PRECISION INVESTMENT CASTING
PRECISION, ON DEMAND.
Since 1983, Barron Industries has been committed to providing the highest quality ferrous and non-ferrous metal investment castings and meeting our customers’ requirements for compressed delivery. Our rapid prototyping allows us to produce a completely machined metal casting in as little as ten days!
One of the first investment casting manufacturers to receive AS9100 Quality Certification, we are also NADCAP Certified for our Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) processes. With our in-house NDT and metallurgical lab, Barron is uniquely positioned and qualified to provide high-precision castings for aerospace, defense, oil and gas, automotive, tool and die and other commercial industries. Plus, our vertically- integrated process includes CAD Engineering, CNC Machining, and complete assembly, saving our customers time and reducing cost. We specialize in converting expensive multi-piece fabrications into less costly one -piece investment castings that have won industry awards.
Investment Casting Expertise.
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. The standard surface finish for our castings is a 125 to 150 rms microfinish.
ensures consistency in shell dipping, coating, and formation as well as enhanced efficiency in drying of ceramic shells. This means more consistent high quality castings being delivered to our customers.
includes three steel and two aluminum melting units, two ovens for wax burnout from the ceramic mold and four ovens for preheating ceramic shells. Redundant equipment ensure your castings will continue being processed, even if a piece of equipment breaks down.
Pioneer in Ceramic Shelling and Core Technology
Working closely with our OEM customers to reduce costs and lead time. Barron Industries was a pioneer in the use of ceramic shelling core technology. Our research and development reduced manufacturing costs by 20% through reductions in material waste and machining operations.
Manufacturing enterprise resource planning
(MRP/ERP) software provides operational intelligence allowing continuous improvement, accountability, quality, and transparency throughout the investment casting process.
Utilizing the lost-wax investment casting process, Barron Industries produces both ferrous and non-ferrous precision castings from 2 oz. to 250 lbs.
COMPLEX SHAPES AND SIZES.
Barron 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.
With the precision lost-wax investment casting process, we can produce parts with strict tolerance requirements. Barron uses Solidification Modeling 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.
OUR PROCESS: RELENTLESS PERFECTION.
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.
1. Creating a Wax 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.
2. Wax Tree Assembly
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.
3. Shell Building
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.
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.
5. Pouring of Ferrous and Non-ferrous metals
Before the metal is poured into the ceramic mold or “shell”, the mold is preheated to a specific temperature to prevent the molten alloy from solidifying or “freezing off” before the entire mold is filled.
Alloy is melted in a ceramic crucible using a process known as induction melting. A high frequency electric current creates a magnetic field around the alloy, generating electric fields inside the metal (eddy currents). The eddy currents heat the alloy due to the material’s electrical resistance. When the alloy reaches its specified temperature, it is poured into the mold, and the mold is allowed to cool.
6. Finished Castings
Once the parts are removed from the sprue, and the gates removed, the surface can be finished in a number of ways:
- Vibratory/Media finishing
- Belting or hand grinding
- Polishing: Finishing can be done by hand, but in many cases it is automated. Parts are then inspected, marked (if required), packaged and shipped. Barron offers real-time work-in-process tracking with our PLEX ERP system, laser engraving serialization and bar code/rfid tag tracking .
- Machining: Depending on the application, the parts can be used in their “net shape” or undergo machining for precision mating surfaces. Barron performs all machining in- house using the latest CNC equipment including Makino, Mori Seiki and Mazak. Our 15,000 square foot machine shop houses 13 CNC machining centers including 5 horizontal, 5 vertical milling and 3 lathes combined with grinding, brazing, welding, assembly and fabrication.