Today’s technology allows us to create something from nothing, and it also allows us to work with common materials and create something that is going to be durable, lightweight and it won’t get damaged with time. It is said that stainless steel is one of the most commonly used metals in the world, and we see it everywhere, starting from jewelry, up to kitchen appliances and cutlery, and even in the automotive industry. There are a lot of different ways to process this material, and casting is one of the most popular ones.
In this article, we are going to tell you some things you probably didn’t know about investment casting, and why most factories nowadays choose to go with this process instead of anything else. Continue reading, and learn something new that may help you with your skills, shopping habits, and maybe even with your profession.
Good for the environment
Did you know that stainless steel is actually good for the environment? Steel is said to be the most commonly recycled material, and it is far ahead than other materials and elements. Latest statistic shows that if we combine paper, plastic, aluminum, and glass, they are still less recycled than steel. This allows us to use and reuse this material, and cast it any way we want. More than 70 tons of this material is being recycled every year in the US alone, so the next time you think about throwing away your cast iron, know that you can actually reuse it, or take it somewhere where they can melt it and create another item.
It takes five steps to create an item
This sounds extremely simple, and the reality is, even though there are only 5 steps of the process, it is still a complex process that not everyone can do.
In the first step, the professionals create a mold that they will later use to create the items. Then, the wax is being melted, and later on, the same wax should be poured into the original mold. It should also be assembled on a so-called, wax tree, and the whole thing should be strengthened by dipping the mold along with the wax in a ceramic mixture. For the fourth step, the wax needs to be melted, so that there is a cavity left in the slurry where the metal should be poured. The stainless steel needs to be melted and poured into the ceramic. Once the whole thing is solid and it is cooled off, then the ceramic shell is broken and the item is polished.
This process is one of the oldest ones, and nowadays there are other types of processes and materials used to create the cast. Sand casting is extremely popular as well, and with this, the molds that are created are disposable. Depending on the quantity every steel casting foundry needs to produce, they can choose to use only one process only, or to combine several of them. The process also depends on the size of the items that need to be created. Wax is used when the products are smaller and with more detail. Sand is used to create larger items that need to be put in a bigger mold.
Where it is used
Many of us know only about one use of the items made with stainless steel casting – kitchen tools, cutlery, and cookware. In reality, this is just a fraction of what this material is used for, and even though we cannot say that the cast items are not the best things in everyone’s kitchen, there are so many other things that are created by this process.
This metal is mostly used in architecture and construction, and the reason for that is because it is extremely durable, flexible and it does not corrode with time. This makes it the number one choice for most companies. Next, we have the automotive industry, and casting parts in automobile was first used in the early 1930s by Ford. According to DawangCasting, nowadays the whole process is more complex and requires inspection, but it is still based on the original mold development.
Stainless steel is also used in medicine, because the items can easily be sterilized, and they are not corrosive. It is mostly used to create surgical items, as well as in dentistry and even MRI scanners.
Other industries, including chemical, gas, and oil production use the metal to create crucial components for different equipment. As you can see, the process is widely accepted because it allows the metal to get any shape we require, and the properties of the material allow us to use it for decades without it getting damaged.
The last thing we are going to talk about is the creation of small items that can be used for jewelry, pendants, and other products. It is said that this process is the oldest one, and it requires a combination of ceramic mold and wax. As we previously mentioned, this is something that was used a long time ago, and now, most casts are made of wood, plastic, or any other type of material.
This type of production process has been used in the last 5 or 6 thousand years, and now companies that are trying to preserve the old ways of production, are still using it.
The most commonly created items with this process are small decorative items, and the main benefit of it is that the whole process is less expensive compared to other types of molds. The input material is minimized and there are no things that go to waste. Everything can be remelted and reused, and with that, the profits can be larger.
These are some of the things you probably didn’t know about this process. If you are thinking about becoming part of the industry, you should consider the desired size and shape you want to create, as well as the quantity. Depending on that, it is going to be easier for you to choose the mold and material. If you plan on purchasing stainless steel casting items, then you should talk to the company that produces them and see the options that are available for you.