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Everything You Need to Know About Stainless Steel Lost Wax Casting!

Update On Aug 02.2022

stainless steel lost wax casting

What is Stainless Steel Lost Wax Casting

Stainless steel lost wax casting is a casting process with little or no cutting, and it is an excellent process technology in the foundry industry. It is widely used, not only for the casting of various types and alloys, but also for the production of The dimensional accuracy and surface quality of castings are higher than other casting methods.

 

Process Flow of Stainless Steel Lost Wax Casting

First, prepare the mold according to the specifications, then make the wax model and spray the tree components with a layer of fine sand. Sandblast layer by layer according to size and weight, then prepare the mold for the baking process. After baking, the molds are dewaxed and molten stainless steel is poured into the shell. Depending on the type of project, steel is cut from the mold and polished. Subsequent testing and processing are performed to ensure the quality of the final product.

① Creation of the die

The first step in the process is to create a mold or pattern of the desired workpiece. Patterns are usually made from wax using metal injection molds.

② Producing the wax pattern

Wax, in a semi-liquid state, is poured into the die to form the wax pattern, which is adjusted to allow for shrinkage. This process can be repeated as many times as necessary depending on the number of parts to be cast.

③ Tree assembly

Sprues are added to the wax copies and they’re connected to create a tree-like structure, which provides paths for the molten wax to flow out and molten metal to later fill the cavity. 

④ Wax pattern clearing

The shell is heated upside down. The wax runs out (this is why it’s sometimes called lost wax casting). Then the shell goes into a high-temperature furnace to burn off any remaining wax and strengthen the shell.

⑤ Pour into the mold

The investment mold is further heated in a kiln to reduce the temperature difference with the molten metal. Metal is melted and then poured, using gravity or vacuum pressure to pull the metal into the cavity.

⑥ Remove the shell

The ceramic shell is broken away, leaving the tree structure—now only of metal—intact.

⑦ Finish the parts

The casted parts are filed, ground, machined, or sandblasted to achieve the final geometry and surface finish. Where necessary, the cast parts are also heat-treated to enhance the mechanical properties of the material. 

⑧ Inspect the parts

Dimensional inspection and non-destructive testing (NDT) are done to make sure that the investment castings meet all the required specifications.

 

Reasons to Use Stainless Steel Lost Wax Casting

Because stainless steel lost wax castings have high specification precision and surface finish, machining effort is reduced, and when finished, they also have excellent cosmetic quality.

The stainless steel lost wax casting process can be used for mass production, which greatly saves metal materials and comprehensive man-hours for production and processing, and reduces overall costs.

It can cast complex castings of various alloys, especially high-temperature gold castings, such as jet engine blades, cooling cavities, and machining processes that are almost impossible to form.

 

Common Stainless Steel Grades

According to the different amounts of unique elements and the amount (%) of elements contained in the stainless steel, unique stainless steel alloys can be produced.

Austenitic Stainless Steel 

This type of casting is the most commonly used material, accounting for more than 70% of production. Grade 304 is the most commonly specified casting grade, with other popular austenitic grades including 316 and 317.

Ferritic Stainless Steel 

This type of casting involves a chromium stainless steel process, with the chromium content varying between 10.5 and 18% along with low carbon content.

Martensitic Stainless Steel 

This casting has a relatively high carbon content (0.1 – 1.2%) compared to other stainless steel casting types. Popular grades of this type include 410, 416, and 17-4.

Duplex Stainless Steel 

These stainless steels contain relatively high chromium levels (between 18 and 28%) and moderate amounts of nickel (between 4.5 and 8%).

 

When to Use Stainless Steel Lost Wax Casting

Stainless Steel Lost Wax Casting is a relatively expensive process, and parts made by Stainless Steel Lost Wax Casting are typically small, but the process can be used effectively on parts weighing 75 pounds or more.

For high-volume orders, the time and labor saved by eliminating or reducing secondary machining can easily make up for the cost of new tooling. In general, lost wax casting is a reasonable choice for running 25 or more parts.

 

The Most Common Problems in Stainless Steel Lost Wax Casting

Some problems can occur during lost wax casting. The reasons for these defects occur are diverse. Some of these causes are:

  1. When a hole occurs: poor quality wax or coating, overheated metal
  2. External balls occur: weak vacuum, lack of water in the coating mixture, badly beaten plaster
  3. When streaking occurs: excess water in the coating mixture.

 

Your Reliable Stainless Steel Lost Wax Casting Partner

Besser Foundry is a leading stainless steel casting company in China. Our overseas customers provide high quality stainless steel castings and solutions. Produce high quality stainless steel castings for their projects.

If you are interested in our stainless steel lost wax casting or would like to speak with us, you can email us to request a quote for more information on how our casting services can meet your project requirements

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