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Lost Wax Casting Process

Lost Wax Casting Introduction: Lost wax casting is an ancient process in which the wax pattern gets melted during the molding process, hence the name lost wax is given to this process. Different foundries use different lost wax casting method, and the reliability of this process continues to attract foundrymen and artists alike. Intricate designing of sculptures, ornaments and automobiles can be captured only by this process. This ancient metal casting method, lost wax casting, has never lost its sheen, though the name of the process has been modified to investment casting and other names.

Lost Wax Casting Process: Traditionally, in lost wax casting, wax patterns were made by hand for every single piece of mold. But today, one pattern can be used to make multiple patterns even though the pattern is lost or melted during the process. Solid or hollow patterns can be used for molding purpose.

There are two ways of making the pattern, either by directly making it from wax or making the model in materials like clay and then making a wax copy out of it. Molten wax is poured into the mold to the desired thickness and kept upside down to cool. When the wax is cooled the wax pattern is removed from the mold and improved on to give a perfect finish.

Lost Wax Casting Once the wax pattern is ready spures and gates of wax are attached for pouring the molten metal. The pattern is surrounded with materials that will hold on the pattern when it is wet. Now a coarser material is added to make as strong mold in which the metal can be poured and solidifies. The mold is placed in the kiln, fixed in place with flasks. The mold in the kiln is heated until the wax is melted. Now there is emptiness in the place where the wax existed. The molten metal like bronze, or gold take its place. When the metal cool, the mold is broken away or sand blasted to remove the cast.

Applications of Lost Wax Casting: Lost wax process is being used from time immemorial for casting jewelery and small parts. It is also used to manufacture fashion accessories like brooches and buckles. Some automobile manufacturers use a lost-foam technique to make engine blocks. Now days lost wax process is used for dental restoration, fine jewelery, sculptures, etc. Silver, gold, aluminum, brass, or bronze are cast with this method.

Advantages of Lost Wax Casting:
  • The lost-wax process can be used with any material that can burn, melt, or evaporate to leave a mold cavity
  • Faithfully replicated every detail of the original wax
  • Allows shaping of castings that would be impossible in other methods.
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