Precision casting is a specialized casting technique used to cast complicated shapes and objects where the margin of error is almost nil. The most common method of precision casting is called Investment or Lost Wax Casting. This method is used to cast shapes that would be impossible to achieve using the conventional die-casting.
Although traditionally used to cast small objects, Precision Investment Casting has produced huge objects like an aircraft door in the past. Over the years Investment Casting has found its use in almost every industry with engineering needs ranging from aeronautics, heavy machinery, railways to medicine.
In the medical industry, apart from producing complex surgical instruments, one of the main uses of Investment Casting is producing prosthetic ball and socket joints. These joints have almost no margin for error and require very smooth finishing. In the hip replacement surgery, the fractured hip is replaced by a prosthetic joint, which not only solves the problem, but also claims to last longer for old age patients.
NASA has repeatedly relied on this technique for small, vital parts required for the space missions. One such time was when it required a thin-walled aerospace battery with a very fine and complex inner chamber, Investment Casting was the only hope. Apart from this, many small valves that are used in a spacecraft engine for fuel injections can only be casted using this technique.
The complex blade designs for turbines or cooling systems used by the Power and Energy Suppliers can easily be casted using this technique. Precision Investment Casting can produce conventional equiaxed, Single Crystal and Directionally Solidified blades. In the aviation industry, where thousands of lives depend on the precision and finishing of the parts also depends only on this method. Pistons, fuel control systems, valve caps and hinges used in airline seats. It provides the accurate control needed to fabricate the complex curved surface of the impeller pumps used in the aircrafts.
Sculptors often take help of this technique to cast small complex parts of a sculpture. Even for abstract artwork, for which it is impossible to find a regular cast part, Investment Casting comes to the rescue. Apart from this, small prototypes, which have to display the intricacies of a huge final product, are casted using this method.
Not only are the Investment casted parts accurate, but also have low production cost. Firearms repair technicians often use this technique to fabricate the small but vital parts of weapons, such as triggers, firearm receivers and arched magazine guides, as well as housings for riflescope prisms and hammers.
With lower costs of production, highest level of precision and ability to fabricate the most complex of designs most accurately, Precision Casting keeps finding its way into every walk of our lives making it safer and more reliable.
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Investment Casting Information
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