What do you think of when you hear the term lost foam casting? You might imagine some sort of molding technique in which no mold or model was used to cast an object. Though this definition isn’t entirely wrong, there’s more to the lost foam casting process than meets the eye, which you can find out more about here on this page
What is lost foam casting?
Lost foam casting is a metal-creating process in which molten metal liquifies and a foam mold, is held in place with sand, so the process starts with polystyrene foam as the mold material. Carve, carve it or create a process like injection molding. This is a later method of construction that uses polystyrene beads that are heated up inside a metal die to become enlarged, and thus filling the metal die with it. Upon completion, the polystyrene foam is covered in ceramic coating to act as a barrier against the polystyrene that has to sit in the sand, which holds the polystyrene in place. As a result, waste gas can escape and end up in the sand.
Advantages/Disadvantages of lost foam casting
Rapid prototype casting offers many advantages, including reduced costs and lead times. The design freedom and low machining requirements make it possible to create incredibly complex shapes, with a wide range of characteristics that other processes cannot match. Parts with thin walls as an example.
There is a disadvantage to creating a CAD design and the amount of expertise it requires. The finished metal parts have an excellent surface finish. Also, the size of parts is determined by the size of the printing area. The metals used to create finished parts have a lower melting point than metals with higher melting points.
Applications of lost foam casting
Rapid prototype casting can be used in a variety of different industries, including the arts, computer technology, agriculture, defense, automobiles, and more. The type of parts that can be created is diverse, spanning things like sculptural pieces to circuit boards and more.