Investment casting aluminium
Design and purchasing engineers often find themselves searching for the right casting process. Which process offers the most design freedom and holds the tightest tolerances? Or which provides the most cost-saving opportunities? While more than one manufacturing process may be suitable, they can also be complementary. Keep reading to learn how investment casting and die casting can together become the right solution for this particular customer.
When most people think of investment casting, they think of casting steel for large jet engines. But investment casting is also great for commercial components. And while CIREX is well known for casting stainless steel, they are very successful at casting aluminium too. This is done by our parent company Signicast.
The component needed was originally designed for die casting, but the die-cast tooling was taking longer than expected, and the project launch date was rapidly approaching. Signicast’s engineering team stepped in to create ~50,000 aluminium parts to meet the customer’s strict timeline and hold them over until the die-cast tool was finished.
Flexibility with aluminium investment casting
Investment casting is not usually used to create parts quickly, but Signicast has automated every part of the process to realise the industry’s fastest leads times. For this particular customer, we went from designing the tool to part in hand in just four weeks. The speed and flexibility of Signicast’s in-house tooling made that possible.
Investment cast tooling is made from hardened aluminium, whereas die-cast tools are made from hardened steel. The process difference is that the aluminium tool creates the wax pattern that molten metal is poured into for investment casting. With die casting, molten metal is injected into the die. Therefore, the tool has to be much harder and able to withstand higher heat and force.
Watch this quick video to learn more about the investment casting process.