Investment Casting vs. Sand Casting

Jan 13, 2015

Many parts can be made utilizing multiple casting processes, including both investment casting and sand casting. Consider these characteristics of each process when deciding which is best for a specific application:

Investment Casting

  • Investment casting can achieve very thin walled parts with complex shapes.
  • Very accurate, with precise dimensional casting – near-net-shape.
  • Excellent surface finishes and precise details save machining and finishing.
  • Ferrous and nonferrous metals, as well as duplex alloys, can be used.
  • Investment casting can be quite economical over repeat runs.

Sand Casting

  • Sand casting can be lower cost particularly in shorter runs.
  • It can accommodate large castings.
  • Sand casting can also utilize both ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
  • The cost for post-casting tooling can be lower.

A trade-off for the sometimes lower cost of sand casting is overall lower quality, less accuracy and rougher surface finishes. The right choice depends on your specific needs.