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Lost-wax Precision Casting


Lost-wax precision casting is a high-precision casting technology primarily used for manufacturing complex-shaped and high-precision components. This article will provide a detailed introduction to the principles, process, advantages and disadvantages, as well as the application areas of lost-wax precision casting.

  1. Principles of Lost-wax Precision Casting
    Lost-wax precision casting utilizes a meltable pattern to form cavities after sintering. Then, the cavities are filled with molten metal through pouring, and the metal solidifies to form the castings. Finally, the molds are broken and cleaned to obtain the final castings.


  1. Process of Lost-wax Precision Casting

Mold Preparation: Precise molds are made using materials like silicone rubber to ensure accurate dimensions and surface quality of the castings. The mold-making process includes pattern design, mold manufacturing, and sintering.

Wax Injection: Molten wax is injected into the molds to fill the cavities and replicate the precise shape of the castings. Empty spaces are left in the wax patterns for placing locating pins, pour gates, and vents.

Wax Removal: After the wax patterns cool and harden inside the molds, the molds are heated to melt and remove the wax, thus forming cavities. This process is called dewaxing and can be carried out using techniques like vacuum oven or steam.

Sintering: The dewaxed molds undergo a heat treatment to become hard and heat-resistant, capable of withstanding the subsequent molten metal pouring. Sintering can be performed using furnaces, sintering ovens, or atmosphere-controlled furnaces.

Pouring: Molten metal is poured into the preheated sintered molds. The metal fills the cavities, displacing the wax patterns. Vacuum casting or low-pressure casting methods are usually employed.

Cooling and Solidification: The metal cools and solidifies into the desired castings. Cooling can be accelerated using coolants or cooling furnaces.

Mold Breaking and Cleaning: The sintered molds are physically or chemically broken to disassemble and clean the castings. Cleaning can be done through methods such as sandblasting or chemical cleaning.


III. Advantages of Lost-wax Precision Casting

High Precision: Lost-wax precision casting enables the production of complex-shaped and high-precision castings, meeting the dimensional and surface quality requirements of intricate components.

Excellent Surface Quality: With the use of wax patterns, the castings have high surface finish, eliminating the need for secondary machining and reducing subsequent processes and costs.

Design Flexibility: Lost-wax precision casting can manufacture various complex components, suitable for unique shapes, curves, and thin walls.

Cost-effectiveness: Compared to other precision casting methods, lost-wax precision casting has lower costs and is particularly suitable for small to medium batch production and rapid prototyping.

Wide Material Selection: Lost-wax precision casting is applicable to various metals and alloys such as iron, steel, aluminum, nickel, titanium, and even special materials like high-temperature alloys and ceramics.


  1. Application Areas of Lost-wax Precision Casting
    Lost-wax precision casting finds broad application in multiple industries, including but not limited to:

Aerospace: Used for manufacturing aircraft engine components, turbine blades, and complex-shaped aerodynamic parts.

Automotive: Employed in the production of engine parts, transmission system components, brake system parts, as well as chassis and suspension components.

Energy: Utilized for manufacturing gas turbine parts, nuclear power plant equipment components, wind power generation equipment parts, etc.

Medical Devices: Applied in the production of artificial joints, implants, dental restoration parts, and other complex-shaped medical device components.

Art and Jewelry: Utilized for creating exquisite artworks, sculptures, gold and silver jewelry, as well as high-end watches.


  1. Differences between Lost-wax Precision Casting and Traditional Lost-wax Casting
    In comparison to traditional lost-wax casting, lost-wax precision casting places greater emphasis on complexity and precision requirements. The main differences between the two are as follows:

Precision Requirements: Lost-wax precision casting demands higher precision in component manufacturing, often achieving smaller dimensional deviations and surface roughness requirements.

Complexity: Lost-wax precision casting is suitable for the production of more complex shapes, structures, internal channels, details, and thin walls.

Material Selection: Lost-wax precision casting applies not only to common metals and alloys but also to high-temperature alloys, titanium alloys, ceramics, and other special materials.

Process Control Requirements: Lost-wax precision casting has stricter process control requirements, necessitating precise temperature, pressure, and timing control to ensure casting quality.

The above is a detailed introduction to lost-wax precision casting, including the process, advantages and disadvantages, and application areas. Lost-wax precision casting plays a significant role in aerospace, automotive, energy, medical devices, art, and jewelry industries due to its high precision, excellent surface quality, and design flexibility. With advancements in technology and ongoing research, lost-wax precision casting is expected to find wider applications, providing more opportunities for industrial manufacturing.


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