Choosing the Right Investment Casting Service: A Complete Guide

Investment casting, also known as lost-wax casting, stands as a cornerstone technique in the realm of modern manufacturing, especially when it comes to the production of high-precision components. This centuries-old process is celebrated for its exceptional ability to produce parts with intricate details, complex geometries, and superior surface finishes directly out of the mould, thus minimising the need for additional machining. The versatility of investment casting allows it to cater to a broad spectrum of materials, including but not limited to, stainless steel, aluminium, carbon steel, and various specialty alloys, making it a go-to choice for industries where precision is utmost important.

The importance of investment casting in manufacturing cannot be overstated. It enables the creation of components that are critical to the functionality and reliability of products across aerospace, automotive, railway, medical, and military sectors, among others. Whether it’s a turbine blade in an aircraft engine, a bespoke surgical instrument, or a complex component in a luxury automobile, investment casting can meet rigorous specifications with unparalleled accuracy.

Given the demanding nature of these applications, choosing a reliable investment casting service is crucial. A & M Manufacturing Company Ltd, a professional investment casting supplier with over 30 years of manufacturing and metal casting experience, is capable of providing a high-quality investment casting service. Such a service ensures not only the quality and precision of the cast parts but also supports innovation and design flexibility, enabling manufacturers to push the boundaries of what’s possible in metal casting.

investment casting service

What is Investment Casting?

Investment casting, also recognised as precision casting or lost-wax casting, stands as a distinguished manufacturing technique that enables the creation of components with complex contours, exacting dimensions, and refined surface finishes. Esteemed for its adaptability across a vast array of metals and alloys, investment casting is pivotal for producing parts that present challenges in other casting methods or would necessitate significant machining. Here, we explore the detailed process of investment casting and highlight A & M Manufacturing Company Ltd’s capabilities to provide the investment casting service within this specialised field.

1. Pattern Creation:

The investment casting service begins by sculpting a wax model or pattern, precisely mirroring the final part sought. This crucial initial step often involves injecting molten wax into a precision-crafted metal mould. The integrity and precision of this wax pattern are fundamental, setting the stage for the fidelity and finish of the ultimate cast piece.

2. Assembly:

Subsequent to their creation, multiple wax patterns are assembled onto a wax sprue, forming a tree-like configuration. This strategic assembly facilitates the simultaneous casting of numerous parts, enhancing the process’s overall efficiency—an area where A & M Manufacturing Company Ltd excels, thanks to our investment casting service’s meticulous planning and execution.

3. Shell Building (Investment):

In a crucial phase known as shell building, the pattern assembly undergoes a series of dips into a ceramic slurry, followed by a sand or stucco coating. Repeated layering builds a robust ceramic shell, meticulously dried between applications, crafting a durable, heat-resistant mould ready to accept molten metal.

4. Dewaxing:

The transition from wax to void occurs in the dewaxing stage, where the assembly is heated, melting away the wax and leaving behind an empty ceramic mould. This pivotal process gives lost-wax casting its name, highlighting the transformative nature of this technique.

5. Pouring:

With the mould preheated and ready, molten metal is poured into the vacated cavity. This step relies on gravity to ensure complete filling and detail capture—a testament to the precision and quality assurance that A & M Manufacturing Company Ltd’s investment casting service guarantees.

6. Cooling and Shell Removal:

After the molten metal is cast, the assembly cools, allowing the metal to solidify. The ceramic shell is then carefully removed, revealing the newly formed metal parts, which are then separated from the central sprue.

7. Cutting and Finishing:

The individual castings undergo various finishing techniques to meet the exact specifications required. This may include grinding, machining, or heat treatment, further exemplifying the comprehensive service offered by A & M Manufacturing Company Ltd.

8. Inspection:

Ensuring the highest standards, the final cast parts are subjected to rigorous inspection for accuracy, surface quality, and integrity. This step underscores the commitment to excellence that defines the investment casting service provided by A & M Manufacturing Company Ltd. All finished parts are inspected by both our partnered Chinese investment casting foundries and ourselves in the UK.

investment castings

Investment Casting Advantages

The advantages of investment casting extend far beyond its core capability to produce parts with intricate designs and exceptional surface finishes. Central to the investment casting service offered by A & M Manufacturing Company Ltd, this process is distinguished by several key benefits that make it an invaluable choice for a wide range of industries. Here, we delve deeper into the distinct advantages:

  • Complex Geometries and Intricate Details: Investment casting excels in creating components with complex shapes and fine details that other manufacturing processes might not capture effectively. This includes undercuts, hollows, and unique textures, achievable due to the precision of the wax patterns and the flexibility of the ceramic moulds.
  • Exceptional Surface Finish: The smooth surface finish achieved through investment casting often eliminates the need for further machining or finishing, significantly reducing post-processing costs and time. Surface finishes as fine as 1.6 to 3.2 micrometres Ra can be directly achieved from the mould.
  • Material Versatility:
    • Investment casting can handle a broad spectrum of materials, from common metals like stainless steel and aluminium to exotic alloys and precious metals. This versatility ensures that the specific material properties required for each application are met.
    • It is particularly advantageous for casting alloys with high melting temperatures or unique properties, such as titanium or nickel-based superalloys, often used in aerospace and medical applications.
  • Design Flexibility:
    • The process supports design modifications with minimal impact on production lead times or costs, encouraging iterative design and development.
    • Designers and engineers can incorporate complex internal features and passages into castings without the limitations faced with other manufacturing methods.
  • Reduced Assembly Operations: Investment casting allows for the consolidation of multiple parts into a single casting. This not only reduces the need for assembly and welding but also enhances the overall strength and integrity of the component.
  • Precision and Tolerances: The accuracy of investment casting, with tolerances ranging from CT4 to CT6, minimises the requirement for additional machining, ensuring parts are produced to precise specifications and fitment criteria right out of the mould.
  • Cost-Effectiveness for Small to Medium Runs: While particularly suited to small and medium production volumes, investment casting offers a cost-effective solution compared to other processes when considering the level of detail and complexity achievable, especially when factoring in reduced tooling and machining costs.

The investment casting service provided by A & M Manufacturing Company Ltd capitalises on these advantages to deliver bespoke solutions across sectors such as aerospace, automotive, medical, railway, energy sector, and defence, where the demand for high precision, durability, and aesthetic quality is paramount. Our commitment to leveraging the unique benefits of investment casting ensures that we meet and exceed our clients’ expectations, cementing our position as a leader in the field of precision manufacturing.

Factors to Consider when Choosing an Investment Casting Service

When selecting an investment casting service, several critical factors must be meticulously considered to ensure the chosen provider aligns with your project’s specific requirements. A & M Manufacturing Company Ltd stands as a beacon of excellence in the field, offering a comprehensive investment casting service that meticulously addresses these essential considerations:

Quality Assurance:

The foundation of a reputable investment casting service is its commitment to quality. Certifications such as ISO 9001 and relevant industry-specific accreditations are non-negotiable, as they attest to the provider’s adherence to international standards of quality management and operational excellence. A & M Manufacturing Company Ltd prides itself on meeting these rigorous standards, ensuring that every component we produce meets the highest quality benchmarks.

We hold ISO 9001, IATF 16949 and AS 9100 quality accreditiation and we are equipped with comprehensive inspection equippment such as spectrometer, X-ray machine, 3-point internal micrometer, NDT equipment, ultrasonic detectors, universal testing machine (UTM), CMM and many more. We work closely with our partnered foundries in China and Taiwan, all parts are inspected by both our partners and ourselves in the UK before sending our to customers.

Material Expertise:

Investment casting’s versatility in material compatibility is one of its strongest advantages. A proficient investment casting service, like that offered by A & M Manufacturing Company Ltd, showcases an extensive ability to work with a diverse array of metals and alloys. From common materials such as stainless steel and aluminium to special alloys such as wear-resistant alloys and heat-resistant alloys and precious metals such as titanium, our expertise ensures that your components are cast using the optimal material to meet your application’s specific mechanical and environmental requirements.

Design and In-House Tooling:

Having access to experienced in-house engineers who can offer assistance with part design and optimisation is invaluable. This support can significantly enhance the manufacturability and functionality of the final product, therefore improve our investment casting service. A & M Manufacturing Company Ltd’s investment casting service includes comprehensive design and engineering guidance such as in-house tooling design, material guidance, technique guidance, 3D-printing and rapid protoptying, helping clients navigate the complexities of casting design to achieve the best possible outcomes in terms of cost, performance, and manufacturability.

stainless steel investment castings

Production Capacity:

Whether your project demands a short run of highly specialised components or large-scale production, the ability to accommodate both small and large volume production runs is essential. A & M Manufacturing Company Ltd’s investment casting facilities are equipped to handle projects of varying scales efficiently, ensuring we can adapt to your production needs without compromising on quality or lead times.

We possess one of the most advanced silica sol investment casting techniques in the world. Over the years, through continuous innovation, we have fully replaced the environmentally harmful binder (water glass) with a silica sol binder. This has greatly improved the working environment and significantly enhanced the quality of our castings. Furthermore, our silica sol investment casting service offers several additional benefits:

  • Drying time for the silica sol shells has been drastically reduced from 8 hours to just one hour per layer, significantly boosting production efficiency and shell strength.
  • The application of silica sol technology to encompass a wider range of materials, including carbon steel and various alloy steels, while also enabling the production of larger investment casting parts weighing up to 50 kg. This expansion not only diversified our offerings but greatly reduced production costs, especially for carbon and alloy steels that were historically costly to produce using silica sol binders.
  • The introduction of a fully automated shell-making process, incorporating mechanical handling and automatic drying. This system has the capacity to create up to 8 layers of shells, with each layer managed by a separate automated unit, ensuring precise control and eliminating human-operated variability.
  • We have created shells with markedly greater strength compared to conventional silica sol binders. At the same time, we have succeeded in reducing shell thickness by nearly half. This decrease in thickness improves shell permeability and is instrumental in achieving the high-quality surface finish of our castings.

Turnaround Time:

In today’s fast-paced market, the efficiency in delivering projects within desired timelines can be a deciding factor. Our investment casting service is structured to provide swift turnaround times, ensuring that your project progresses from design to delivery as quickly as possible while maintaining our exacting standards for quality.


Balancing the superior quality of investment cast components with competitive pricing is crucial. A & M Manufacturing Company Ltd achieves this balance by leveraging our advanced manufacturing techniques, material expertise, and process efficiency to reduce costs where possible. This approach allows us to offer cost-effective solutions without sacrificing the high-quality standards our clients expect from our investment casting service.

UK stockholding facilities:

In addition to our manufacturing capabilities and investment casting service, we offer flexible supplying options, including UK stockholding facilities, to accommodate varying customer needs and preferences, facilitating efficient logistics and timely delivery.



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