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What to Consider When Choosing a Process for Investment Casting vs. Die Casting?

已有 652 次阅读2022-1-26 15:49

When a liquid material (such as molten metal) is poured into and then solidified in an existing mold cavity, this is known as casting, and is one of the oldest industrial techniques. Finishing treatments can be added to the piece after it has been removed from the mold to produce a stunning finished result. A wide range of sectors, including aerospace, automotive, and electronics, use this technology to create intricate solid and hollow parts. You should know die casting is used to produce series castings.

Despite the fact that casting is a tried-and-true industrial method, technological advancements have generated specialized casting variations suitable for various uses. We'll go over the benefits and drawbacks of both investment casting and die casting so you can make an informed decision about the best method for your forthcoming metal project.

How Investment Casting Is Created
When a wax design is made, it is gated onto a sprue and repeatedly submerged in ceramic slurry. It takes on the shape of the casting once the ceramic substance has cooled and cooled again. It is necessary to melt the wax in order to pour molten metal into the cavity left by the wax pattern's removal. Ceramic molds are used to solidify metal, which is subsequently broken out of the casting and used in other ways (source).

Die Casting Procedures
This manufacturing process uses high pressure and high pressure to force liquid metal into a mold cavity, which results in the creation of metal components. Typically, these die or mold cavities are made of hardened tool steel that has already been cut to the final shape of the die cast pieces (source).

High-pressure DC is illustrated in an infographic by ESP International. Image can be enlarged by clicking here.

Is There a Process I should use for my Project?
As opposed to comparing these two methods, we'll simply go over some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a casting method. Do not assume a solution exists that will work for all. Product, project, and corporation all have various characteristics. If you're still unsure which process is best for your application, have a look at the following seven factors.

The level of design complexity
You need to think about your design's geometric complexity. This is a critical consideration in making the best choice for the method. Since you may cast complex forms and add design characteristics like logos and other information into the component, ICs offer a great deal of flexibility in the design process. A wide range of complex geometries and thin-walled items can be produced with precision dimensional results. It's possible to get good dimensional results with DC, but it can't match the level of detail that IC can.

Selection of the Substance
Alloys of both ferrous and non-ferrous metals can be utilized in IC, which provides a larger range of material alternatives than DC does. This makes it possible to cast alloys that would otherwise be too difficult to work with. Non-ferrous metals, such as zinc, copper, aluminum, magnesium, lead, pewter, and tin-based alloys, are used to make the vast majority of DCs.

Annual Usage Percentage.
A common misperception concerning IC is that it only makes sense to order large quantities. Tooling costs are often the deciding factor in whether to use ICs or semiconductors for smaller manufacturing runs. In order to determine whether IC is the most cost-effective solution, first decide on a return period for the tool. DC is appropriate for big production runs and high-volume applications because it offers exceptional uniformity and reproducibility, but it has a higher tooling cost.

The Size of the Parts
In general, IC can handle components weighing as little as 1 ounce up to around 200 pounds. Because the wax pattern must be attached to a sprue for repeated dipping in the ceramic slurry, the size of pieces that can be investment cast is restricted. Size restrictions on DC are less severe than those on IC, but the cost of tooling rises proportionately as part size increases.

A willingness to tolerate
ICs are excellent at producing tight tolerances, while DCs are excellent at producing good tolerances. Dimensional accuracy improves with smaller castings, in general. A DC may be a superior solution for large-scale castings, as investment castings may lose some dimensional precision.

For the most part, IC costs more than DC due to the fact that it is a highly artisanal process that generates superior dimensions and fine surface finishes. However, tooling is where the real cost is incurred. To save time and money, IC can be designed to require as little machining as possible. There are additional costs associated with using DC because of the more complex tooling needed to complete the product. Because of these factors, DC is the most cost-effective method for large-scale production.

Completion of Tasks
This kind of casting produces superior surfaces than other casting procedures, which means that less secondary machining is required. Other finishing procedures, like as polishing or abrasive blasting, can be used to get superior results. In order to get the product to its final state, extra machining is frequently required, even if DC produces good surface polish.

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