What is “investment casting”?
Investment casting is an industrial process based on (and also called) “lost-wax process”, one of the oldest known metal-forming techniques, spanning thousands of years. The term refers to the ceramic materials used to create a hollow shell into which molten metal is poured – or “invested” – to make the castings.
What are the advantages of the investment casting process?
The process has multiple benefits that relate to design, parts performance and cost:
- More functional, higher-quality part
- Greater design freedom and flexibility to develop complex parts with fine details in a wide range of alloys
- “Near net shape” requires little or no expensive machining, fabrications, and weldings, resulting in lower overall material and production costs – often the most economical way to produce precision parts that enhance performance
- Tight tolerance work (+/- 0.005 inch or +/- 0.005 inch per inch of dimension); standard surface finish of RMS 125, with surface profiles, flatness and straightness to within 0.010 inch
- Ability to produce part of complex geometry with internal passages (ceramic, water-soluble, collapsing passages) and or undercuts and hidden passages, with no draft required
- Nimble order quantities ranging from prototype to larger production runs
What industries does DP Cast serve?
DP Cast has been approved by many North American aerospace and defense companies who demand the highest levels of quality and precision.
That same quality and innovation is applied to our entire client roster, which includes government, Fortune 500 companies, and manufacturing clients in the mining, pressure vessel, optics, recreation, electronics, food, medical, petroleum and packaging industries.
What alloys does DP Cast typically cast for its investment castings?
At DP Cast, we pour a wide range of alloys including:
- Plain carbon and low-alloy steels
- Stainless steels
- Non-ferrous alloys including aluminum, bronze and cobalt
Click here for more details on the alloys commonly poured at DP Cast »
Other alloys available upon request.
What is the maximum dimensional and weight range of parts produced by DP Cast?
We specialize in custom steel and aluminum parts of the highest quality:
Steel – maximum dimensional volume of 20” x 20” x 20”; pour weight of 120 lbs.
Aluminum – maximum dimensional volume of 20” x 20” x 20”; pour weight of 80 lbs.
DP Cast is focused on furthering improvements by installing additional handling equipment, which will allow us to increase the end volume of both our steel and aluminum dimensions.
Please call us to discuss your custom part, and we’ll work with you on your dimensional/weight range requirements: 1-905-453-0421.
What are the standard dimensional tolerances in a DP Cast part?
At DP Cast, we provide tight tolerance work of +/- 0.005 inch or +/- 0.005 inch per inch of geometry, which can vary, depending upon the size and complexity of the part. The standard surface finish is RMS 125, with a surface profile, flatness and straightness to within 0.010 inch. Our in-house design consultation and near net shape technique often results in an investment casting that requires minimal to no machining.
Does DP Cast provide small or large quantities? What is the minimum order size?
At DP Cast, we’re large enough to provide superior service and quality, yet nimble enough to meet clients’ needs on any scale, from prototype to high-volume production runs.
What is meant by the term “aerospace quality?”
Our precision parts – and the processes behind them – are built to meet aerospace industry specifications and standards, where lives may literally be at stake. At the same time, all of our customers benefit from the processes and practices designed to address the aviation universe. At DP Cast, process control is paramount, resulting in more value-added products and services for our customers.
What type of design assistance does DP Cast provide for its customers? What are the ways in which DP Cast can contribute its services at the design stage?
At DP Cast, we don’t just execute your design – we influence it through applied engineering, prototyping, tooling, thorough review, testing and design innovation. Our involvement during the concept stage allows us to identify ways to reduce time and post processing costs, such as machining, fabrications and weldings, resulting in a higher-quality part.
Our in-house mold-making facilities result in a quality mold, delivered in a timely manner under DP Cast’s direct control. CNC machining centre, combined with Solidworks and Surfcam 3D software allows us to accept your computer file electronically for manufacture.
No matter your requirement, we have the ability to design, maintain, repair and modify your concepts as required. »
Does DP Cast produce prototypes on behalf of its customers?
Yes, we provide design assistance, castings and quality assurance for a wide range of industries.
What design file types does DP Cast accept?
Our 3-axis CNC machining centre, combined with Solidworks and Surfcam 3D software allows us to accept your computer file electronically for manufacture:
- File formats: igs, dwg, sldprt, scprt, stp and prt
- Collaboration using eDrawings also available
What does “near net shape” mean?
Near net shape is an industrial manufacturing technique, wherein the initial production of a part is very close to the final (net) shape, reducing the need for traditional finishing, such as machining or grinding and, in many cases, saving on production costs.
What is “non-destructive testing (NDT) at source”?
An audited supplier to the aerospace industry, DP Cast provides comprehensive,
non-destructive testing (and non-destructive testing at source), with Level III, CGSB,
ASNTSNT-TC-1A and NAS410-certified personnel, equipment and facilities, to all of our customers, regardless of sector in the following methods:
- Liquid Penetrant Inspection
- Magnetic Particle Testing
What are the inspection and test capabilities and services offered by DP Cast?
DP Cast’s quality assurance personnel are delegated and approved by Aerospace OEM’s to act on their behalf as quality representatives. Our facility features a comprehensive Preventative Maintenance Program, as well as a Measuring and Test Equipment Control Program, and 3D surface profile measurement and the use of CMM to verify part dimensions. We can supply testing and laboratory services, including chemical analysis (spectrographic and metallurgical) and mechanical testing for tensile and hardness, traceable to American NIST standards to verify as cast and heat treated conditions of castings. DP Cast is Qualified as a Laboratory Control at Source provider for select clients.
How can investment castings save time and money?
Although investment castings are generally more expensive than forged parts, or those produced by other casting methods, the higher cost can be mitigated through the reduction or elimination of the finishing process, achieved through our near-to-net shape technique.
What is the typical lead time for tooling and production?
We’re committed to on-time delivery of our clients’ products and pride ourselves on our flexible response times. Lead times can vary, depending upon a part’s complexity, the quantity ordered, the casting process, subsequent operations, such as quality assurance and foundry capacity. In general, allow approximately 12 weeks for tooling and sample casting, and another 8 weeks for production.