Since different facts directly affect the investment casting cost, the best method to estimate investment casting cost is to outline all factors that will impact your total cost.
The impaction of these various facts for each case will be different. Having better knowledge about them is essential for you to consider your castings when making your budget. So, take a look below at the factors that can influence the total investment casting cost of the process.
Investment casting is the most using method for the automotive, firearms industries, and railway. Here we can see unique costs in each metal due to various techniques, methods, and quality requirements.
Cost for the materials – Metals
Considering the casting process, every time, the amount of the material is larger than the final size of the product. That means we initially have to bear a considerable investment in casting costs to get a final quality product.
The designing engineers decide the selection of metal according to the end use of the casting. Apart from that, factors such as availability, properties, and the price will influence the choice of materials. The starting cost of the metal plays a significant role in the final estimation for total production. According to the world economy and the availability, the total investment casting cost of the same alloy or metal will differ. In addition to that, the transport cost and other taxes can influence the price of materials. And finally, the lost wax casting cost.
Some metals are costlier than others metals. As an example, Titanium is more expensive than Aluminium. Using the Metal alloy calculator, you will quickly get a clear idea about the type of metal needed for the project.
Working with a metal sourcing consultant to create an effective plan for future projects also will be effective in the investment casting cost estimation. Concerning the prices of metals, those are estimated according to the market, demand, and supply. Though there are thousands of steel types, we can categorize steel into four groups considering the financial value.
Take steel as an example
The steel cost will also be different based on the region, demand, supply, time of the year, and industrial trend. Carbon Steel usually costs lower than stainless steel. But the cost of alloy Steel will differ according to the metal type, and the demand as alloy steels play a significant role in the construction industry.
When we consider Tool Steel, the most common type of tool steel is Carbon steel. Here the investment casting cost would vary depending on the grade and size requirements.
When using a tool steel casting project, your foundry can support you choose the correct steel to reach your focused specifications.
When estimating investment casting cost, we can consider two main factors.
· Cost of Direct Materials: The cost estimation is made on materials like cast metal or alloy that shows in the product.
· Cost of Indirect Materials: This consists of dispensable cores, molding sand, and feeding aids.
Investment casting cost with the design complexity
The complexity of the design also mainly affects the investment casting cost. Complex structures may need some additional procedures and treatments. That will also can further add to the price of the part.
The quantity of shell layers is also caused to the investment casting cost. The more complex the design you want in your project, the more layers will be needed, which will be more expensive.
Estimation of Labor Cost for the Investment casting cost
Any investment casting process should add the Labor cost estimation when calculating the total investment casting cost. The average wage of a foundry worker also has a massive impact on lost wax casting cost estimation.
Can we cut down on the labor cost? Considering the time calculations, which are needed for the mold building process, labor is essential for pouring the metal. And also, it’s important the hours required to remove the part from the mould then and clean it. Therefore we can’t remove the labor cost when making the investment casting cost.
Estimation of Setup Cost
The setup cost per part for casting is higher when making cast parts in fewer volumes (such as prototypes) than substantial volume orders. With increased volumes, the cost scales accordingly and the per part costs will reduce.
Estimation of Tooling Cost
The tooling cost for the investment casting can be estimated mainly according to the tooling material needed. The procedure by which it is made, and the part material being cut.
The cost is determined by the material and manufacturing of the tooling. The material is chosen depending upon the tool life needed, which is different from the quantity of the order.
When all of these variables are accounted for, you will get an accurate estimate of your project. Getting business decisions based on accurate estimates will be necessary for your bottom line.
The cost associated with the Casting output
The percentage of the casting weight for the actual weight of the precision casting is known as the casting yield. The lower the casting yield, the higher the investment casting cost.
The connection between the price of the front section and the yield rate is the cost per kilogram of the front part of the casting = the cost of the previous section of the casting weight per kilogram.
The budget we have to spend for the front section of each kilogram of casting is inversely proportional to the yield. Less the product, the effect would be considerable. The price of pouring the front unit of each kilogram of molten steel is 6 yuan. With these calculations, we can estimate the investment casting cost per Kg.
If there is a 45% yield, the lost wax casting cost for the front section of each kilogram of precision casting is 13.33 yuan. If there is a 30% production rate, the front part of the casting would be 20 yuan/kg. For the 60% production rate, the front part of precision casting would be 10 yuan/kg. It is less than 3.3 yuan from the average level. Processing amounts are deducted by 18.5%. For 304 stainless steel precision casting, the total cost is reduced by about 7%.
When the yield is 45%, the cost per kilogram of precision casting increases by 0.3 yuan for every one percentage point reduction. When the yield is 30%, for every one percentage point reduction, the cost of the front section per kilogram of precision casting is increased by about 0.67 yuan.
This shows that the impact of the yield on costs is very considerable.
The impact of the number of shell layers
The investment casting shape is different from structure to structure. There should have more shell layers for complex designs. Finally, it will cost more. Massive castings need three or more layers.
The cost per kg of precision cast shell is about 5.9 yuan. The material costs accounted for 67.8%, fuel and power accounted for 23.9%, and wages 13.3%. At the price of 4 yuan/kg of shell material.
The consumption of zirconium sand and zirconium powder accounts for about 63%, accounting for 42.7% of the total cost of shell making. The cost of silica sol is about 12.2% of the price of the shell.
However, zirconium sand zirconium powder is only used for the top layer. This is how we estimate the investment casting price per kg. Since the cost can differ according to the various factors, it’s wise to calculate considering all the facts separately when estimating the investment casting price per kg.