-chamber die casting » is used for high melting temperature metals.

Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .

e.Pressure die casting u Materials – Limited to non-ferrous metals. i. lead. – High temperature metals. zinc. reduce die life. copper alloys. Production Engineering 3 A De Silva . – Iron based materials for casting are under development. magnesium. aluminium.g. – Zinc and aluminium alloys tend to be the most popular. tin and copper alloys.e.

High initial die costs due to high complexity and difficulty to process. can be re-melted. Material utilisation is high. Production Engineering 3 A De Silva . Gates.Pressure die casting . sprues.. up to 200 pieces/hour.Economics u u u u u Rapid production rates possible. etc. Lead time could run into months.

Little more than trimming operations required to remove flash.Pressure die casting . Finishing costs are low. etc. Direct labour costs are low to moderate. Tooling costs are high. Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .Economics u u u u u Production quantities of >10. Equipment costs are high.000 are economical.

u Engine parts. u Production Engineering 3 A De Silva . u Electrical boxes.Pressure die casting .Applications Transmission cases. u Pump components. u Toy parts. u Domestic appliances.

or corners without proper radii should be avoided.e. – Sharp corners. – Wall thickness should be as uniform as possible. – Bosses are possible with added costs. avoid placement across critical dimensions. i. transitions should be gradual.) – Placing of parting line important. Production Engineering 3 A De Silva . (Pressure die casting permits smaller radii because metal flow is aided. Limited by design of movable cores. – Undercuts and inserts are possible with added costs and reduced production rates.Pressure die casting .Design aspects – Shape complexity can be high.

tin and lead castings are normally less than 5 kg.4 to 1. – Casting holes for subsequent tapping is generally more economical than drilling.5 mm depending on material used.Design aspects – Holes perpendicular to the parting line can be cast. Copper. Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .8 mm.Pressure die casting . Castings up to 100 kg have been made in zinc.25 to 0.5 to 3º. – Machining allowance is normally in the range from 0. – Draft angle ranges from 0. – Sizes range from 10 g to 50 kg. – Maximum section = 12 mm. – Minimum section ranges from 0.

– The high melting temperature of some metals can cause significant processing difficulties and die wear.Quality Issues – Very low porosity. Production Engineering 3 A De Silva . – Difficulty is experienced in obtaining sound castings in the larger capacities due to gas entrapment.Pressure die casting . pressure and cooling times important in obtaining consistent quality castings. – Mechanical properties are good. – Particularly suited where casting requires high mechanical properties or absence of creep. – Close control of temperature.

– Process capability charts showing the achievable dimensional tolerances using various materials are given below.2 µm Ra can be achieved.Pressure die casting . Allowances of ±0.Quality Issues – Surface detail excellent. – Surface roughness in the range 0. Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .35 mm should be added for dimensions across the parting line.4 to 3.05 to ±0.

Brake drums. u Applications u – Pipes. Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .Centrifugal Casting Molten metal is poured into a rotating mould u The axis of rotation is usually horizontal. Engine cylinder liners. pressure vessels. Gun barrels. also glass plastics and ceramics. Pulley wheels. u Most metals. Bushes and gears. but may be vertical for short workpieces.

Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .

Turbine blade casting Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .

Turbine blade casting Directional solidification Production Engineering 3 Single crystal A De Silva .

Production Engineering 3 A De Silva .

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