Investment casting is one of the main metal casting techniques used to create industrial end-use parts for the aerospace, energy and automotive industries. Patterns for investment casting have traditionally been made in wax for hundreds of years. An alternative technique was made available with the advent of 3D Printing. Patterns can be printed directly and skip the costly and time intensive tooling process that is used in the wax method. Somos has been involved in investment casting using 3D printed patterns since this technique was first developed.
Through continuous interaction with our customers and end users, we have developed a deep understanding of what is needed to optimize the process. Somos Element has been specifically designed to improve the repeatability and quality of 3D printed patterns with its improved dimensional stability and minimal ash content after burnout. Patterns created with Somos Element burn out efficiently with a minimal amount of ash residue and the residue that is left behind is easily removed — leaving a perfectly clean void in the ceramic shell. Somos Element is also antimony-free which allows for use in titanium and other super alloy casting applications.
“Somos Element increases the yield and reduces the amount of re-work needed for super alloy and other high specification parts as a result of its dimensional stability and smooth surface after the burn out process,” says Kevin Zaras, Global Application Specialist Somos. “3D printed patterns with Somos Element offer increased design flexibility, stronger patterns and less post-processing of the cast part.”
“We are very excited to deliver a new material for 3D printing investment casting applications,” says Jasper van Dieten-Blom, Marketing Manager Somos. “There is great opportunity for Somos Element to be used to create patterns, especially for complex aluminium and alloy castings for the aerospace and automotive markets.”