Lost Wax Castings
If you’re looking for a way to reduce the cost of your manufacturing process, lost wax investment casting is a compelling alternative for a variety of industries. Find out how you can update your multi-piece fabrication process with CAD engineered, CNC machined castings for one-piece production.
Lost Wax Casting Process
It all starts with a solid pattern. Wax patterns are typically made by injecting wax into a metal tool or “die”. Since 1994, Barron has also produced patterns through 3D printing technology. Today, Barron can produce rapid prototype castings from most 3D printed materials including those used in FDM, SLA and SLS equipment.
At Barron Industries, we use the latest CAD engineering and CNC machines to create precision components for your industry. With the precision lost-wax investment casting process, we can produce parts with strict tolerance requirements. Barron uses Solidification Modelling software to predict the outcome of a casting’s internal quality level before a part is ever made, significantly improving time-to-market and reducing development costs due to “trial and error” methods of process development.
We are experts in value engineering for our customers. Barron will help you reduce weight, lead-time and cost, as well as improve the functionality of your part. Let us redesign or convert your costly multi-piece weldment or fabrication into a single-piece precision investment casting.
Creating the Wax Pattern and Mold Shell
It is typically uneconomical to make small parts one at a time, so wax patterns are attached to a wax “sprue”. The sprue serves two purposes:
- A mounting surface to assemble multiple patterns into a single mold, which will be later filled with alloy
- A flow path for the molten alloy into the void created by the wax pattern(s)
The wax between the pattern(s) and the sprue are called “Gates”, because they throttle the direction and flow of the alloy into the void made by the pattern.
The next step in the process is to build a ceramic shell around the wax tree. This shell will eventually become the mold in which metal is poured. To build the shell, the tree is dipped into a ceramic bath or “slurry”. Barron’s six-axis dipping robot ensures consistency and uniformity of shell production in intricate and complex parts. After dipping, fine sand or “stucco” is applied to the wet surface.
The mold is allowed to dry, and the process is repeated a number of times until a layered (or laminated) ceramic mold, capable of withstanding the stresses of the casting process, has been built. The desired thickness of the mold depends on product size and configuration requirements. Once the last coat of the ceramic shell is fully dried, it’s ready to handle molten metal during the casting process.
Removing the Wax
Before pouring metal into the mold, the wax is removed using a flash fire oven, which melts and burns off the wax. Flash fire burns off residual wax and cures the shell, readying it for casting.
In addition to cleaning the shell, high-temperature ovens increase the stability and strength of the ceramic cast.
Now that the mold is clean and ready for use, it must be preheated to a precise temperature before it’s filled with the alloy. The heated alloy is poured into the mold shell. Barron pours more than 200 ferrous and non-ferrous alloys to produce high-strength investment castings.
Benefits of Precision Investment Casting
The Barron Industries investment casting process provides distinctive advantages over sand and other casting methods. Our precision lost wax casting method turns out high strength castings with greater dimensional accuracy, higher consistency, superior product integrity and improved surface finish. We frequently participate in up-front design with our customers to ensure manufacturability and the lowest cost design while maintaining critical machining tolerances.
Work with a leader in investment casting to discover the benefits of one-piece manufacturing. Multi-piece manufacturing requires fabricating and welding, which increases the time and cost of each piece. Lost wax investment casting through Barron Industries can reduce your manufacturing costs by up to 40%. Our experienced engineers use state-of-the-art software and work with you to reduce wasted material and inefficiencies in the machining process.
Barron Industries is uniquely capable of delivering larger metal castings up to 25 inches or 63.5cm and 150 lbs. or 68 kg. for steel and 50 lbs or 22.7 kg for aluminum parts. Plus, we routinely produce cast alloy components with complex shapes requiring only minimal surface finishing or machining for completion.
Barron’s skilled technicians use advanced tools and technology to ensure that our investment cast components meet customer needs and applicable industry standards. Typically a linear tolerance of +/-.005inch/inch is standard for investment casting although it varies depending on the size and complexity of the part. These strict tolerances are required for high quality engineered components used in many industries including Aerospace, Defense, Automotive and Oil & Gas.
Learn More About Investment Casting Today
Contact us today at Barron Industries to learn more about this industry-leading industrial manufacturing process. Discover how we can work with you to increase the efficiency of your bulk-order production without losing the precision performance that sets your company apart.