Ceramic mold casting is a manufacturing process for creating tools and parts, such as impellers. The ceramic mold process can use materials such as bronze or stainless steel. Ceramic mold casting is a process that is similar to plaster mold casting. Permanent mold plasters that are made of plastic, wood, plaster, rubber or metal are used as part of the ceramic mold casting process. Ceramic molds tend to be expendable.
The first step of the ceramic mold casting process is to pour the ceramic slurry over the mold pattern. The ceramic slurry hardens over the top of the mold. The hardening process is relatively quick. When the slurry is dry, it is the consistency of rubber. When it is removed from the pattern, it is now a mold for the tool or item that is being created.
The mold must then be placed in an oven set at a low temperature in order to remove volatiles from the mold. A flame torch may also be used, rolling the flame of the torch over each area of the mold. Once the volatiles have been removed, the mold should be baked in a furnace. The furnace should be set at 1,832° F (1,000° C), which hardens the mold, truly making it a ceramic mold.
At this point, the steel or other element for creating tools or items can be poured into the mold which can sustain high temperature pours. The mold can be used while it is hot or the person using the mold can wait for it to cool first.
Ceramic mold casting has advantages and disadvantages. One of the primary disadvantages is that it is a very expensive process. On the flip side of the cost, however, the process can eliminate the need for secondary processes that require machines to finish or refine the process. Even though it is a very expensive process, ceramic mold casting offers several benefits, which include creating castings with fine detail. This type of casting can also create very smooth surfaces. The dimension of the tools or items created from the casting are also very accurate when it comes to the size, shape and dimensions.
The primary materials that are used in ceramic mold casting include steel, stainless steel and bronze. The most common types of parts that are created from this process include complex cutting tools, impellers, precision parts, complex cutting tools, and plastic mold tooling.