Lost Foam Casting

Lost Foam Casting:

A new approach that offers more freedom

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.

  • We excel in Lost Foam Casting engineering solutions

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.

  • First class Lost Foam Casting craftsmanship

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.

Learn more about Lost Foam Casting

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.

Check out our video to learn more about the Lost Foam Casting process:

Pros and cons of Lost Foam Casting:

Pros

  • Able to produce large and complex castings in one piece
  • No need to use additional cores for hollow parts
  • High dimensional accuracy
  • Weight of casting parts can be reduced
  • Excellent as-cast surface finish
  • No draft required
  • No parting lines, no flash is formed
  • Reduced machining and cleaning

Cons

  • Relatively higher manufacturing cost due to specialised equipment, tooling, and labour
  • Costs for pattern production can be high for low volume production, especially when a die is used to create the foam pattern
  • Foam patterns are easily damaged or distorted

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).

Excellent surface finish

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

RMS Range

Die Casting

20 – 120

Investment Casting

60 – 200

Lost Foam Casting

60 – 250

Permanent Mold Casting

120 – 300

Shell Mold Casting

120 – 300

Sand Casting

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.

Materials

Lost foam casting can be used with all types of ferrous and non-ferrous materials, including:

  • Aluminum alloys
  • Nickel Alloys
  • Steels
  • Cast Irons
  • Copper alloys (less common)
  • Stainless Steels (less common)

Tolerances

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. 

Our Products

Lost foam cast pump pedestal
Lost foam cast bracket
Lost foam slurry pump housing

Weigh your options in the balance

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.

We are always ready to help with your latest project.

Contact our Customer Service and let us know how we can help to catapult your next project to success.

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Contact us

Phone nos.:
    Asia Pacific, South America, Africa and rest of the world (other than Australia):
   +86 20 8388 7080
   Australia: +61 800 765 630
   UK: +44 (0)808 123 0080
   USA/Canada:  + 1 (800) 967 2110

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