A member of AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group, N.V.

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Vacuum Investment Casting (VIM-IC)

Vacuum Induction Melting and Casting Furnaces with Ceramic Crucibles

The majority of vacuum investment castings like turbine blades and vanes for the aircraft and industrial gas turbine industries are made from Ni-base superalloys and are produced in a vacuum induction melting and precision casting furnace. In vacuum precision casting furnaces, a master alloy composition is inductively melted and then cast into an investment mold. The solidification structure of the casting can be adjusted to be equiaxed (E) (uncontrolled, from outside to inside) or, through the use of an additional mold heater, directionally solidified (DS) or single crystal (SC).

The DS/SC solidified components have increased strength at high temperatures close to the melting temperature of the alloys.

in large view

in large view

1. E/DS/SC-structured turbine blades, 2. Combined E/DS furnace (vertical design), 3. Vacuum precision casting furnace for the production of large equiaxial solidified castings (horizontal design)

General System Design
ALD’s furnace concepts can be tailormade to fit every customer’s needs. ALD’s competence includes tilt pour as well as crucible versions with bottom-pouring techniques, static and centrifugal casting techniques are applied.

Depending on the required solidification structure and the size of the components, ALD offers vertical and horizontal furnace designs. For casting capacities up to approx. 20 liters/150 kg and mold sizes up to a diameter and height of approx. 800 mm the vertical furnace design is the most cost-effective solution.

For higher casting weights and larger molds, the pouring geometry and the handling of the molds become more complex and require alternative furnace concepts.

Here the horizontal furnace design, with the mold loading station outside the furnace, allows easy loading of large and heavy molds. 2-axial motion systems for either the mold or the induction coil enable centric pouring into the pour cup at minimized metal drop heights.

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