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Everything you need to know about the lost wax process and casting technology

FAQ: common questions about investment casting

Here you will find the most frequently asked questions about investment casting. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for here, do not hesitate to contact us by phone or via the contact form.

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How does investment casting work?

Investment casting is a casting process that is used to produce small and intricate components. The investment casting process involves several steps. Here you will find a detailed description of the investment casting process at Bürstlein.

What are the special features of investment casting?

The investment casting process offers multiple benefits. In many applications, it is not immediately obvious that the parts were produced or could be produced by investment casting. Compared to other methods, investment casting is significantly more economical, and it is suitable for both prototypes and series production. And almost any steel alloy is possible. More about the characteristics and advantages of investment casting can be found here.

What is manufactured using investment casting?

Investment casting is utilised to produce a wide variety of high-precision metal components suited to diverse industries and applications. In the aerospace industry, for example, investment castings are used for turbine blades, engine casings, structural parts, valves and mounts. In the automotive industry, they serve as engine and transmission components, brakes, steering systems, fuel injectors, suspensions and other critical parts. Investment castings can be employed in medical technology for the manufacture of implants, surgical instruments, dental implants, prostheses, artificial joints and other medical devices. And investment castings can also be found in other sectors, such as mechanical engineering and the electronics or defence industry.

Which wax is suitable for the lost wax process in investment casting?

The lost wax process requires special wax-like materials that can be easily liquefied and removed from the mould. The most commonly used wax material in investment casting is so-called “lost wax” or investment casting wax, which has the properties necessary to create complex, high-quality casting moulds.

Investment casting wax is available in different variants, each optimised for specific requirements and applications. For example, there are waxes with different melting points to accommodate the respective casting process and the metal alloy used. There are also special waxes for the production of thin-walled parts or for use at high temperatures.

Why is it called the “lost wax” process?

Modern industrial waxes and moulding materials are used to produce ceramic shells in the investment casting process. Molten metal is then poured into these shells. At the end of the casting process, nothing remains of the wax pattern nor the original wax mould. This is why the process is known as “lost wax”.

What is the origin of the investment casting process?

The investment casting process can be traced back to the Bronze Age. The earliest references originate from Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, where the process was used to make jewellery and small artefacts. The investment casting process evolved over the course of time and was adopted by many different cultures. The Romans, for example, used investment casting to make bronze sculptures. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period, it served to make jewellery, art objects and religious artefacts.

Industrial applications began at the start of the 20th century. Investment casting has since been further developed and is now a highly specialised process utilised to produce high-precision metal parts for a variety of sectors, such as the aerospace and automotive industries, medical technology and many other fields. Today it is an established and widely used method for the manufacture of high-quality precision metal parts with complex geometries and intricate details.


What is the purpose of tolerances in the investment casting process?

Investment casting tolerances serve to optimise economic efficiency – essential for the commercial relationship between the casting manufacturer and the customer. They should therefore never be specified closer than necessary. The achievable accuracies are determined by the way the pattern and mould are manufactured. They also depend on the shape and size of the casting, as well as on the free or restrained shrinkage dictated by the design of the part.

In our brochure you will find a tabular overview of our investment casting materials as well as the tolerances permitted in the manufacturing process. For questions or to request more information, please use this contact form.

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