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The Process

  1. Wax Pattern: Required for each casting, a disposable pattern is created by injecting wax into a metal die. These patterns have the exact specifications of the finished part, but are made slightly larger, to compensate for volumetric shrinkage during production or the solidification of metal in the ceramic mold.

  2. Assembly: Patterns are mounted on one or more runners and attached to the pouring cup. Patterns, runnier and pouring cups form the cluster or “tree” needed to create the ceramic mold. 

  3. Ceramic Shell: Part clusters are repeatedly dipped in a ceramic slurry, followed by a coating of fine ceramic sand. Once dry, the process is repeated multiple times, using progressively coarser grades of ceramic materials to build up shell that’s dimensionally stable under intense heat of molten metal.

  4. Dewaxing: The coated cluster is placed in a high-temperature enclosure, where steam heat removes all wax. What remains is a ceramic shell with cavities of the desired casting shape with passages leading to them.

  5. Burnout: The mold is then subjected to heat ranging from 1600°F to 2000°F to remove the last traces of pattern materials, harden and strengthen the shell, and provide a hot mold to receive molten metal. This key step in the process ensures consistency in finish and accuracy.

  6. Pouring: The investment mold is placed cup-upwards into a tub filled with sand, then gravity poured, enabling reproduction of the most intricate details and extremely thin walls of an original wax pattern.

  7. Cooling & Removal: Once the molds have cooled, the material is removed from the cluster and cleaned using mechanical vibration or abrasive blasting. Individual parts are removed from the cluster by a cut-off saw.

  8. Finishing, Grinding & Straightening: The parts are now ready for subsequent operations, such as machining, painting and other special treatments at the appropriate stage.

  9. Heat Treatment: Employed according to alloy specifications in order to improve mechanical properties.

  10. Quality & InspectionAll parts are visually inspected. As required by the customer, Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) is also employed. Dimensional verification and certification are also conducted according to specific conditions.

  11. Machining: The product is now near to net shape, and may not require subsequent machining.