Omnidex has been working with some of the best Lost Foam Casting foundries to produce exceptional Lost Foam Casting products for many years. We are very familiar with the challenges in this type of casting and we take extreme care in every step to ensure the best result.
Our engineers have extensive experience in designing Lost Foam Casting patterns, and we have an arsenal of technology, including computer simulations, advanced foam materials and automated machines to help you achieve the best results possible. We are very confident in delivering high quality products that are up to, or even exceed your expectations.
Lost foam casting is a delicate process. Patterns made from foam can easily be damaged or distorted, therefore all foam patterns and molds must be handled with care. In the pouring stage, the molten metal must reach temperatures of above 1 000°F in order to fully ‘dissolve’ the foam pattern and produce a complete casting piece. We will make sure only the right amount of molten metal is poured into the molds and the castings are thoroughly cooled in a controlled environment before the mold can be broken.
Invented in 1964 by M.C. Flemming, Lost Foam Casting is characterized by the use of polystyrene foam patterns, which would be vaporized by the molten metal poured into the molds. Though the use of foam patterns in casting was not a new idea at that time, M.C. Flemming did pioneer the modern Lost Foam Casting method, which uses polystyrene beads to form the pattern and unbonded sand to make the mold.
Lost Foam Casting shares many of the advantages with lost wax investment casting, but it is generally more economical than the later. Lost foam casting involves fewer steps and uses cheaper materials. Foam is also easier to shape (can be glued and carved), which further aids the freedom of design. All these features help keep waste levels down and minimize per-unit production cost (though still more expensive than some other conventional casting processes). Lost Foam Casting is ideal for high quality single casting, small volume production or particularly complex and large parts (from 0.5 kg up to 10 tons).
In the Lost Foam Casting process, a permeable refractory coating is applied around the smooth foam pattern, resulting in a smooth surface finish in the range of 60-250 RMS (RMS is a measure of surface roughness, the lower the number, the smoother the finish). Below you may find the as-cast surface finishes RMS range of popular casting processes:
Metal Casting Process
20 – 120
60 – 200
Lost Foam Casting
60 – 250
Permanent Mold Casting
120 – 300
Shell Mold Casting
120 – 300
250 – 600
Please note that these numbers are only the general standard in the industry. Our casting solutions can often achieve the better end or even surpass these numbers.
Lost foam casting can be used with all types of ferrous and non-ferrous materials, including:
In general, a linear casting tolerance standard of ±0.005 in/in can be achieved in the process, but this is also influenced by the material, size, geometry and complexity of the part.
For your reference, below you may find the tolerances of lost foam casting alloys:
Lost foam casting may be more expensive than other conventional casting processes, but the numerous benefits it provides may still outweigh the cost factor. Lost Foam Casting parts, with critical applications, can be seen in the automotive, marine and aerospace industries, as well as in construction projects. If you are looking for a straightforward casting process that can produce complex parts with tight tolerances and excellent surface finishes, Lost Foam Casting is a process you definitely should not overlook.
Want to know if Lost Foam Casting is the right manufacturing process for your next project? Contact our sales department to learn more about our solutions! You can also check out other casting processes on our website.
Contact our Customer Service and let us know how we can help to catapult your next project to success.
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