The investment casting process offers many advantages over other manufacturing methods, as the inherent characteristics of precision, superior surface finish, unlimited geometric details inside and out, and the ability to cast most metals, renders the process superior and usually at less overall cost.  Some specific examples of this are as follows :

 Replacing sand castings provides                                                                photo

  • Significantly better surface finish
  • Tighter dimensional tolerances
  • No need for tapering or draft angles in investment cast part design
  • Castings free of parting lines and general surface defects
  • Superior metal integrity with less inclusions
  • Less machining required to finish

Replacing machined from stock components provides

  • Near-net shapes eliminate or reduce machining
  • Lower overall production time
  • Almost no lost material value in producing chips
  • Components cast in stronger metals that are too hard or impossible to machine
  • Quicker product turnaround and significant cost savings in labor and tooling

Replacing forgings provides

  • Superior surface finishes free from forging parting lines and pitting
  • Uniform internal stresses
  • Ability to tool up for shorter runs at substantially less cost
  • Internal geometries such as holes and pockets not possible to forge

Replacing weldments provides

  • One piece casting with lower cost than welding pieces together
  • Stronger parts due to no joints necessary
  • Superior surface finish
  • Design is not restricted by available shapes of wrought bars and plates
  • Ability to cast in logo’s, lettering, and intricate features

Cast_vs_Weld11

Replacing stampings and assemblies provides

  • Greater design flexibility
  • Decreased tooling and maintenance costs
  • The addition of design features that cannot be stamped can now be included
  • The ability to allow for thickness variations
  • The ability to use stronger materials that do not respond well to stamping

Cast_vs_Assembly11

 

Replacing powder metallurgy or PIM components provides

  • A superior surface finish and tighter tolerances
  • More complex shapes than powder metallurgy can provide
  • Many more alloy options with castings
  • More stable parts, since powder metallurgy shrinks during sintering, causing larger variations in cast dimensions