Investment Casting

Investment Casting


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Investment casting, as a material near-net-shape technology, plays an irreplaceable role in the manufacture of high-precision, complex structural castings. This process can cast superalloys and titanium alloys, and has made important contributions in the fields of aerospace and industrial gas turbines. Colloidal materials can be used as binders to improve the precision of investment casting, helping to further expand the field of application of the process. Alfa Chemistry develops colloidal binders for investment casting and provides modification and characterization services.

Investment Casting

Research and Practice of Colloids in Investment Casting

Binders play a particularly important role in the investment casting process. The modified colloid can be miscible with organic polymers and used as adhesives. The preparation process of the adhesives is simple, easy to store, stable in performance, low in material consumption and low in cost. In addition, the use of colloidal adhesives avoids ammonia drying in the ethyl silicate hydrolyzate, which can effectively improve the working environment and improve safety. For example, colloidal zirconia binders with improved wetting properties could expand the scope of investment casting for fine shape details.

Adding different ingredients to colloidal adhesives can alter their properties to suit different application needs. For example, the addition of refractory powders such as alumina, zirconia and quartz glass powder can be used in the casting of superalloys; the addition of auxiliary materials such as suspending agents, diluents, mineralizers, and penetrants can effectively improve dip coating properties of adhesives.

Investment CastingFig.1 Basic principles of the investment casting process.[3]

Investment CastingFig.2 Secondary electron SEM image of colloidal binder network (A), surrounding refractory filler (B) and stucco (C) particles in an investment mould.[3]

Investment casting is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process that produces complex, high-value-added alloy components for a variety of specialized industries. Alfa Chemistry specializes in laboratory research and formulation modification services for colloidal adhesives for investment casting. We are committed to helping our customers improve casting quality, reduce manufacturing costs and develop new markets to remain competitive.

What Can We Do?

  • Alfa Chemistry is able to provide colloidal products for investment casting.
  • Alfa Chemistry can provide modification services for colloidal adhesives according to customer needs.
  • Alfa Chemistry can help customers analyze and study the influence of various properties of colloidal binders on investment casting processes.


  1. Zhigang Lv. History and Development Trend of Investment Casting Industry in China. Foundry. 2012, 61(4):10.
  2. Ke Xiao. Application of Silica Sol in Investment Casting Production. Foundry Technology. 2001.
  3. Jones S, Yuan C . Advances in shell moulding for investment casting. Journal of Materials Processing Technology. 2003, 135(2-3):258-265.

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