The Best Investment Casting Materials To Use

The vast majority of the investment casting we undertake is done using steel, aluminium or other metal alloys in the castings.

These materials offer the best results in terms of strength, malleability and flexibility. Within these metal groups, are a host of different alloy types, each offering slightly different properties.

Our table below shows the main materials we use along with their technical specifications.

Carbon Steels

These steels are made up mostly of Carbon and are the most common steels used in the world. It is the most popular choice made when using investment casting due to it’s high structural integrity, especially when heat treated.

Common Uses

  • Motor parts
  • Electrical appliances
Carbon Steels in depth →

Low Alloy Steels

Low Alloy Steels are used for their strength, toughness and resistance to effects such as corrosion. This is due to the addition of elements such as Nickel and Chromium amongst others.

Despite its increased toughness, it is still capable of being welded effectively with the right materials.

Common Uses

  • Oil and Gas components
  • Pumps and valves
  • Vehicles (especially military)
  • Construction vehicles (tractors and diggers

Alloy Steels

Alloy steels are a combination of a carbon steel (described earlier) and one or more additional elements. The elements which can be added to the carbon steel are usually one or more of (in alphabetical order):

  • Chromium can be added to the steel to improve the toughness and resistance to things such as heat.
  • Cobalt can be added to ensure that the metal retains its durability and strength, even when heated to “red heat”.
  • Nickel can be added to improve the strength and toughness of the carbon metal, whilst also providing additional resistance to corrosion.
  • Tungsten can be added to again improve the heat resistance of the carbon metal and also adds hardness.
  • Vanadium is commonly added to carbon metals due to the variety of features it can improve, such as strength, toughness and a better resistance to things such as corrosion.

For more information about tool steel investment castings, see our dedicated page here.

Common Uses

  • Motor parts
  • Electrical appliances

Austenitic Stainless Steels

As part of our stainless steel investment casting, we can use austenitic stainless steels.

The main crystalline structure of this steel is a non magnetic iron. The hardness of this metal will not be increased during heating and it is fully non magnetic. The corrosive resistance of this metal makes it extremely popular, especially in automobiles and hospitality.

Common Uses

  • Food and Drink Equipment
  • Automobile parts
  • Industrial equipment

Ferritic Stainless Steels

These metals have a high chromium content, which gives them great ductility, resistance to corrosion and cracking. These materials are used frequently in our stainless steel investment casting projects.

Common Uses

  • Kitchen goods
  • Cookwear
  • Automobiles
  • Coastal/ offshore machinery
Stainless Steels in depth →

Precipitation Hardening Stainless Steels

This metal is either semi-austenitic or martensitic, depending on what stage of the process they reside. Due to a variety of heat treatments, this metal has high strength and toughness, especially on a weight-strength ratio.

Common Uses

  • Aerospace parts
  • Springs
Stainless Steels in depth →

Nickel Alloys

One of the main things which make Nickel alloys unique are their heat expansion properties. They are also uniquely magnetic.
The standard nickel grades you will find are Ni200, Ni201 and Ni205, each giving a unique advantage depending on your part type.

Common Uses

  • Electrical housings
  • Oil and Petrol Industry (filters)
  • Wires

Cobalt Alloys

Cobalt alloys have excellent qualities in heat resistance and corrosion resistance. They are also extremely durable and usually last a long time.

The most common alloys are 6, 3, 21 and 31.

Common Uses

  • Orthopaedic implants
  • Jet engines

Technical Data

Alloy Capabilities
Base Category Sub-Group Examples of commonly used Alloy types
Ferrous Carbon Steels Low Carbon Steels 1010 1020 1025
Medium Carbon Steels WCB 1030 1035 1045 1050
High Carbon Steels 1060 1090 1095
Low Alloy Steels Chromium Steels 52100
Chromium-Molybdenum Steels 4130 4140 4150
Nickel-Molybdenum Steels 4620
Chromium-Vanadium Steels 6150
Nickel-Chromium-Molybdenum Steels 4330 4340 8620 8630 8640 8650
High Alloy Steels
(Stainless Steels)
Austentic Chromium-Nickel Steels 302 303 304/304L 309 310 316
Ferritic Chromium Steels 409 431 436 439
Martensitic Chromium Steels 410 416 420 431 436 440A
Duplex Steels CD-4MCu CD3MN $50 $50 $50 $50
Precipitation Hardening Steels 15-5 17-4
Tool Steels Air Hardening Steels A-2 A-6 H-11 H-13 H-43 T-1
Oil Hardening Steels D-2 D-3 0-1 0-2 M-2 M-42
Water Hardening Steels S-1 S-4 S-5 S-7
Cobalt Cobalt Alloys Cobalt Alloys Co-3 Co-4 Co-6 Co-12 Co-31 Co-93
Cobalt-Chromium Alloys F-75 FSX 414 N-155
Nickel Nickel Alloys Nickel-Copper Alloys M35-1 Monel A Monel B Monel D Monel S Monel E
Nickel-Chromium Alloys Alloy B Alloy C Alloy X CW-2M Alloy 625

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