Across all the casting manufacturing processes, most people should know there are investment casting and sand casting processes, but few people may know there are two kinds of investment casting methods in China : water glass investment casting method and silica sol investment casting method.
So, when talking about“Which investment casting method should I use?”, can only be solved by asking and answering further questions about the application at hand, the requirements of the project overall, and your needs as a customer. The benefits and applications of using investment casting techniques for a project are vast, but there are several further choices to consider when deciding how to investment cast parts for your application.
In this piece, we’ll quickly summarize the differences between the available investment casting methods, and provide an easy guide to help you determine the right choice.
Investment Casting Methods: The Two Processes
As mentioned above, two primary investment casting methods in China can be used to cast products: water glass investment casting and silica sol investment casting. The methodology behind investment casting techniques is as follows:
- Water glass investment casting: Low temperture lost-wax investment casting process, with capacity to cast products range from 0.5kg to 100kgs. The usually used materials are carbon steel, alloy steel, wear resistant material, etc.
- Silica sol investment casting: Medium temperture lost-wax investment casting process, with capacity to cast products range from 0.1kgs to 50kgs. Such casting method is more likely to produce stainless steel castings, carbon steel castings, etc.
Which Investment Casting Technique Should You Choose?
While CFS Foundry specializes in investment casting techniques, this section covers some of the most common factors that contribute to a decision on which method is the right one for you. Along with a brief overview of each factor, we’ll note which investment casting method meets that need best:
- Size Accuracy: Water glass investment casting provides a general casting tolerance ISO 8062 CT7-CT8 level, while silica sol investment casting provides a finer casting tolerance ISO 8062 CT5-CT6 level.
- Surface Roughness: Water glass investment casting offers a surface roughness Ra12.5, while silica sol investment casting offers a better surface roughness Ra3.2~Ra6.4.
- Quality: In terms of the quality, water glass investment casting is slightly worse than that of silica sol investment casting.
- Price: Due to the higher production cost of silica sol investment casting process, parts created by silica sol investment casting cost more.
But there also exists same points between these two investment casting methods, such as the production speed, no quantity limitation, etc.
If you have other questions about the right process for you, CFS Foundry is ready to help. To learn more about our one-stop investment casting services, contact us today to receive a quote.