Aerospace and aviation companies face unique challenges for their equipment and components. First, they require highly complex and precise parts that perform their functions reliably and efficiently. In addition, these components may experience extreme environmental stresses that can impact their performance. From extreme temperature differences to corrosive elements, the components must be designed to withstand these stresses and resist corrosion and wear that could cause parts to fail when performing critical functions.
Investment casting and surface treatment solutions play critical roles in aerospace casting. These techniques ensure that repeatable products of high quality are created on time and at the necessary demand levels. Learn more about how investment casting and surface treatments create these required components.
Investment Casting for Aerospace Components
Investment casting has been used for more than 5,000 years to create a range of products for diverse applications. Today, it is widely used and reliable casting method for aerospace components.
Investment casting involves creating a pattern out of wax for the part or component that will be created. Then the wax pattern is placed on a gate and runner metal delivery system. A ceramic slurry is created as the wax pattern is dipped into this slurry and allowed to dry. The wax is later removed as the ceramic shell becomes the mold that will be filled with the molten metal to create the component.
There are enormous benefits to using investment casting. This method creates complex geometries and intricate designs that are required for components in the aerospace industry. In addition, the components come out with a very smooth finish that has fewer blemishes and requires less polishing and processing to be done. A range of different metals can also be used in investment casting, such as aluminum, stainless steel, low alloy steel, titanium alloys and super alloys. The cast metal components can come in a range of sizes from a few ounces to hundreds of pounds.
Surface Treatments for Corrosion and Wear Resistance
Treating the surface of metal components not only improves its aesthetic appearance, it also provides additional benefits. Applying a coating on top can also protect the component from corrosion caused by environmental conditions or chemicals that may be introduced in the working environment. The treatments can also slow down wear and tear to components so that the parts last longer. There are numerous surface treatments that may be used during the aerospace casting process.
Anodize treatment: The anodize treatment creates an extra protective natural oxide layer on the surface that is created by the component’s own metal materials
Chemical conversion coating: This process uses an electro-chemical or chemical process to adhere the metal coating to the surface.
Passivation: This treatment helps to remove the iron from the surface of the metal that can cause corrosion.
Plating: Plating involves placing a layer of metal onto the component’s surface. There are numerous plating techniques that may be used, including electroplating that uses an electric current and chemical plating.
Etching: Etching treatment removes a very thin layer of the component’s surface.
Painting: When the component will be seen, painting the surface can improve its appearance while sealing the metal from corrosive environments.
Dry film: A powder coating applied to the surface.
Stress and Embrittlement Relief: This process removes the hydrogen that is present during the cleaning and plating process after casting.
Obtain Aerospace Casting from Impro
Aerospace casting can be a complex process based on how thin or intricate the designed component has to be. Have Impro provide you with superior aerospace casting solutions for your manufacturing needs. Contact Us today to discuss your component design.