What is Cast Stainless Steel?
Cast stainless steel is something you may heard even if you are not familar with it. You may do not really know what this type of metal alloy is produced from, and even do not understand the term “cast”. As a professional cast stainless steel manufacturer and supplier, we will explain everything about cast stainless steel.
Cast stainless steel is a specific alloy that has gone through one of the primary metal forming processes known as casting.
When it comes to corrosion resistance, cast stainless steel is the right way to go. The bright apperance, good corrosion resistance, and high strength all makes cast stainless steel popular in several applications like marine, food machinery, building fittings, medical, etc.
Cast Stainless Steel – Manufacturing Process
Investment casting is the proper manufacturing process to creat cast stainless steel components in intricate shapes. Here is a breakdown of the stainless steel investment casting process:
- A design engine first makes a wax pattern using a metal injection die. The pattern will have all the details for a section or portion of the finished component but with slightly larger dimensions to account for thermal contraction.
- Next, the engineer creates the runner and gating system by connecting multiple patterns to form the final component. Molten metal will flow through the runner system as it fills cavities in the mold, creating a well-balanced casting. Gates are the openings between the runner and the cavity that feeds molten metal into the space.
- Once the entire pattern is complete, it is dipped into a ceramic slurry and covered with sand stucco. The design engineer repeats the dipping process until the shell achieves the appropriate thickness. At this point, the dried shell’s durability is strong enough to withstand the heat from the molten metal. Also, it will retain its shape during the last step.
- The wax melts away under high temperatures, and trace amounts soak into the plaster or ceramic mold. The void left by the melted wax pattern will be filled with an alloy to create a precise cast stainless steel part.
Why Cast Stainless Steel?
Cast stainless steel is usually chosen because it is resistant against corrosion—but it is also chosen because it is steel. Besides corrosion resistance, cast stainless steel also has some other advantages as below:
Cast stainless steel parts created by investment casting process are extremely accurate and near net shape. Since cast stainless steel components are created by using the same wax patterns, this accuracy can be maintained from part to part.
Cast stainless steel can be used to make any shape you like. It is also a designer’s dream. Logos, product ID’s or numbers, and letters can easily be added to the inside and/or outside of components. Lots of complicated stainless steel parts unavailable from forging or machining could be produced by casting process.
Compared to other cast alloys, cast stainless steel exhibits superior hardness. Hardness is the ability of cast stainless steel to resist indentation and abrasion. Due to its good hardness, parts made from cast stainless steel can work longer than expected.
Common Products Created With Cast Stainless Steel
You may be surprised to find out that many of the commercial products you come in contact may be using cast stainless steel parts and components or even be made entirely from cast aluminum.
Due to the amazing strength and corrosion resistance, it is very popular in the production of automotive parts. For example, exhaust pipe is made with investment cast stainless steel. In addition, other automotive parts such as transmission components, vehicle interior components, are also made from cast stainless steel.
Many medical components are also made from cast stainless steel, not only due to the strength but also due to its easy clean. Some of the more common medical components you may see made from this cast stainless steel is parts for various pumps, surgical tools, components for monitors, and even gearboxes for hospital beds.
Another popular application for cast stainless steel is the production of marine boat hardwares. While many popular firearms may have aluminum components, there are still a number of parts that are created from cast stainless steel. Some of these cast stainless steel marine parts may include boat deck drain, marine boat anchors, hand rail end fitting and much more.
For decades, cast stainless steel has been a vital material in a well-stocked home kitchen. It is dishwasher safe, making for a quick and easy clean up. Typical kitchen hardwares made from cast stainless steel are: cookware handles, meat grinder parts, etc.
Start A Cast Stainless Steel Project With CFS Foundry
Stainless steel casting may have roots dating back 5,000 years, but it still has beneficial applications in modern society. Throughout the world, industries rely on cast stainless steel to produce intricate stainless steel components with smooth finishing, unique geometric shapes, and tight tolerances, including marine, automotive, food processing equipment, and automotive manufacturing industries.
CFS Foundry offers superb stainless steel investment casting and machining services. We use specialized lost wax investment casting process to customize quality cast stainless steel parts quickly. If you would like to learn more about our casting services and receive a free quote on your upcoming project, contact our stainless steel foundry today.