Investment Casting is commonly referred to as the "lost wax process". It is a very cost effective and high accurate process for many high strength and corrosion resistance materials, such as stainless steel, bronze, titanium alloys etc. This process has been traditionally specified for applications requiring high accuracy, thin wall capacity, complexity and fine detailed reproduction.
Your choice of investment process has two fold advantages - saving your production cost and making your design flexible. It is not uncommon to save up to 50% of your production cost because investment casting is more affordable than weldment, fabrications and machined components. The unit price for investment castings is not always the lowest, but the savings in reduced weldment and machining, raw material costs, and tooling start-up cost make the investment casting process very competitive.
Tolerances: generally, the tolerances of 0.005 in / in are routinely possible, and for small dimension parts as low as 0.002 in. is possible to reach.
Weights: casting components have a weight range from a few grams to 45 kg (0.3 oz to 100 lb), although the normal size ranges from 200 g to about 10 kg (7 oz to 22 lb).
Wall Thickness: normal minimum wall thicknesses are about 1 mm to about 0.7 mm (0.040-0.03 in) for stainless steel components that can be cast easily.
Surface Finish: depending on the alloy chosen, the as-cast product of the pattern is relatively smooth and free of surface defects. The average microfinish is 125 RMS varying with the process being between 65 and 180, depending on the limitations of the metallic materials applied.
Materials: 300 and 400 series stainless steel, carbon and low alloy steel, precipitation hardened high nickel alloys; 200 and 300 series aluminum alloys with Cu, Mg, Si, and other metal added for mechanical property adjustments.