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Centrifugal vs vacuum casting


#1

Here’s another question about lost wax casting (which I’m just
getting into): is centrifugal casting a superior and/or more
economical method than vacuum casting for small one-of-kind pieces
(or prototypes)?

I read that you might as well do vacuum casting because in any case
you need to buy an investing table and bell jar (at a minimum) for
debubblizing; so you may as well use it for casting as well and save
the cost of a centrifugal caster. However, Kerr centrifugal casters
are readily available on eBay, often for less than $100. Many
dentists seem to get along fine debubblizing with an inexpensive
vibrator. Or you can buy a neat little rubber investment mixing
device with a cover that has a mixing paddle operated by a hand crank
and an inlet in the top for a line to a vacuum pump (which could be
very small given the size of the container). These devices go new for
a little over $100 and small vacuum pumps are readily available from
eBay. The application would be making a sterling silver prototype
(or one-off piece) instead of production casting.

Any comments on this alternative to conventional vacuum casting
(which utilizes a $250 table and bell jar)?

Russell Trenholme


#2

Hello Russell; where did you see the investment mixer for vacuum?
Kerr?


#3
where did you see the investment mixer for vacuum? Kerr? 

They are made by Keystone in New Jersey. They have been largely
displaced I think by motorized mixer/vacuum devices. However, here’s
a link:

http://www.dentallabservices.com/index3.htm They’re shown at the
bottom of the page. I saw one on eBay grouped with a Kerr Centrifugal
caster and a vibrator. I think they are normally held on the vibrator
while the stirring is going on. My dentist says he just uses the
vibrator and hand mixes without a vacuum and has no problems! But
these bowls look like a good idea for small molds and certainly
wouldn’t require a very powerful vacuum pump.

Russell