FAQ & Industry References

Ceramic mold castings, also known as the Shaw process, provide an excellent way to see a part prototype without the higher expense and longer lead time accrued by investment casting. Whereas investment castings is limited to 100 pounds, Bimac can do 300 pounds and above using the ceramic mold process. With ceramic mold castings, patterns can be made of various materials such as plaster, wood or metal and can be reused, unlike the expendable wax or plastic.

The following chart shows the differences between the two casting processes depending on the casting requirements:

Ceramic Mold Process
Compared with Investment Casting
Casting Requirements Investment Casting Ceramic Mold Casting
Surface smoothness 80- 125 microinch 100-125 microinch
Intricacy Excellent Excellent, approaching but not equal to investment castings
Thinness of metal sections Excellent Excellent
Tolerances Excellent Good to excellent
Machining costs Minimum machining required Machining greatly reduced, sometimes but not always eliminated
Lead time Longest lead time Very short lead time
Adaptability to various sizes Ounces to 100 lb. Limited to 300 lb.
Adaptability to various metals and alloys No limitations No limitations

If the end product can be produced by either processes or a combination of the two, Bimac’s experts will recommend a method based on the quantity needed and your timeline.

Generally, six to ten weeks is necessary for tooling and sample casting, and six to eight weeks is required for production. The timeframe for any project will depend on the size, weight, complexity, and quantity of the parts that need to be produced. Relatively speaking, the investment casting process requires the longest lead time compared to ceramic mold casting. Bimac also offers in-house rapid prototyping for urgent projects in smaller quantities. Contact our Bimac experts for an accurate timeline assessment.

The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent, non-governmental membership organization and the world's largest developer of voluntary International Standards. ISO certification helps to make the development, manufacturing and distribution of products and services safer, cleaner, and more efficient. ISO 9001:2015 requirements are applicable to all types and sizes of organizations. Companies that are ISO-certified have demonstrated their ability to provide products that meet all applicable customer, statutory, and regulatory requirements. Companies must also have in place processes that improve existing systems.

Nondestructive testing (NDT) is used to test and evaluate a product’s structural integrity without damaging the part. NDT is used to ensure product reliability, control manufacturing processes, and maintain a consistent level of quality. Bimac’s in-house, non-destructive testing utilizes radiography (X-rays), penetrant solutions, and magnetic particle inspection to reveal defects that might compromise the quality of a part.

Yes. Bimac’s investment castings facility works with a diverse portfolio of castings. We pour most ferrous alloys such as carbon steel, alloy steel, chromium-nickel stainless steel, chromium stainless steel, nickel-based alloys, and cobalt-based alloys. Bimac also pours most brass and bronze alloys. Our products include proprietary, wear-resistant alloys. Contact us for more information about our alloys.

Yes, Bimac has clients all around the nation. Please contact us to tell us more about your project.

Yes, Bimac has an extensive portfolio across many industries. Please contact us to tell us more about your project.

Since 1959, Bimac has been one of the leading investment casting providers in the Midwest. View this document for a list of key steps in the investment casting process. Please contact us for more information.

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