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Stainless Steel Investment Casting

Investment casting, which is also referred to as lost wax casting or precision casting is a casting process whereby the ceramic creates a multi or single-part mold, around the wax patterns, to receive the molten metal or metallic alloy. Here is the detailed process of investment casting

Our Expertise of Stainless Steel Casting

We are very experienced in stainless steel casting. With strong capability of casting a wide variety of stainless steel alloy, we provide custom stainless steel casting parts and components for industries and applications including automotive, food & dairy, machinery, medical, plumbing, watering, mining, petrochemical, electrical, energy, aerospace, submarine and others. We can assure you high quality stainless steel castings. The sizes of the stainless steel casting parts range from 0.1 inch up to 24 inches. The weights of the stainless steel casting parts are from an ounce to 50 pounds. Typical tolerances are ± .005” per inch.

Stainless Steel Casting Material Information

MaterialGradeCommon Application







Stainless Steel

304
Housings, bodies. SS304 is widely used in medical, plumbing, watering, mining and petrochemical industries as the standard for cleanliness as well as corrosion resistance.

316
Housings, gears, plates. Superior corrosion resistance of SS316 makes it ideal for many applications including automotive, food & diary and petrochemical environments.
304L/316LSimilar to other 300 series steel, low carbon makes it softer but more corrosion resistant. Ideal industries are such as food & dairy, medical and petrochemical.

410 & 416
Housings, bushings, handles, brackets. 400 series steels are high strength and very machinable. They will tend to break rather than bend under intense pressure. Ideal industries are automotive, food & dairy and various machine tools.
17-4Very strong. Can be used in military, various machine tools etc.

Chemical Compositions

GradesElements
CSiMnSPCrNiMo
304≤0.08≤1.00≤2.00≤0.03≤0.04518 ~ 208 ~ 11
304L≤0.03≤1.00≤2.00≤0.03≤0.03518 ~ 208 ~ 12
316≤0.08≤1.00≤2.00≤0.03≤0.04516 ~ 1810 ~ 142 ~ 3
316L≤0.03≤1.00≤2.00≤0.03≤0.04516 ~ 1810 ~ 142 ~ 3
410≤0.03≤1.00≤1.00≤0.03≤0.04011 ~ 13.5≤0.6
416≤0.15≤1.00≤1.25≤0.15≤0.06012 ~ 14≤0.6
17-4 ph≤0.07≤1.00≤1.00≤0.03≤0.04015.5 ~ 17.53 ~ 5
2205≤0.03≤1.00≤2.00≤0.03≤0.04021 ~ 244.5 ~ 6.52.5 ~ 3.5

The benefit of Investment Casting for automotive parts:

1.     High-precision casting

Investment casting is also known as precision casting due to the tight tolerances and high precision of designs possible with investment casting. Since lost wax casting offers very high accuracy, which is needed in the automotive industry, it is an ideal choice for manufacturing of automotive parts.  

2.     Freedom of custom design for the automotive industry

The aftermarket automotive industry also finds great potential for manufacturing in the automotive investment casting industry. Due to the freedom to develop parts from molds, it is possible to create intricate and complex designs for the automotive industry.

3.     Great surface finish

Investment casting also offers a great surface finish which is ideal for the automotive industry. Due to the high quality of the surface finish, the automotive parts manufactured by investment casting are aesthetically appealing and fit perfectly well with the existing parts of the vehicle.

4.     Durable and reliable

Stainless steel investment casting offers a durable and reliable option for the manufacturing of automotive parts. Stainless steel offers resistance against corrosion, heat resistance, strength, and integrity of parts. Therefore, it is a wonderful choice to manufacture automotive parts using precision casting.

5.     Saves time

Since the surface finish of investment casting products is of high quality, there is very little need to perform secondary machining on the final products. Therefore, investment casting saves precious time which is required for secondary machining and it is ensured that the method speeds up the entire supply chain process. As such, investment casting for the automotive market provides great benefits to the clients.

Investment Casting Parts for the automotive industry

Here are some of the most common parts of stainless steel investment casting that you can readily order from HDC.

·Rocker’s arm

The rocker’s arm is a very popular investment casting product within the automotive industry. At HDC you can share the details of the type of rocker’s arm you need and we will develop it for you.  

·Shifter forks

Shifter forks are also a great product of automotive aftersales products. We can manufacture all types of shifter forks, however, you need to share the exact design details of the fork for us to finalize the design.

·Ball valve/parts

Investment casting for the automotive segment offers great options for the manufacturing of ball valves and associated parts. These parts are difficult to manufacture through other manufacturing processes or cost higher than the investment casting option. Therefore stainless steel investment casting is best for the ball valves

·Exhaust pipes

HDC manufactures stainless steel exhaust parts for the automotive industry. You can share the CAD for the design of the pipes and we will develop the same for you.   

·Investment casting for pumps

We manufacture all types of pumps for the automotive industry. The tolerances level are as per the requirements of a client and an additional coat of paint is also added to increase the reliability of parts.

Custom parts for automotive industry

HDC has the capability to manufacture all types of custom investment casting automotive parts. We also deal in aftermarket parts and can manufacture them for you as per demand.  You just have to share your design with us along with the allowed tolerances and other specific details of the part and we will manufacture your custom parts.

HDC Auto Parts Can Be

Customized for You

Wheel Spacer & Adapter
Block Guard
Valve Cover
Intake Flange
Shift Knob
Wheel Lug Nuts

Investment Casting Automotive Parts | FAQs

If you have any questions or seek more information about precision metalworking through investment casting, you’re in the right place. In this FAQ, we’ll address common queries about investment casting, including its process, applications, pros and cons, and suitable components. Whether you’re a seasoned professional in metalworking or a newcomer curious about this technique, we aim to provide valuable insights in this article.

1. What is The Investment Casting Process?

Investment casting, also known as “precision investment casting” or “lost wax casting,” is an advanced near-net-shape forming process. The castings produced through investment casting not only exhibit high precision and surface finish but also closely match the final shape and dimensions of the parts. These castings can be used directly or with minimal machining after production. Consequently, this process is often employed to manufacture complex castings with stringent precision requirements or for cost-effective mass production. The primary process involves creating investment patterns from low-melting-point materials, assembling these patterns into clusters, applying multiple layers of refractory materials to create a hard, dry shell, melting out the patterns to form a hollow mold, pouring molten metal at high temperatures, and obtaining the castings after cleaning.

investment casting automotive parts 2

2. What Are The Key Stages in The Investment Casting Process?

Investment casting primarily consists of six process stages:

  1. Wax pattern formation
  2. Assembly of wax patterns into trees
  3. Shell building
  4. Wax removal and preheating
  5. Melting and pouring of metal
  6. Sand removal, cutting, and finishing to obtain the final product.

investment casting automotive parts 3

3. Which Materials Are Typically Utilized in Investment Casting?

The casting materials for investment casting can vary widely and include titanium alloys, aluminum alloys, copper alloys, carbon steel, stainless steel, and ductile iron, among others.

4. What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages of Investment Casting?

Advantages

  1. Capable of shaping extremely complex parts
  2. Excellent surface quality
  3. High dimensional accuracy
  4. No material limitations

Disadvantages

  1. Complex process stages
  2. Lengthy production cycle
  3. Relatively high cost
  4. Limited for larger-sized castings

investment casting automotive parts 4

5. Which Parts Are Suitable for Investment Casting?

Parts weighing between 200g to 50kg

Medium to large batch production

When high dimensional accuracy is required

To reduce or eliminate machining

When the internal structure of the part is complex

6. Where is Investment Casting Applied?

Investment casting finds applications in various fields, including aerospace, power generation, automotive, military, commercial, food, natural gas, petroleum, and the energy industry. Examples include blades, impellers, vanes, wheels, and components for turbines like gas and steam turbines, as well as small parts on automobiles, tractors, pneumatic tools, machine tools, and decorative art pieces.

investment casting automotive parts 5

7. Which Parts of A Car Can be Manufactured Using The Investment Casting Process?

In theory, all metal components in a car can be manufactured using the investment casting process. However, in actual production, considering factors such as cost and process complexity, only certain complex components are produced using investment casting. These components include engine cylinder blocks, cylinder heads, pistons, intake manifolds, exhaust manifolds, transmission cases, steering gear housings, brake drums, wheel hubs, and more.

investment casting automotive parts 1

Conclusion

Investment casting, also known as precision investment casting or lost wax casting, is a process used for manufacturing precision metal components with complex shapes. While it is suitable for various alloys, its complex process and longer production cycle make it best suited for medium to large batch production of parts. If you need for custom high-precision complex casting parts, you can contact us for more information, and HDC will provide you with professional customized service

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