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Title: Capabilities of the Investment Casting process for producing meso/micro metal castings using Rapid Prototyping manufacturing routes
Author: Charmeux, Jean-Francois
ISNI:       0000 0004 2750 6327
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis examines the capabilities of different Rapid Prototyping (RP) manufacturing processes for producing sound metallic parts incorporating features in the micrometre range using the Investment Casting (IC) process. RP has been growing in the past twenty years and is nowadays widely employed in the area of precision investment casting since the technology offers the possibility of manufacturing wax patterns which can be directly implemented into investment casting. Owing to the steady improvements of the technology, some of the recently developed RP building machines offer the possibility of manufacturing small parts incorporating micro-features. In this work, a detailed description of the accuracy and capabilities of the IC process regarding its potential for producing sound meso/micro components is given using two types of conventional RP machines. The results of this analysis are then compared through a benchmarking study with a recently developed RP process suitable for the direct manufacture of ceramic moulds. The different technological chains are compared regarding their overall accuracy, surface finish, the amount of structural defects present in the castings and their relative production costs and lead-time. Finally, the potential of the investment casting process for manufacturing sound micro-castings with high aspect ratio is approached from a structural point of view. Through a metallographic analysis study, the research investigates the size-scale effect of cast micro-components upon their microstructure and the subsequent changes in their mechanical properties.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available