As part of its growing portfolio of products for foundry, casting and heat treatment, IPS Ceramics is now supplying ceramic casting plugs in a range of sizes, shapes and materials. The investment casting technique – also known as the lost wax or precision casting process – offers excellent tolerances and surface finish alongside great design flexibility for complex geometries. It is widely used across the advanced engineering scene and is particularly important in supplying a number of industries, including aerospace, defence, power generation, automotive, oil and gas, space exploration, medical/orthopaedics, and jewellery.
Stability, as well as high-temperature resistance, is an important element of the investment casting process and IPS casting plugs ensure that pattern assembly vent holes are effectively covered. They are also used as a mechanical means of closing core supports within the assembly.
The casting plugs can be manufactured in different grades of ceramic material. For instance, where a very smooth, clean finish is required, then typically a 95% alumina material is used (99% alumina is also available). If this feature is less important, then a corundum/mullite mix may be preferred. Either way, IPS Ceramics can supply the necessary components and with the invaluable support of its technical and in-house engineering team can custom design and manufacture a variety of components for the investment casting sector.
Casting plugs are a single-use product, part of the expendable ceramic shell, and so in addition to superior finish and effectiveness in operation, they need to be made available at a competitive cost. IPS Ceramics is meeting the brief in all respects and has already supplied these products in the UK to one of the best-known aero engine and industrial gas turbine component manufacturers, and also an internationally renowned producer of nickel-chromium steel alloys.
IPS Ceramics will be exhibiting at Ceramics UK on stand 1412.