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Which Metal is Best for Precision Casting?

Update On Jun 20.2022

Which Metal is Best for Precision Casting?

Precision casting is a common metal casting technology. It is mainly used to manufacture various parts such as auto parts, food machinery, aerospace accessories, and so on. Precision casting is an ancient process - found in ancient Africa, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China. This is also a very complex multi-step process.

 

What is Precision Casting?

Precision casting is a metal fabrication process that involves pouring molten metal into a mold. Precision casting allows the creation of metal parts with precise dimensions, complex shapes, and smooth surfaces.

Precision investment castings create the best surface finish in ferrous and non-ferrous metal parts. Clean, complex designs and tight tolerances speed up manufacturing time without machining or grinding. Complex metal castings from over 100 metals and alloys require no welding, assembly, or finishing. Precision casting drives multiple parts to market faster through the lost wax method of investment casting.(Click to learn more about precision casting)

 

Which Metal is Best for Precision Casting

There are a variety of metals that can be used when starting a precision casting project. Each alloy has unique physical properties and can be used in different applications. It's always a good idea to talk to an experienced precision casting company after understanding the properties of all metals. The most commonly used precision casting metals are as follows:

 

Stainless steel

Stainless steel has many advantages compared to other alloys, including longer service life and lower maintenance costs. While the material may initially cost slightly more to produce compared to other alloys, it can become very economical over time. Stainless steel is available in a variety of types and grades to meet the requirements of use in the automotive, mechanical, plumbing, mining, petrochemical, electrical industry, aerospace, submarine, railway, and more.

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%).

 

Carbon and Alloy Steel

Carbon steel or alloy steel casting is actually a water glass precision casting process with carbon steel or alloy steel as the material. This casting method can manufacture carbon or alloy steel parts from small to large. But the dimensional accuracy and surface roughness are not as good as the silica sol precision casting process. The main advantage is the low cost.

Carbon Steel Castings: Apart from iron, the main element of this steel is carbon. You may have figured it out. The lower the carbon content, the higher the ductility of the part. The higher the carbon content, the more heat treatment, and hardening you can heat the metal. Carbon steel castings are relatively inexpensive, especially with low carbon content, and are also easy to work with.

Common applications of carbon steel castings: agricultural machinery parts, forestry machinery parts, etc.

Alloy Steel Castings: Some of the most common alloying elements are manganese, nickel, chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, silicon, and boron. The improved properties of alloy steel castings over carbon steel castings are strength, hardness, toughness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and hardenability. Depending on the alloying elements and proportions, alloy steel castings can be more expensive and relatively more difficult to cast.

Common applications for alloy steel castings: Construction and construction where strength, toughness, and corrosion resistance are prerequisites for the material.

 

Aluminum Alloy

Aluminum alloy is the most used material in investment casting. Industries that use it most frequently include aerospace, avionics,  electronics, and the military.

Castings are now offered for demanding applications like airframe components thanks to the material’s improved strength and the availability of quality castings made from aluminum-silicon-magnesium alloy.

 

Super Alloy

Superalloys based in nickel and cobalt have common uses in the aerospace, energy, medical, chemical, and marine industries. Nickel-based alloys are stronger at high temperatures and cobalt-based alloys have superior corrosion, oxidation, and wear resistance over their nickel-based counterparts. Superalloys increasingly replace sheet metal because they provide high rigidity and superior service characteristics while remaining a cost-effective option.

 

Copper Alloy

Copper-based alloys are corrosion-resistant and feature low rates of wear. They are frequently used in applications such as ship or pump propellers, electrical components, and plumbing components. A versatile material, there are more than 400 different alloys featuring a wide variety of properties.

 

Cast Iron

Iron castings, which often include gray iron and ductile iron, are known for their high accuracy and an affordable price tag. Ductile iron has high strength, heat resistance, and toughness, but it has a more complex production process than other steels. This leads to a higher production cost than cast steel.

 

Besser Precision Casting Services

Precision casting is a good metal forming process. It's the tried, tested, and proven method for streamlined, high-quality production. Not only is it a cost-effective way to produce custom metal parts and assemblies, but it also allows you to create complex net shapes and complex interior features. Fully understand the importance of choosing the right precision casting company.

If you are interested in learning more about our precision casting services, please contact Besser Casting today to speak with one of our experienced sales teams for a free quote on your project.

 

Sources: 

https://www.improprecision.com/different-types-investment-casting-materials/

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