Your Source for Precision Investment Casting
Our diversification allows us to maintain integrity during most economic conditions.
Investment Casting has made its mark in today’s manufacturing industry as a cost-efficient process used to create prototypes, full production of metal components, or short runs using Highlight Nickel, Carbon & Stainless Steel materials.
At Doherty Associates, we have the ability to pour the most popular investment casting specifications throughout the commercial market. However, we have chosen to specialize in investment casting of ten pounds and lighter. At maximum size, our investment castings can weigh up to 22 pounds without dimensions exceeding 10” x 12”.
The industries we serve are non-aerospace. Some of which include-
- Oil tool manufacturers
- Industrial vehicles
- Printing presses
- Food Machinery & much more
We serve our clients with a vast diversity of casting abilities. Our diversification allows us to maintain integrity during most economic conditions. Because of this, our clients benefit from product quality consistency.
What is Investment Casting?
This process involves pouring scorching molten metal into molds which is then turned into high strength aluminum and steel castings. With this form of casting, parts can be significantly reduced in weight, benefit from quality improvements, hold tight tolerances, as well as reduce or even eliminate the time involved in machining/finishing and expenses.
Investment Casting (also known as precision casting or lost wax casting) dates back more than 5,000 years and was originally used for making jewelry and art pieces over the centuries. This casting technique was introduced to industrial processes in the late 19th century. Today, it’s seen as the future of many industries looking to source lightweight and highly complex components and is often the only way to economically manufacture parts.
Investment Casting is predominately used to engineer small and complex material parts but it can also be used to produce steel castings of over 600 Lbs and aluminum castings up to 60 Lbs.
Investment Casting is generally more expensive per unit than that of die or sand castings but offers lower equipment costs. This form of casting offers the ability to produce complicated shapes that otherwise would be difficult or even impossible to do with die casting. Although Investment Casting is comparable to some degree with machining, die casting, and other processes, it is, however, the only one that encompasses all benefits into one.
The Advantages of Investment Casting
Significant Cost Savings
- Investment Casting has the ability to reduce the cost of close-tolerance or fine finish parts
- Net shape minimizes or even eliminates matching and multiple part assembly
- Saves on material
- Lowers tooling costs
Design & Quality Flexibility
- Intricately configurations designed as one piece
- Infinite alloy options, thin walls, internal cores, & quality finishes
- Property upgrades, increased integrity to weight ratio, as well as quality consistency.
Our Investment Casting Process
Our Investment Casting process starts with the production of a heat disposable pattern that is usually made by injecting molten wax or plastics into a metal die or mold.
The wax patterns are attached at the gate to a central wax runner system called a sprue. Patterns, runners, and pouring cups comprise the cluster or tree.
Our Shell building process consists of submerging the assembly into a ceramic slurry and then into extremely fine sand. Once dry, the whole process is repeated to incorporate up to 7 layers.
The finished shell is then placed in a steam autoclave where the pattern melts and pours through the gates and pouring cup.
Firing the Shell Mold- Preheat
The ceramic molded shells then have to be fired (in a range of 1600-2000 degrees Fahrenheit) to burn out any remaining traces of pattern material and to preheat the mold so that it’s ready for the casting process.
Now, the preheated shell is filled with molten metal by pouring. As the molten metal cools, the parts, sprue, gates, and pouring cup all become one solid investment casting.
Once the metal completely solidifies and cools, the ceramic shell is then removed via vibratory methods or water blasting.
Casting Removal- Cut off
Any individual investment castings are removed from the cluster by a cut off wheel or friction sawing technique.
Finishing Operation - Gate Grinding
Any leftover gate protrusions on the castings are removed by belt grinding.
Completed Casting Product
The investment casting parts are now complete and ready for the heat treatment process and are then shipped out to the customer.
Why Choose Doherty Associates, Inc. for Your Investment Casting?
Our high-quality Investment Casting solutions have been provided across industries since 1966. We pride ourselves in offering our clients optimal Investment Casting solutions catered to their specific industry’s needs. We are an ISO 9001 certified supplier and are members of the Investment Casting Institute.
If you are in need of high-quality Investment Casting Solutions, you can trust that Doherty Associates, Inc. can offer you the most cost-effective and high-quality result. Contact us today!