Alloys in investment casting ▷ FEINGUSS BLANK
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Alloys by FEINGUSS BLANK design-line

Alloys in investment casting

Properties and characteristics of materials in the investment casting process

Metallic materials which are mixed and melted from various components are called alloys. Depending on the main component, a distinction is made, for example, between iron alloys, aluminum alloys, nickel alloys or copper alloys. Properties and characteristics can be steered specifically through the individual components.

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Alloys at one glance

With our production processes we are able to cast over 200 different alloys for your casting parts.

Iron alloys:

The best known and also most relevant alloys are iron alloys. Here the iron share predominates. This group can be subdivided in steel (less than 2% carbon content) and cast iron (more than 2% carbon content). In investment casting mainly steels are cast. These are made of iron with most varied alloy elements such as chrome, nickel, carbon, silicon etc.. Depending on the share of the composition different characteristics result for the material.


As the designation already suggests, these are alloys with special properties. These alloys have increased strength even in extreme temperature ranges, which is why they are used at high operating temperatures of up to 1050 °C, depending on the alloy. The often nickel-based superalloys are melted and cast under vacuum.

Aluminum alloys:

These alloys are used for lightweight, corrosion-resistant and complex components.

Copper alloys:

Copper alloys are especially suitable in the electronics sector since copper has a high electrical conductivity. Among the copper alloys are bronze (consisting of copper and tin) and brass (consisting of copper and zinc).

Survey of alloying elements in the foundry

Unalloyed steel consists of iron, carbon, silicon, manganese, phosphor and sulfur elements. Low-alloy steel has no alloying element with an average content of more than 5% mass. High-alloy steel, on the other hand, records at least one alloying element with an average content of 5% mass or more. Different alloying elements have different effects on the properties of the casting. In the following we present the different alloying elements and their effects.

  • Aluminium (Al)

    Aluminum is a light metal of the non-ferrous metals with a density of approx. 2.7 g/cm³. Compared to cast iron, the aluminum casting can save up to approx. 65% weight in the same constructed geometry. The electrical conductivity of 235 W/mK is almost three times higher than that of conventional steel. In the alloy this increases the scaling resistance as well as the rust resistance of the casting. In addition, aluminum has a calming effect as a deoxidant in the casting process. In combination with nitrogen a nitriding steel is produced that has a high hardness. The melting point of pure aluminum is 660 °C.

  • Lead (Pb)

    Lead is a soft non-ferrous heavy metal. It is easily deformable, ductile, has a low melting point and is corrosion resistant. The density is approx. 11.3 g/cm³, the melting point is reached at 327.5 °C.

  • Chrome (Cr)

    Chrome is both tarnish and corrosion resistant and has a high toughness. As an alloy addition, the yield strength, the tensile strength, the wear resistance as well as the temperability and hardenability increase. To qualify as stainless steel, the alloy must contain at least 10.5% chrome mass. Chrome has a density of approx. 8.05 g/cm³. The melting temperature is 1907 °C.

  • Iron (Fe)

    Iron is a ferromagnetic material with a density of approx. 7.87 g/cm³ and a melting point of 1536 °C. The properties of iron are excellent strength and toughness, therefore it is often used as a base material. As an alloy component it also transmits the magnetic property. Steel is probably the most common form of alloy with iron, whereby the carbon content must be less than 2%.

  • Copper (Cu)

    Copper is a soft heavy metal of the non-ferrous metals with high conductivity. In unalloyed steels it improves weather resistance and strength. As an alloy component it improves corrosion resistance
    and sliding properties.
    The density is indicated with approx. 8.96 g/cm³. Copper components increase the tensile strength, yield strength and hardenability. The melting point is reached at 1084 °C.

  • Cobalt (Co)

    This heavy metal possesses ferromagnetic properties and is both magnetic and electrically conductive. Through this the tempering bittleness and high-temperature strength are improved in the alloys. The remanence (magnetism) of the product is also increased. The addition of the material reduces the growth of the grain. The melting temperature is 1495 °C. The density is approx. 8.9 g/cm³.

  • Carbon (C)

    Carbon is the most important alloying element in the field of steels. This increases the strength as well as the hardness and thus reduces the deformability. Carbon is an essential austenite former. The corrosive property can be bound by niobium. The melting temperature is 3836 °C, with a density of about 3.5 g/cm³.

  • Magnesium (Mg)

    The density of magnesium is approx. 1.7 g/cm³. The melting point is 650 °C. Compared to cast iron, magnesium casting can achieve up to approx. 75% weight savings in the same constructed geometry. It has a deoxidising and desulfurising effect as well as a damping effect with regard to the noise emission of the component.

  • Manganese (Mn)

    Manganese improves the weldability, the wear values and the strength and has a ferrite-stabilising effect in high-alloy steel. Manganese lowers the critical cooling rate. This increases the hardenability. The addition of the material decreases the conductivity. The density of manganese is approx. 7.4 g/cm³. The melting temperature is 1246 °C.

  • Molybdenum (Mo)

    Molybdenum increases acid resistance, has a hardening effect, reduces temper embrittlement and increases weldability and rust resistance. The melting point is reached at 2623 °C. Molybdenum has a density of approx. 10.2 g/cm³. Due to the property of forming carbides, the tempering resistance as well as the wear resistance is increased.

  • Nickel (Ni)

    Nickel is a hard heavy metal, ferromagnetic and belongs to the non-ferrous metals. The density is approx. 8.9 g/cm³. As an alloying component it improves conductivity, corrosion resistance, tensile strength and toughness properties. It increases hardness, ductility and toughness – which corresponds to the reduction of brittleness. Thermal expansion can also be reduced. The melting point is reached at 1455 °C.

  • Niobium (Nb)

    Niobium increases the weldability. The density is 8.55 g/cm³ and the melting point is 2477 °C. As an alloying element it increases toughness and strength, yield strength as well as grain refinement and temperature resistance. There is a high reactivity with carbon and nitrogen. This results in the formation of carbides, nitrides and carbon nitrides. Niobium is a weak oxide former and is used, for example, as an additive in stainless steels.

  • Phosphor (P)

    Phosphor can increase tensile strength, corrosion resistance, heat resistance and yield strength in iron alloys. It makes the melt thinner. The melting point is reached at 44.2 °C. The density is approx. 1.8 g/cm³. Hardenability and through hardening and tempering are positively influenced.

  • Silicon (Si)

    Silicon is the most important alloying element in steels after carbon. The melting point of this material is reached at 1410 °C. It improves tensile strength, scaling resistance, yield strength, hardenability and temperability, resistance as well as (wear) strength, conductivity, corrosion resistance and has a deoxidising effect due to its oxygen affinity. The density is approx. 2.3 g/cm³.

  • Nitrogen (N)

    The austenitic effect of nitrogen increases strength and corrosion resistance. Furthermore, this element can increase the heat resistance, non-magnetisability, strength and hardness.

  • Titanium (Ti)

    Titanium is classified as a light metal among the non-ferrous metals. This material has a low density and at the same time very high strength and heat resistance. Many processing methods quickly reach their limits with this material - but not our investment casting processes. As an alloy component it confers higher toughness, grain refinement, ductility, weight reduction and strength as well as corrosion resistance. Therefore it offers a wide range of applications from aerospace and turbocharger technology to medical technology and the chemical industry. In addition, titanium is a strong deoxidising agent, carbide former and sulfur binder. The density of titanium is approx. 4.5 g/cm³. The melting point is 1600 °C.

  • Vanadium (V)

    This material increases notch impact strength, tensile strength, yield strength, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, weldability, hardenability, temperability and nitriding. The use of this raw material makes the cast structure fine-grained and the steel less sensitive to overheating. The density is approx. 6.12 g/cm³ and the melting temperature is 1910 °C.

  • Tungsten (W)

    Tungsten is a superconductor. This increases the yield strength, tensile strength, wear resistance, hardenability as well as the temperability and nitriding. Tungsten has a density of approx. 19.3 g/cm³. The melting point is 3422 °C.

  • Tin (Sn)

    Tin is a soft heavy metal of the non-ferrous metals with high conductivity. It has a density of about 7.3 g/cm³ and a melting point of 231 °C.

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