investment casting

investment casting

Precision casting for forming metal shapes with minutely precise details. Casting bronze or precious metals typically involves several steps, including forming a mold around the sculptured form; detaching the mold (in two or more sections); coating its inside with wax; forming a second mold, of heat-resisting clay, around the wax shell, and filling the interior with a clay core; baking the assembly (hardening the clay and melting the wax, which escapes through openings in the outer mold); pouring molten bronze into the space vacated by the wax; and breaking the mold to expose the cast form. In modern foundries, plastics, or occasionally frozen mercury, are used instead of wax. See also lost-wax casting, die casting.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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