Low-volume Vacuum Casting Parts with Tight Tolerance
If you are looking for a manufacturing way to create low-volume plastic parts, vacuum casting may be one of the most popular ones. The vacuum casting prototypes are often applied to test your design. Here are the details about tolerance that we offer you:
- As for the tolerance of silicone mold, its tolerance can reach is around +-0.1MM. After checking and assembling, we will continue making more silicone molds to create more prototypes.
- The tolerance on finished parts can reach +-0.15MM.
- If the size of vacuum casting parts is more than 1000MM, the tolerance on the parts can reach +-0.2MM.
We can apply vacuum casting to create front and rear bumpers with the maximum size of 2 meters.
It has been a popular manufacturing method to create car components like grilles. It helps a lot to verify the feasibility of your design.
Carbon fiber is one of the common materials for plastic vacuum casting project.
How Long You Can Receive the Vacuum Casting Parts from Ruitai?
Here are the details to show you how fast Ruitai can finish one project with vacuum casting.
- The first step is build a plastic prototype with CNC machining or 3D printing. We will finish it within 1 day if you choose 3D printing.
- The next step is checking the tolerance and assembling details. Once approved, the Ruitai team will spend another 3-4 days making the silicone mold; another 2-3 days on vacuum casting processing.
- In total, Ruitai will need around one week to finish the whole vacuum casting project.
Just send your details to us, Ruitai will make custom vacuum casting parts with a fast turaround!
What Kinds of Material Can Be Used For Vacuum Casting?
Ruitai have many kinds of material for vacuum casting including rubber, similar ABS/PP/PC/PE. And the color is customizable. We will mix up the color according to your requirements.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you are wondering how vacuum casting was developed? Well, this method was first used in the 1960s in the German lab by using silicone molds. It is considered the most cost-effective way of prototyping in which you have to maintain a correct optimum temperature while you are curing the materials.
It is a reliable method because we get high quality and fine detail finished products through this process. As it is a super-fast method, this makes it best when you have to catch your deadlines quickly.
In the following FAQ Guide, you will find almost every intricate detail about Vacuum Casting. Whether you want to know about its advantages, benefits, or why should you be using it? You will find answers to all of your questions in this quick FAQ Guide.
So, stick to the article to the end and let us enlighten you with the actual process and details.
What Is Vacuum Casting?
The process in which we use a vacuum to mold a molten material is termed vacuum casting. This process is used when the material is fiber, or wire-reinforced.
In this process, a small series of functional plastics parts are produced. Polyurethanes and silicone molds are two essential components are used in this process. People tend to apply it for high-quality prototypes or end-use products.
Are There More Types and Other Ways of Vacuum Casting?
The method in which you wait for the liquid metal to cool and solidify to obtain the part is called metal liquid casting.
Here, we have short-listed a few casting method types for you.
- Vacuum die casting
- Sand Casting
- Centrifugal casting
- Investment casting
- Low-pressure casting
- Gravity die casting
- Die casting
- Lost foam casting
- Squeezing die casting
- Continual casting
How Can You Carry Out Vacuum Casting?
We can use it in different variety of near-production. The reason for this is that the casting process uses resins that can make exact replicas of main model parts. Using this casting process, we can see the life cycle of the product, starting from early design approval to testing the final model product.
An SLA model work is usually carried out to achieve the desired part finish and surface a mold split line. Risers are added to high points on the part, as well as a casting feed point. All placed strategically to ensure successful molding.
Silicone rubbers then mixed degassed. With the help of the oven, we can secure the mold filled with resins. Once set, the silicone mold is cut along a split line and the pattern carefully removed, leaving a cavity ready to cast polyurethanes resins into.
After the mold is secure by taping up, you can set it in the casting machine’s lower chamber. The PU resins are then measured, and pigment added, where specific color requirements have been outlined. The resin is then mixed and poured under a vacuum to avoid air bubbles or voids.
Once the wax has been cast, the mold is then placed into the oven to cure. When the molten material in the mold is alleviating, we can eliminate the costume from the mold. At this stage, the feed and risers are removed, and any post-production finishing is completed.
Depending on the geometry, molds will typically last for 20 to 30 runs, giving customers multiple parts exact to final production specifications within just a few days from design completion.
Explain The Vacuum Casting Production Stages?
There are some stages in this method through which we can complete the process. Following are the production stages in vacuum casting:
- Make a high-quality master model of the casting product.
- Cure process to make the mold secure.
- Fill the resin in the mold.
Figure 3 –
Why Is A High-Quality Master Model Important In Vacuum Casting?
A first-class master model requires for the process of vacuum casting. Additionally, you can create your master model using stereolithography, or the master model can be a part of the industry.
You should make sure about one thing that the master model should be of correct dimensions and look. When we use the acceptable quality master model, we have the warranty that we can get the product without any flows.
How Does The Cure Process Work In Vacuum Casting?
Resin for the master replica is encapsulated in a silicone mold. After this, silicon mold closely strengthens by high temperature and makes the silicon more durable.
After the curing process, mold is cut at the middle to reveal the hollows. The hollow space in the center has the exact dimensions like the master model. When the mold is divide into two, it becomes ready to go into the chamber. Then the required product is produced by filling up the mold.
Why Is Resin Used In Vacuum Casting?
Now at this stage, fill the mold with the selected material. The resin possesses the same properties as any industrial substance. You can easily get all kinds of functional or mechanical properties with the resin.
When the cast is filled with resin, we have put it in the chamber so that no bubbles or spaces are left out in the mold. It ensures that the product will be flawless and will not be damaged or ruined.
How Does The Cured Processes Of Vacuum Casting Work?
When we put resin in a high-temperature chamber, this is the curing process known as the last stage of vacuum casting. We use high temperature to strengthen the cast to make it more solid and durable.
The mold is painted and is made ready for final looks, after removing the Prototype. The painting and decorations are used to enhance the gorgeous outlook of the product.
Give The List Of Materials Used In Vacuum Casting?
This technique uses a number of methods for replicating objects. You can use it for the mass production of distributable products, and this can also use it for casting or prototypes.
- Casting with polyurethane
A wide range of textures, strength, rigidity, hardness, and softness is produced with this casting technique. This manufacturing technique is mainly used to promptly create polyurethane prototype parts as the polyurethane resins can emulate other materials’ texture, so details are usually made with it. Still, molds are made typically made from silicon.
- Casting with rubber:
Rubber is the most suitable material to use in the casting process. It can be considered ideal for seals and gaskets because of its tear-resistant feature. It is one of the widely available and cheapest materials for casting identical products.
- Durable polycarbonates:
When high shock resistance is required, polycarbonates are the best option for casting. It has an excellent tolerance to resist high and low temperatures. The other reason for its popularity is that it has a translucence look.
How Can We Strengthen The Mold In Vacuum Casting?
There is a two-part silicone rubber mold that keeps the master model encapsulated. Then the model cured under a high temperature to ensure that both parts stick together. Through this method, it is easy to make the mold more durable and strong.
What Is Vacuum Investment Casting And Its Process?
The investment casting process is beneficial in several terms. This process produces more precise components with the lowest material waste, minimize energy and subsequent machining. The investment casting process is more beneficial to design engineers.
The casting process mentioned above consists of pouring molten metal or heated plastic into the hollow mold’s center. Then wait for the metal to be cooled down, it is then extracted from the mold. Investment casting becomes more popular recently.
The investment costs are also known as lost-wax casting. In this process, a coating of wax mold is used with the liquid material. As the wax begins to melt, the molten metal begins to pour into the mold’s cavity. Then you can separate the metal from the mold after getting cooled.
In this process, the mold pattern becomes an investment. We commonly call this method investment casting.
Explain The Working Of The Vacuum Casting Machine?
Machine use vacuum for casting process to suck the molten metal into the mold. This is used to have a steady, constant pressure pushing or pulling the molten metal into the already present mold. As a Centrifugal machine is mentioned above must be bolted to the level surface in a very secure way.
How Vacuum Casting Can Be Useful For Your Business And Working?
Vacuum casting is hard to beat in producing precise, quick, versatile, and cost-effective products. This is one of the popular methods for making 3D objects. There are also many other advantages of this method such as,
- In this method, each piece is relatively fast to produce.
- This method is very cost-effective to produce products.
- The cost of molding is also low, even more, if cost-effective material is used.
- Another benefit of this process is that you can use the same mold multiple times and even can produce a more precise shape and size from batch to batch. This not only saves you time but also money that would be needed to produce new molds every time you would want to manufacture a prototype.
- The customizable shape and sizes of mold are another benefit you get through vacuum casting.
- This method supports rapid prototyping processes.
- Recycling the excess plastic into more sheets is another useful thing about this method.
- Making new components as needed is also an advantage of this method.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Vacuum Casting?
Here are some notable disadvantages of vacuum casting,
- This method is best for small-scale production as you can produce only one product at a time in this process.
- To finish the components may cause an additional cost.
- Light-colored paints can show debris from the mold.
- Excess moisture may cause unwanted bubbles’ formation.
- There will create problems in the final product if the mold isn’t made correctly.
- There are few details to achieve from a mold; thus, the design should be relatively straightforward.
- Thick plastic sheets can warp during vacuuming.
Why That Dies Casting Is Can Produce Minor Parts?
Die usually casting a cheaper way of casting as compared to mold casting. The die casting has smoother surfaces. By using manual less labor, you can produce more products in die casting. Die, you can make casting to closer dimensional limits with thinner sections, and it can cure holes. In this way, die casting can produce minor pieces.
How 3D Printing Is Different From Vacuum Casting?
3D printing is used to make models for professional use, but when we compare it with vacuum casting, it does not work as well as it should be. Unlike 3D printing, where the casting accuracy level is not so high and the cost increases, but it is cost-effective and works fast.
If you have a deadline to achieve, it is way better than 3D printing.
What Are The Top Reasons To Prefer Vacuum Casting?
In the fast-growing prototyping world, this a very efficient and valuable technique because it can independently produce advanced products with high-quality prototypes. It can also complement many other processes and the latest prototyping methods.
Thus, there are many useful reasons to consider vacuum casting at your top-list manufacturing options.
- Firstly, its engergy consumption cost is lower as compared to those of other notable techniques.
- Secondly, it is inexpensive because silicone molds are very low-cost, and the parts casting procedure isalso less complex using the vacuum casting machine. If is a lot easier to handle and to use than any other machine or process.
- The only expense related to it is associated with the resin material used.
- Finally, vacuum casting benefits a loton the economic scale because it can produce 25 prototypes per mold before its quality begins to be affected.
Why Vacuum Casting Is Considered Super-Useful For Prototyping?
One of the biggest reasons for vacuum casting is considered the best for prototyping because of the standard and quality of its prototypes.
Vacuum casting is even capable of reproducing production-quality prototypes that are no different than the parts or prototypes produced using the injection molding method. You can form even the smallest detail on the master model with the silicon molds.
This feature makes it suitable for producing highly complex components.
Does Vacuum Casting Offer A Wide Range Of Material Choices For Production?
Vacuum casting provides you a wide range of materials from which you can choose your favorite ones. There are various options available for final casting like polymer resins, including stiff plastic and flexible elastomers and transparent materials.
It is also curable and cast-able resin including many well-known substances. This means that the Prototype produced by vacuum casting can have the same aesthetic and mechanical properties as a mass-produced component made from ABS polyurethane.
Can You Produce High Resemblances Prototypes Using Vacuum Casting?
It makes it possible and easier to manufacture the products of high resemblance to the final products. It is because it offers high accuracy in the production of parts. With Vacuum Casting, you also get a long list of materials to choose from.
This means that due to their close resemblance to the final product, the vacuum casting prototypes are the best for functional testing and validation. Because of this capability, the product developer can carry out quality assurance.
This will make him able to determine whether the product will be feasible for a particular application before preceding the final production. Thus, vacuum casting is a beneficial prototyping process for the validation of mechanical and aesthetic properties.
How Much Time Is Required For Vacuum Casting?
The reason to opt for vacuum casting for prototyping needs is the time it requires to produce a prototype. Vacuum casting can help to speed up the product development process to save your valuable time.
It has a conventional molding process because a silicon mold can be formed within a day and using single mold casts to produce parts rapidly. Time requirements matter a lot when you need to choose a method for producing prototypes.
Many people prefer techniques that can provide valuable results in less time. But with Vacuum Casting, whether you are about to close a deal or are near to the deadline or just have begun product testing, you can get the perfect final products within no time.
How Vacuum Casting Is More Appropriate Than Injection Molding?
For the manufacture of small plastic parts of prototypes businesses, two techniques are commonly used. These are injection molding and vacuum casting. Both of the methods have their own benefits and drawbacks.
But some of these points make the vacuum casting process worth using rather than selecting the injection molding. However, it is not always the case but sometimes, it is.
Factors that make vacuum casting more useful for businesses and other works than injection molding are as follows,
When a business does not require hundreds or thousands of parts, then vacuum casting can be a better option because the setup cost is meager.
Injection molding is a better option when it comes to producing delicate parts and complex structures. On the other hand, vacuum casting can be preferable for more specific details, particularly those needed to be produced in a smaller number.
Vacuum casting also offers an extraordinarily smooth surface finish to small parts, making them look more attractive and alluring.
- Speed and Iteration
The low-cost setup associated with vacuum casting is a great thing against this other technique because it costs a lot in the setup in the process of injection molding. Other than the fast speed of producing prototypes, the alteration process is easier in vacuum casting.
In injection molding, you would have to remake the molds and invest a ton of money again. While vacuum casting, it is super-easy. Not only easier but also cheaper because you don’t have to remake any molds or stuff.
What Are The Characteristics Of Vacuum Casting?
- Vacuum castingcan be one of the most economical ways to produce low-volume plastic parts with high accuracy.
- The parts are especially suitable for functional testing and design verification purposes. It is tooeasy to alter vacuum casting at embodiment design stages because silicon molds are easy to remake and are inexpensive.
- You can produce almost any kind of Prototype using vacuum casting, including translucent and transparent parts, too.
- For investment casting to increase the finer detail of intricate features, sometimes high-quality wax masters can be produced using vacuum castings.
- Silicon molds ensureperfect detailing and styling to the parts. The final product looks no different than the original product or the idea. So, no worries about not getting what you were looking for.
What Are The Uses Of Vacuum Casting?
This process is used in different industries as well as businesses. It is because it offers plenty of useful ways to produce products that can be used for commercial and household purposes.
- Food and Beverages
For the final packaging of their product, the food and beverages industry uses the vacuum casting technique. It helps in the proper packaging of all types of food products. It can also be used for the covering or packing of various other essential products manufactured at the food industries.
- Commercial Products
It is used to make packaging products that are useful for commercial product packaging and other purposes. Most of the products, including food and drinking packaging, mobile and other cases, pens, and a lot more, are made using vacuum casting.
- Household products
Many household products are also manufactured using a vacuum casting process. Daily routine products like washing detergents, cosmetics, and food processing are made using this technique.
Why We Need A Vacuum Casting Machine?
The Vacuum Casting machine uses force to control the molten metal that was sucked by force into the mold. If we don’t do this, metal becomes blob-like and just sits there. In a fragile model, we need more force into the tiny areas to push the molten material into the mold.
But remember, excess of everything is harmful just like that we put a large amount of force you can burst the mold. You just need to add superior and steady pressure to push and pull the melted metal into the mold.
What Precautions You Must Take While Using A Vacuum Casting Machine?
When you use a vacuum casting machine, you will have to deal with molten metal, blazing torch, and, most critical hot flasks. So, try to take every possible precaution so that you can get the best possible benefits from the process.
Here are some steps to make the flask balanced in centrifugal casting,
- First, place the flask in the respective machine.
- After this, glide crucible in the model’s mold and put the exact amount of metal in it.
- The arm of the flask wills teeter-totter when you loosen the central net.
- It is essential to adjust the counter-balance weights. Otherwise, it will not move up and down.
- Check the tightness of the central nut and weight nut, again and again, just to be sure.
Do You Need To Clean The Molding Parts Regularly For Vacuum Casting?
The molds you use for vacuum casting should be cleaned regularly. Otherwise, it may leave some production parts and details while working on your workpiece. Cleaning of molding and tooling parts is the production company’s responsibility that offers vacuum casting.
If the company cleans the molds regularly, the production time will increase. And most importantly, Production companies need more labor. Due to all this, the final product’s rate and range will increase automatically.
How Long Can Be The Lifetime of a Mold Produced in Vacuum Casting?
You can consider it as a drawback of vacuum casting but the molds produced in it have a shorter life span as compared to those of produced in injection molding. It is because the molds in vacuum casting are made up of silicon and silicon usually has a shorter span than others.
Therefore, it cannot produce a ton of parts for you but the investment is worth for the few dozen prototypes that it can produce. You don’t have to face any loss in this process because no matter how many parts can a single silicon mold produce, they are enough for you to cover up your expenses.
This guide must have covered all of your queries and confusions about the Vacuum Casting. We have tried our best to make you known to all the in-depth details about this advantageous process. But, if there are still any other things you want to clear, you can watch this video or can contact us right away and let us help you get through this!