Today’s space age sees innumerable titanium components being manufactured for a multitude of industries around the world. From subsea to chemical to outer space itself, titanium investment castings are driving new technologies on all fronts.
One primary characteristic that every one of these components has in common is precision. Poor precision titanium products may cause anything from inconvenient misalignments to the much more serious – and costly – problems of a failed system. FS precision understands the importance of producing consistently accurate and precise components, and continually delivers high-quality castings for optimal performance. Let’s explore how FS Precision lives up to its name by delivering precision titanium products through our cost-effective investment casting process.Wax Patterns for Investment Casting.
The beginning stage of the investment casting process involves first creating a wax model – or “pattern” – of the product which captures all of a component’s design complexity and intricacies. At FS Precision, we produce this pattern through injection molding. Injection molding provides a stable and repeatable pattern production process, contributing to a highly efficient titanium investment casting process line.
In addition to injection molding, FS Precision has the capability to CNC machine or 3D print wax patterns. This enables us to support the cost constraints for some of our customers’ low volume programs where tooling costs might not be economically viable.
Precision in Production
Our commitment to precision titanium products begins in the very first stage of the investment casting process, with wax pattern injection molding. The machines that are used to produce molds for this process are carefully machined, while the wax temperature and injection pressures are precisely controlled to ensure accuracy, precision, and repeatability. We also have the capability to 3D print or fully machine the wax patterns from wax billet, yielding typical tolerances of ± 0.001-0.002”.
The parameters in place to ensure consistent and precise wax patterns extend throughout the entire casting process at FS precision. Stringent process controls are employed to continually ensure that the ceramic molds – fashioned from the precise wax patterns – are properly pre-heated prior to titanium pouring. All of these controlled processes work in tandem to deliver consistent precision titanium products.
FS precision’s process can produce near-net castings with profile tolerances on the order ofo 0.010 to 0.015”. For many of our customers, this tolerance is typically sufficient for many of the complex and intricate designs required for our Customers’ applications.
Precision in Post Cast Processing
The basic near-net casting tolerances noted previously are not the ultimate level of precision offered by FS Precision Tech, however. We offer multiple post-processing options to further refine our casting dimensions into extremely high-precision titanium products.
The first post-process offered in-house is our Lockheed Martin approved chemical milling processes, used extensively in the production of titanium aerospace castings. The process involves selectively masking certain features on the component, followed by submerging in a chemical bath – a process sometimes referred to as “chemical etching.” This chemical process is used to remove the alpha layer that is created on component surfaces during castings, and can also be strategically optimized to address dimensional anomalies or slight surface features. You can learn more about many of the processes involved by reading our article and watching the video explaining the titanium casting process.
At FS Precision Tech, our chemical milling system removes approximately 0.025-0.030” per surface, paving the way for ideally dimensioned precision titanium products. We also offer the option of post-process finish-machining to our customers in need of the greatest level of final precision.
From before the molten titanium is poured to the final touches of post-processing, our commitment to quality control and process management is continually at work. We control all aspects of precision from wax molding, to preheating and cooling, to secondary operations; this combined with a comprehensive six sigma continuous improvement plan yields precision titanium products for nearly any application of titanium – without the high cost of fully machined components.
If you’d like to explore how we can assist you with your needs for titanium investment castings, please click on the button below and send us your project details. In most cases we can respond within 1-2 business days with an estimate of cost and lead time to assist you in your program development process. FS Precision Tech is different from all of the others in the industry, because we go out of our way early in your process to help you and your development team to create an optimum solution.