Complete Guide on Material Selection for Vacuum Casting

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In our previous articles, we have already discussed the concept of Vacuum Casting and how important it turns out to be in the prototyping process. While we are now aware of how the entire process works, we need to take one step deeper into the Vacuum Casting process by learning what materials are actually used in this process. Along with that, we will also be covering the properties of those materials. In a nutshell, we will be going over the material selection process for Vacuum Casting. Keep reading to know more about material selection & the factors influencing material selection.

Material Selection In Vacuum Casting
Material Selection In Vacuum Casting

Source: UIDEA RP

Factors to Consider While Selecting Material

While we are going to see materials of different types for our use, it is important to make sure that they adhere to certain characteristics or certain factors.

Also, because of a wide range of materials available, it can get slightly harder to find the perfect match for a specific characteristic. That’s where research on a specific material shall be required to find out which one suits a particular characteristic better than any other material. This wide range of availability also ensures that material must be available for any kind of requirement, no matter how specific it may be.

Vacuum Casting materials are expected to carry the following characteristics to some degree:-

  • Surface Finish

  • Rigidity

  • Temperature Resistance

  • Colour

  • Flexibility

  • Strength

  • Quality Physical Appearance

  • Transparency or some level of Translucent properties

  • UV Stability

The above factors act as our basic insight into the materials that we use for Vacuum Casting. Different materials will have different degrees of these characteristics and we will have to use them accordingly to suit our prototype.

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A Generalized Look at Materials and Their Properties

Now that we know the materials need to adhere to certain characteristics or properties, our next step is to find out which materials possess which properties. In this section, we will be taking a look at the strengths of materials and where these strengths can be applied to.

Vacuum Casting makes use of polyurethane materials with thermoplastic properties. What’s important is that such materials that we use in Vacuum Casting must accurately show properties that are similar elastomer rubber, ABS, and others. This ensures access to a wider range of properties and enables to apply several opportunities and cast a wide variety of components.

Vacuum Casting materials are expected to simulate materials along with their particular properties listed below:

  • The high flexibility property of Rubber.

  • High amounts of rigidity and strength as well as Transparency as shown by ABS.

  • High elasticity property of both Polypropylene and HDPR.

  • High rigidity from Glass filled Nylon as well as Polyamide.

  • Shock & High-Temperature Resistance as shown by PMMA and Polycarbonate.

  • Retardance & Fire Resistance of Filled ABS.

We can take examples of certain materials who successfully simulate some properties from the above list and are of great use in Vacuum Casting.

Type

Material

Simulates

Properties

Rigid/

Semi-Rigid

SG95

ABS

Transparency

Specialist Material

PX330

ABS

Retardance/Fire Resistance

Elastomers

6130

90A Rubber

High Tear Strength

Specialist Material

PX5212

PC

UV Stable

You can read about various other Vacuum Materials and their properties from this link.

Applications of Materials used in Vacuum Casting

As we have seen the materials being used in vacuum casting possess a humongous number of properties. This ensures that they impact the manufacturing industries with a wide range of applications. Let us go through some of them.

  • The automotive industry has used the impact of Vacuum Casting materials by ramping up mass production of parts required for automotive vehicles.

  • These are used in the Consumer Goods industry for creating decorative pieces such as showpieces and wall plaques.

  • The medical industry has been greatly benefited by Vacuum Casting as it is used for medical devices and has made great strides in prosthetics.

  • Apart from the points above, Vacuum Casting materials are used by engineers across several industries like Telecommunications, Aerospace as well as Food Production.

Conclusion

With the range of applications and benefits that Vacuum Casting brings with itself, it is important to study about it and its materials. This article tells you about the kind of materials we use for Vacuum Casting and what exactly do those materials simulate. I hope this article has been beneficial for you in getting some more knowledge about Vacuum Casting materials.

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