Frequently Asked Questions
American Casting Company delivers high quality investment castings for medical, aerospace and other industries. Weâ€™ve incorporated the principles of lean manufacturing with the most advanced 3D printing and manufacturing technologies, resulting in unsurpassed cycle and lead time.
Click on any link below to see answers to our most frequently asked questions. If you donâ€™t see what youâ€™re looking for, contact us today.
This process, also referred to as the lost wax process, is a metal casting process where a disposable wax model is produced from an injection molding type of tool. The wax model is repeatedly dipped into liquid ceramic slurry to form a layered mold. Once the ceramic has dried, the disposable wax is burned out and metal is poured into the hollow cavity. When combined with nickel based super alloys, this process produces the most critical, precision components for the top jet engines, medical devices, etc.
Click on any link below to download additional resources:
A step-by-step description of the investment casting process.
Basic technical data about the most common alloys used at American Casting Company. Contact us for information about alloys not included in this summary list.
A list of elements to be considered when designing a casting.
A list of elements to be considered when creating a casting drawing.
Capacity & Size Preferences
A summary of American Casting Company's preferences in regards to basic casting features and a list of our current maximum capacities.
The investment casting process offers many unique benefits, including:
Design FreedomDesigners have a vast array of alloy choices and great flexibility in external and internal configurations. In addition, unlike other casting methods, there are no draft requirements in the investment casting process.
Reduced MachiningInvestment castings are produced to close tolerances and near-net size. There is little secondary machining required, resulting in savings in machining time and material costs.
Reduced FabricationThin and thick sections can be cast as one piece, and weldments can be replaced with single piece castings.
Good Mechanical PropertiesInvestment castings have mechanical properties that are better than any other casting technologies.
Superior AestheticsCurved and shaped surfaces are easy to produce, integrally cast marking and logos are possible and the surface finish of investment castings is consistently better than 125 RMS
ReproducibilityThe investment casting process produces a reliable and consistent product. At American Casting Company, our AS 9100 certified process control system yields remarkable consistency from part to part as well as from batch to batch. This reproducibility feature means our customers will save time in both machine set up and assembly.
American Casting Company offers lead times that are an order-of magnitude better than the industryâ€™s typical 6-12 weeks. We deliver production quantities of machined and polished castings:
Emergency orders from existing tooling:3 working days.
Newly built tooling:5 working days.
Standard lead times:2 - 4 weeks, depending on the casting design and range.
Prototype:7-8 working days.
Yes, and it can be easily incorporated into our demand flow system. We can build prototypes from virtually any CAD file format and typically delivery of "prototype" quantities of castings in 7-8 working days.
American Casting Company has extensive experience working with rapid prototype patterns. We produce production quantities of 3D wax patterns in-house using our state-of â€“the-art ProJet printers, and also use QuickCast patterns for applications that are best served by this type of pattern.
Yes! American Casting Company offers precision secondary machining services using a network of local vendors. We also are set up to do limited machining in-house.
Typically, a split negative-cavity aluminum die is manufactured from which the wax models are produced. In addition, ceramic inserts and soluble wax cores are used to achieve desired internal part configuration, depending on the complexity of the casting cavity. Typical tooling life is 50,000 pieces, and this life can be substantially increased through the use of steel inserts in the aluminum die on higher volume programs.
Itâ€™s far less expensive than plastic injection molding tooling and the ongoing advancement of CAD/CAM and machining technologies has further reduced the traditional high cost of investment casting tooling. In addition, the integration of computer driven technologies has drastically reduced the amount of labor required in the design and fabrication of tooling.
Yes. American Casting Company will only take orders with a value of at least $850.00.
American Casting Company offers a wide range of alloys for investment castings.
We pour most stainless steels, including 17-4, and the 300 and 400 series alloys. In addition, we produce carbon steel, alloy steel and tool steel castings. We also pour cobalt, nickel and copper based alloys, such as F-75, L605 and Silicon Bronze alloys. Our metal supply is closely controlled and in compliance with common industry standards such as ASTM, AMS and MIL specifications. See Materials.
There is virtually no limit to the casting size in the investment casting process. At American Casting Company, our demand flow lines are set up to handle parts weighing a few ounces, as well as industrial machinery components weighing up to 30 pounds.
Investment casting is capable of producing exceptionally close dimensional tolerances over a wide range of alloys. Depending on the size and complexity of the part, a linear tolerance of +/- .005 inch/inch is standard for investment casting. In general, the smaller the part the tighter the dimensional tolerance that can be held.
Excellent surface finish can be achieved in investment casting. A surface finish of 90 RMS (Root Mean Square) is typical for American Casting Company castings. Contact us today.