What Is the Difference Between Investment Casting and Sand Casting?

investment casting

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What Is the Difference Between Investment Casting and Sand Casting?

Sand casting and investment casting are processes used to create net shape, near-finished metal components. However, despite their similarities in this simplified description, they differ in almost every way.

Sand casting uses packed sand to make fragile molds, while investment casting uses refractory materials to make more robust molds. Sand casting can make relatively simple-geometry parts with limited internal cavities. Investment casting imposes far fewer limitations on internal geometry and virtually none on external geometry. Sand casting produces rough surfaces that represent the packed sand used to make the mold. Investment casting can produce textures from very smooth, through any degree of feature roughness that may be required. Both processes are suitable for batch sizes of one to thousands, provided the process is still cost-effective. Sand casting is easy to establish and simple to operate, though great skill can deliver significantly better results. Investment casting is a complex, sensitive, and skilled multi-step process.

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