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Mould materials for high temperature casting

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Mould materials for high temperature casting

Postby Islacrusez » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:41 am

Anyone know how to approach casting with a material with a melting temp of ~600 degrees C? What can I make the mould from, how do I go about this, and what casting techniques can I use?

Getting to 600 degrees to melt the material shouldn't be difficult, though doing it efficiently and without setting the place on fire will be another matter... Tips on this are also much appreciated.
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Re: Mould materials for high temperature casting

Postby mangozac » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:38 am

You can get high temperature silicones but I'm pretty sure nothing that goes that high. I don't know of anything flexible that will allow that high a temperature. I assume traditionally steel or ceramic moulds would be used for that kind of thing.

You probably need to be enquiring with home foundry enthusiasts than Resin Addicts ;)
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Re: Mould materials for high temperature casting

Postby Islacrusez » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:11 am

Curses!

I was hoping to use aluminium instead of resin to reduce costs, by melting down aluminium cans from my friends' copious consumption of energy drinks and similar. I suppose a hard mould will do, but it does then create new constraints in the design, doesn't it?

I have had an idea on how to do it. blindhorizon has pointed me towards ninja magic... They do 3d printing in high-quality wax, and then investment casting into bronze. If I design my item in 3d, and then invert the design, have that printed instead and hey presto bronze moulds? There's a 300 degree difference in melting points, approximately (since both materials are alloys of unspecified mixes), so I should then be ok?

Only real problem will be the hilarity of designing it with fixed-mould constraints. But hey, if the professionals can do it... I'm so screwed xD
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Re: Mould materials for high temperature casting

Postby mangozac » Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:36 am

That is the most insane thing I've heard of in ages :P

Seriously man, just stick with resin. Way cheaper to set up, waaaay easier to do. Melting aluminium is no simple task and making moulds for stuff like that is serious business.
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Re: Mould materials for high temperature casting

Postby Islacrusez » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:30 am

mangozac wrote:That is the most insane thing I've heard of in ages :P


You'll get used to hearing things like that if you hang around me long enough ;)
Wait til you hear about that time I wanted to build a 1/10 scale Enterprise class carrier.


And I'll wait until I either get a 3-digit setup cost and a second 3-digit running cost for what I'm proposing, or a reasonable price to get moulding rubber and casting resin. The trial pack of oomoo (moulding rubber) costs £30, not including shipping if they even ship, because the nearest store is in London. It's about £60 in fuel if they don't ship the stuff. A casting starter pack from the same place costs £50 and that's with almost half the price knocked off.

For reference, £50 is about $75.

With resin costing a good amount and the mould deteriorating, that sorta cost could kill me. Mind you, a battleship can go for about £50 on ebay these days, so there might be profit to be made. Key word is might. I'm unemployed, so uncertainty is bad.

So sure, it could cost a few hundred quid to set up moulds for aluminium casting, but it's possible the moulds would have a longer life, and with a near infinite supply of aluminium, it might be the better investment.
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Re: Mould materials for high temperature casting

Postby mangozac » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:50 pm

I don't think you understand just how much is involved in creating tooling to cast the aluminium. I reckon the cost of silicone to make several moulds will pale in comparison!
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Re: Mould materials for high temperature casting

Postby Fleafa » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:39 pm

Where on earth do you live in the UK that has you thinking there's only one place to buy silicone and resin? Why Oomoo? Smooth-On products are horribly expensive in this country but there are many alternative suppliers out there. There is a slightly outdated comparison of products from UK suppliers on here which I put together a little while back.
It sounds like you haven't thoroughly researched resin casting before embarking on researching something which is, quite frankly, daft for the hobbyist or semi-pro. The cost of heating the aluminium will not be small. How do you even expect to achieve 600C? Silicone may seem expensive but this is offset by convenience, safety and the relatively small cost of resin per cast.
What are you planning on casting?

Casting, like many hobbies, is not something one can get into without an initial investment in materials and, if serious about making profit, equipment.
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Re: Mould materials for high temperature casting

Postby Pinselknecht » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:14 pm

Hey,

you need mold sand and make sand molds out of it! That temperature means to cast metals like aluminium, but that needs 900 °C.
your master is a wax master witch will burn away while casting!

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Your onlineshop for miniature hobby: http://www.pk-pro.de
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Re: Mould materials for high temperature casting

Postby Islacrusez » Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:10 am

I live in the south west, so any suggestions as to what I can use to make moulds and cast with is greatly appreciated. I've attempted to find other products, but since I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking for, it is difficult indeed.
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Re: Mould materials for high temperature casting

Postby Blindhorizon » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:41 am

These guys are the pro's i started where you are and im not much farthur advanced from where you are either, heed their experience.
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Re: Mould materials for high temperature casting

Postby Fleafa » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:38 am

Islacrusez wrote:I live in the south west.


I used CFS for a while. They are based in Cornwall and I remember their delivery prices being reasonable anyway.
Their FastCast Urethane resin is stinky and insanely fast. I used it for a while but you will want a decent mask. Their silicone is slow but cheap and does the job. Without a vacuum pump for degassing, the slow set of the silicone will work in your favour.
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Re: Mould materials for high temperature casting

Postby Islacrusez » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:12 am

Oooh, thank you kind sir! That makes the whole deal a whole lot more reasonable!
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Re: Mould materials for high temperature casting

Postby Deadmeat30 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:15 am

I had a quote for a metal mould for my plastic injection machine...... over £4000 for a 10cmx10cm mould.... yes you heard that right... Spend some time looking over the wealth of infomation on this board, and see if resin casting is for you.
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Re: Mould materials for high temperature casting

Postby Islacrusez » Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:06 am

Fleafa wrote:
Islacrusez wrote:I live in the south west.


I used CFS for a while. They are based in Cornwall and I remember their delivery prices being reasonable anyway.
Their FastCast Urethane resin is stinky and insanely fast. I used it for a while but you will want a decent mask. Their silicone is slow but cheap and does the job. Without a vacuum pump for degassing, the slow set of the silicone will work in your favour.



Right-o; I've gone and ordered some stuffs. They're closed for the holidays and back in January, so I have some time to rectify mistakes if I've buggered up royally.

This is what I've got:

DESCRIPTION QUANTITY PRICE
Fastcast Polyurethane Resin 2kg pack 1x £17.36
10% Christmas Offer -£1.74
AFH Aerosol 454gm tin 1x £11.38
10% Christmas Offer -£1.14
1.05kg Kit RTV18 Silicone 1x £17.85
10% Christmas Offer -£1.79
Subtotal £41.92
Shipping (3 Day Service) £7.35
VAT £9.85
Total £59.12

(Lifted directly from my receipt/invoice)

What I've neglected to purchase is a mask. How screwed am I?
Also, what's the difference between this resin (I believe tis the one you linked me to) and their General Purpose Resin? 2.5x as much for the same price? Also, is there anything else I should've included in my purchase to use with the stuff I've bought? £60 is about a week's money for me, so don't want to be making any mistakes at this point.

Thanks in advance
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Re: Mould materials for high temperature casting

Postby Fleafa » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:06 am

You'll want some gloves and a mask. Something to mix in and something to mix with. Plastic cups are cheap.
Their general purpose resin is polyester, not polyurethane. It takes longer to set, has an awkward mixing ratio, smells awful and is generally horrible to work with. It is also terrible to work with once cast.
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