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Stainless Steel Investment Casting Service

HDC is very experienced in stainless steel casting service. 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.

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

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Video of Stainless Steel Investment Casting

Our Company Specializes in Providing Top Quality Stainless Steel Casting Service

Our stainless steel casting services represent years of extensive experience, and our capabilities encompass a wide range of stainless steel alloys. Our team produces custom stainless steel components for a variety of industries, including automotive, food and dairy, machinery, medical, plumbing, watering, mining, petrochemical, electrical, energy, aerospace, submarines, and more. We are committed to delivering top-quality stainless steel castings, available in sizes ranging from 0.1 inch to 24 inches and weights ranging from an ounce to 50 pounds. We pride ourselves on maintaining precise tolerances, typically ± .005” per inch.

Stainless Steel Casting Material Information

MaterialGradeCommon Application

 

 

 

Stainless Steel

 

304

SS304 is a popular material for housings and bodies in various industrial settings, including medical, plumbing, watering, mining, and petrochemical industries. This is because it is known for its superior cleanliness as well as excellent corrosion resistance.

316/316L

SS316 is frequently used in the manufacturing of housings, gears, and plates as it possesses excellent corrosion resistance. This makes it an ideal material for various industrial applications, ranging from automotive to food and dairy to petrochemical environments.
410 & 416Housings, 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

Process Gallery of Stainless Steel Investment Casting

Products Gallery of Stainless Steel Investment Casting

Process of Stainless Steel Investment Casting

1. Pattern Creation and Tree building

Creating the pattern typically involves using wax and a metal die, which is created using 3D CAD modeling. Once the die is prepared, wax material is injected into the mold cavity, which is then removed after the material cools down. Any appearance defects found in the wax models, such as slots or flow patterns, are addressed before the models are welded onto the casting system. By linking the wax models to the casting system, it forms an assembly that resembles a tree, which then allows for multiple parts to be cast altogether, increasing productivity.

2. Making the shell/mold

To form the mold, the wax pattern or tree assembly is first dipped into a colloidal silica coating solution. Once coated, fire-resistant sand is sprinkled onto the surface, and the mold is then carefully dried and hardened at a specific temperature. This helps to produce the dense refractory coating surfaces needed outside of the wax model’s surface. This process is repeated several times, ensuring that the shell’s strength is sufficient to withstand the casting process.

3. De-waxing

After the shell is formed, the wax inside is melted using high-temperature steam and drained out. This leaves behind an empty cavity, which can then be filled with molten metal/alloy during the investment casting process.

4. Pouring

The next step in the investment casting process involves melting the stainless steel ingots to create a liquid form of the material. This liquid is then poured into the mold created by the shell and allowed to cool at room temperature. Once cooled, the shell is broken open, and any leftover sand particles are carefully removed. The resulting casting is a high-quality, custom stainless steel component that can be further processed according to the desired application.

5. Cutting, Grinding & Surface Finishing

Once the casting process is complete, the individual parts are cut away from the tree assembly one by one. The finished stainless steel investment casting parts typically require minimal secondary machining to obtain a smooth surface. The sprue gate can be removed using a grinding machine, and then the surface can be smoothed with a variety of surface finishes, such as shot blasting, sandblasting, electropolishing, mirror polishing, and other methods, depending on the desired appearance and functionality of the final product.

6. Inspection

After the stainless steel part is completed, it is crucial to inspect it for any minor deviations from the required measurements. The inspection process for stainless steel castings may include dimensional inspection, defects inspection, and material inspection. If the part is intended for use in critical industries such as aerospace, non-destructive testing (NDT) may also be performed to verify the strength of the material. Only products that meet the necessary qualifications and pass all inspections and tests are shipped to customers, ensuring that the final product is of high quality and meets the necessary specifications.

 

Stainless Steel Casting Parts

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

 
 

· Stainless Steel Casting Centrifugal Pumps

Multipurpose stainless steel centrifugal pumps for application in multiple industries. We provide centrifugal pumps of all sizes and shapes. You can share your requirements with us and we can develop the pump for you.

· Solenoid Valve

Solenoid valves are used in multiple industrial applications ranging from the manufacturing industry to the aerospace industry. HDC manufactures state-of-the-art stainless steel solenoid valve that is reliable and durable.

· Stainless Steel Casting Exhaust Manifold

Exhaust manifolds are made from stainless steel provide long life and do not corrode easily or any time soon. We can also provide an additional coating for added protection to the manifold.

· Ball valve

Ball valves are made from top-quality 300-series stainless steel and offer the best performance throughout their usable life. These valves have high reliability and do not leak or get damaged easily.  

· Strainer

HDC manufactures stainless steel strainers of all sizes and shapes. In case you need any custom design or shape for the strainer then we can also provide it. The additional protective coating is also provided for increased life of the part.

· Stainless Steel Gate Valve

Stainless steel gate valves are best for plumbing applications. We manufacture all shapes and sizes of gate valves. Each gate valve is tested on the highest quality standards before delivery.

 

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ) – Investment Casting

Our introduction to stainless steel casting welcomes you with exciting news in the industry. As experts in the field, Today’s demonstration will simplify the seemingly complex industrial procedure. We will walk you through each step, and before we dive deep, a brief overview awaits.

stainless steel casting

What is a Stainless Steel Casting?

Stainless steel casting is a general term for castings made of various stainless steel materials, also known as stainless steel fine casting,

Beginning with a carefully crafted wax mold, molten stainless steel is poured into the form, hardening as it cools into the final product.

 Renowned for its precise surface finish and dimensional accuracy, stainless steel casting is often the preferred method for parts with intricate geometries or thin walls. Additionally, stainless steel’s natural corrosion resistance makes the cast parts suitable for various applications, including those in harsh environments or where sanitation is critical, such as food processing, marine, and medical industries.stainless steel investment casting 1

What are the benefits of stainless steel casting?

Stainless steel casting offers numerous benefits across various industries and applications. Here are some key advantages of stainless steel casting:

Corrosion Resistance: 

Strength and Durability: 

Design Flexibility: 

Versatility: 

Cost-Effectiveness: 

Excellent Surface Finish: 

Corrosion Fatigue Resistance: 

Overall, stainless steel casting provides the advantages of corrosion resistance, strength, design flexibility, versatility, cost-effectiveness, and excellent surface finish. These benefits make stainless steel castings a preferred choice for numerous industrial applications.stainless steel investment casting 8

What are the Best Stainless-Steel Grades for Casting?

The best stainless-steel grades for casting largely depend on the specific application and requirements. However, below are some commonly used stainless steel in casting :

  1. Austenitic Stainless Steel:
    • 304 (CF8): 304, is one of the most commonly used casting stainless steel materials, as it is with excellent corrosion resistance and is suitable for a wide range of applications
    • 316 (CF8M): It has better corrosion resistance than 304, especially in chloride environments, making it ideal for marine and chemical processing industries.
  2. Martensitic Stainless Steel:
    • 410 (CA15): This grade is known for its good wear resistance and strength, making it suitable for applications like turbine blades, pump parts, and valves.
    • 420 (CA40): It provides higher hardness and wear resistance compared to 410, making it ideal for cutlery, surgical instruments, and other wear-resistant components.
  3. Precipitation Hardening Stainless Steel:
    • 17-4 PH (CB7Cu-1): This grade offers a combination of hardness, high strength, and corrosion resistance, making it suitable for oil and gas, aerospace, and other high-stress applications.

Ultimately, It mainly depends on the application, s Consulting with a casting specialist or material expert can help determine the most suitable grade for your needs.

stainless steel casting tree assembling

Stainless Steel Casting Methods

  1. Stainless steel investment casting, also known as stainless steel lost-wax casting, is a stainless steel manufacturing process that produces different parts, first creating a wax pattern, coating it with ceramic material, and melting away the wax to leave a mold. The mold is then used to pour molten stainless steel and shape it into any required design.
  1. Stainless steel Sand Casting: This method uses a mold made from compacted sand mixed with a binder. The mold is created by packing the sand mixture around a pattern, and molten stainless steel is poured into the mold cavity.
  1. Stainless steel  Shell Molding: Similar to sand casting, this technique utilizes a resin-coated sand mixture that is packed around a pattern. The mold is then heated to harden the resin before pouring molten stainless steel into it.
  1. Stainless steel Continuous Casting: This process involves continuously pouring molten stainless steel into a water-cooled mold. As the steel solidifies, it is continuously withdrawn from the bottom, resulting in a continuous length of cast stainless steel.
  1. Stainless steel Centrifugal Casting: In this method, molten stainless steel is poured into a spinning mold. The centrifugal force pushes the metal toward the mold’s outer walls, creating a dense and uniform casting.
  1. Stainless steel Vacuum Casting: Vacuum-assisted casting is a technique that uses a vacuum chamber to remove air from the mold cavity before pouring molten stainless steel. The absence of air helps prevent defects and promotes better metal flow.
  1. Electroslag Remelting (ESR): ESR is a specialized casting method used for refining and purifying stainless steel. It involves melting a consumable electrode in a water-cooled mold under a layer of flux. The slag protects the molten metal from contamination, resulting in high-quality stainless steel castings.

Each method has its advantages and is chosen based on factors such as complexity, size, shape, and quality requirements of the final product.stainless steel investment casting 6

What are the benefits of using investment casting? 

Investment casting offers numerous benefits over other casting processes, such as:

1.Improved surface finish and dimensional accuracy

2.Faster manufacturing process

3.Lower tooling costs

4.Ability to cast complex shapes that would be difficult or impossible using other methods 

The stainless steel investment casting offers multiple benefits:

  1. Offers high heat resistance
  2. Tight tolerance levels
  3. Offers flexibility of sizing
  4. Higher surface finish quality
  5. Possible to create intricate shapes
  6. Corrosion resistance
  7. No/minimal secondary machining requirements
  8. Low material wastestainless steel investment casting 2

What are the major applications of investment casting?

Due to the high corrosion resistance, high-strength and low maintenance investment casting are used in multiple applications like:

  • Food processing industry

The food processing industry commonly uses investment casting for various products, such as food storage items, grinders, cooking machine components, and other related equipment. By utilizing investment casting, these products can be custom-designed to meet specific requirements and can offer superior durability and longevity over alternative manufacturing techniques.

  • Automotive industry

The automotive industry has extensive use of investment casting products. These products include grills, trims, exhaust pipes/components, and converters.

  • Medical and Healthcare industry

Since stainless steel investment casting offers high precision and corrosion resistance, it is very suitable for the medical industry. The investment casting process is often used for the manufacturing of surgical tools, operating equipment, MRI machine components, X-ray equipment, stretchers/wheelchairs, implant products, and dental tools.

  • Marine and locomotive industry

Stainless steel is resistant to corrosion and heat changes, therefore, it is an ideal material for the manufacturing of marine and locomotive parts like hydraulic blocks, valves, pumps, and associated equipment.

  • Pipes and Fittings industry

The piping and fitting industry frequently makes use of investment casting for the manufacturing of stainless steel pipes, tees, elbows, nipples, and bushings. Investment casting allows for high precision in producing these parts, ensuring they meet the required specifications for use in various applications. This manufacturing process provides reliable, durable products that can withstand the rigors of various industries, including petrochemical, energy, and food and dairy.stainless steel investment casting 3

Is investment casting expensive?

For font-up costs, the investment casting process is slightly expensive than the forging or mold casting processes. However, certain benefits of investment casting reduce the overall cost of the product and benefit you in the long run. Meaning that the secondary machining cost required for milling, turning, drilling and cutting, etc. in other casting processes are avoided in the investment casting. Moreover, investment casting requires minimal draft angles for the removal of patterns from tooling and no draft is necessary for the removal of the metal castings from the investment shell. Therefore, the overall cost of the investment casting process is very competitive.

What tolerances can be achieved by investment casting?

Based on the use of various binder materials here are the general tolerances that are possible with investment casting:

Dimensional Casting Tolerance (DCT)

DCT G4-G6 Sol Lost Wax casting

DCT G5-G9 Glass Lost Wax casting

Geometrical Casting Tolerance (GCT)

GCT G3-G5 Sol Lost Wax casting

GCT G3-G5 Glass Lost Wax casting

At HDC the typical tolerances we offer are +/- 0.005 per inch. However, in case you need any specific tolerances for your parts you need to discuss the exact details with our design team for the finalization of tolerances of investment casting parts.stainless steel investment casting 5

What stainless steel grades are available for investment casting at HDC?

You can choose from the stainless steel grades 304, 316, 304L/316L, 410, 416, and 17-4 for the investment casting process.  

What are the size limits of investment casting parts?

You can now get products as small as dental braces, which range from a few centimeters to large aerospace parts which weigh 100s of kg from investment casting. We at HDC usually manufacture parts ranging from 0.1” to 24”. However, you need to discuss the project with our design team before finalization of the order for information on the possible size and weight of the stainless steel investment casting product.

What surface finishing is possible for investment casting?

Due to the injected wax during the casting process, the final investment casting product has a very formidable surface finish. However, as a general practice, a 125 rms micro finish is applied to the surface of investment casting products. It is even possible to use 63 or 62 RMS finishes on the surface during the secondary finishing stage. Although these are the standard finishes, the final finish will be as per the requirement of the client. stainless steel investment casting 9

How does HDC do quality control of investment casting?

HDC is an ISO 9001-certified manufacturing facility which means that we have a rigorous quality control program in place. Furthermore, to ensure the highest quality for the final product we have multiple checkpoints in our investment casting process. Finally, the finished products are tested and checked for any deviations from the allowed tolerances before delivery to the client. Through this rigorous quality control process, we can manufacture the highest quality of lost wax casting products.

Are there any porosity or shrinkage defects due to the investment casting process?

Not in HDC. These issues are faced when the gas is not properly removed from the molten metal or if the metal takes a long time to solidify. However, HDC uses multiple technologies like the use of high-heat ceramic shells for better cooling. Moreover, the tree is designed in a way to trap the porosity in the tree rather than the casting. As a result, the final product is of high quality and free of any porosity/shrinkage defects.stainless steel investment casting 7

What is the usual lead time for investment casting products?

It usually depends on the size, material, quantity, and complexity of the design of the product. Usually, small batches of up to 100 simple stainless steel investment casting products can be delivered between 2 to 4 weeks. Whereas, if the number increase or the part is complex then it can take some additional time. You can discuss the exact timelines of your investment casting products with our team before ordering.

What will I need to submit to HDC for starting the project?

You will need to provide HDC with the exact design details that you need. This also includes the CAD drawing of your product. If you don’t have the CAD drawing we can still work with it if you have the measurements and tolerances. You will need to inform us about the material you want to use for the process. Plus, when you will be in contact with our team member, he will guide you properly for all the requirements.

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