Investment Casting Metal

CIREX is one of the largest steel-casting companies in the world and produces complex castings with extreme precision using the “lost-wax” method. Thanks to this versatile method our engineers have considerable freedom in the product design and choice of materials. This means that in consultation with you we can produce optimum castings that meet your exact wishes and requirements.

CIREX is your development partner for successful castings, with the objective of achieving an optimum cast in joint consultation.


PROCESS INVESTMENT CASTING

How does ‘investment casting‘ (lost-wax) work? Click on “read more” for an overview of the steps and phases involved.


Features & benefits

If you select CIREX to have your steel component developed and produced, then you are opting for quality, certainty and reliability. From idea to …


Dimensions & tolerances

Precise dimensioning characterises the lost-wax method. Extremely precise tolerances often make a design needlessly expensive. With our decades of knowledge and experience we can save you costs by determining the best dimensioning …


Surface quality investment castings

The roughness of CIREX precision castings varies from Ra 1.6 tot 6.3 µm, depending on the steel alloy used. This low roughness means that an additional processing is often not needed. That can result in considerable cost savings for you. However, if lower roughness values still are required then an extra surface treatment may be necessary, such as electrolytic polishing …


Materials

At CIREX, we always start with the product’s functionality. Once the functionality is clear, the product is developed further. An essential part of this is the choice of material. A good design …


Surface treatments

In recent years, we have developed a large international network of specialised suppliers of surface treatments. This allows us to offer your surface treatment …


Contact us about investment casting

We hope that this page has given you a clear picture of the lost wax method. And what CIREX can do for you. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our sales department will be happy to discuss the possibilities offered by CIREX with you.

CIREX develops and produces castings using the lost wax method in all steel alloys for general industry. Demand is often between 100 and 50,000 pieces per year. The products are always developed in the Netherlands and made in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic or Slovakia. Most products are up to fist size, but large parts up to 30 kg are also possible.

Our engineers are the extension of your organization in the development of accurate castings. The engineers are always working on the optimization of the casting in all areas.

The lost wax method is also frequently applied to parts in the automotive sector. CIREX works with series sizes ranging from 10,000 to 5,000,000 per year, and thanks to its automated production process, consistent quality is always guaranteed at highly competitive prices.


Investment casting phases

Lost wax casting, also known as the cire-perdue method, is a technique in which molten metal is poured into a mold made from a wax model. Following the creation of the mold, the wax model is melted and drained away. With the appropriate tools and materials, getting the desired molds is achieved, and one can create a metal casting of different sizes and shapes.

Phase  1: Mould engineering & production

The first step in casting is the engineering and fabrication of a casting mold, commonly referred to as a wax tool. The CIREX engineers are responsible for producing mold, which is a “negative” in the final casting. A casting mold can spray a wax model with accurate dimensions and sharp edges. These wax copies adhere to a “wax tree” with a casting funnel fixed. At the end of the process, steel is added to the funnel. The series size determines whether an automatic or manual press is used to insert the mold..

Phase 2: Ceramics

A robust ceramic shell is formed on the tree when the wax model is glued together. The shell’s construction results in seven to nine times submerging the tree in a slurry and sprinkling ceramic sand on it. Afterward, the ceramic layers are exposed to air and harden in a drying chamber. The ceramic tree then undergoes a melting process in the autoclave at steam of (120°C). Use the sintering procedure to give the ceramic tree its ultimate strength while baking it at a temperature of (1100°C). As for the wax leftovers, they are burned up during the whole process.

Phase 3: Casting process

To get the desired steel alloy, melt and heat to casting temperature in a large furnace. There is a possibility of shocks taking place during this process, and simultaneously baking the ceramic tree in an oven is an effective way of avoiding this. High temperatures prevent one from using their hands to remove a heated tree from an oven, so an automated arm is used instead. After this, the steel is poured in using counter-gravity. After being cast, trees must be cooled on a cooling belt (with nitrogen). The ceramic shells are broken with an utterly automatic knock-off hammer to release the trees from their containers and mostly eliminate the ceramic. You can break the ceramic surface using the appropriate tools.

Phase  4: Finishing  & Machining

Steel, sand, or water blasting removes the leftover ceramic during the finishing process. Cutting or vibrating motions remove the objects from the steel tree. Casting can remelt any remaining steel that has been divided by an alloy. After the above process is done, the product is finely treated and ready for the final inspection. Following the last inspection, the goods are prepared for delivery to another happy CIREX customer. Quality is assured when one purchases CIREX products.