Quartz-based technology is normally used with a hybrid binder based on colloidal silica. All the technological materials (wax, ceramics, chemicals, etc.) are imported from dedicated companies from UK, Germany and USA.
Due to the considerable investment in the last couple of years all the technological parameters are closely controlled using air conditioned shelling room and special drying equipment as well as controlled firing of the shells and preheating for casting. Induction furnaces are used for melting.
Due to the flexibility of the process zirconia and aluminum silicate (mullite) may also be used for shelling, when a special request appears.
Cleaning, grit blasting, sand blasting, glass blasting as well as barrel or vibratory finishing is applied.
The pattern shop has vertical wax presses, with vertical injection nozzle. Wax temperature, injection pressure, timing etc. are computer controlled. As the profile of the foundry was considering individual and short batch production the positioning of the dies, their manipulation is manual with occasional automation on specific tooling. This system was adopted because of the need for high flexibility requested by the niche-market. Assembling the trees is also manual, with highly skilled operators.
Preformed ceramic cores are also manufactured in house.
The whole technological line is dimensioned for casting 140-200 shells a day with an average weight of 8kg (in steel). A statistic of the last 5 years shows an average production of 5000-6000 kg/month with an average weight of 80 g (0.080 kg)/piece.
Plasmaterm has its own tooling capacity and a technical department for tooling design. The CAD systems we currently use include special software.
Mostly aluminum tool bodies are used in combination of steel inserts. Rapid prototyping is also available.
Castings may be heat treated according to standard specifications or on request. Normalizing, annealing, quenching and tempering etc. are covered. A specialty of the Company is its facility for plasma nitriding/nitrocarburizing of engineering components.
Machining of castings:
When complete machining of castings is requested, this may be also covered in house along with assembly work too.
Iron based alloys are processed as follows: stainless steels (grades: 1.4301, 1.4401, 1.4404, 1.4307 etc) heat resisting steels (1.4848), tool steels (1.2080, 1.2378, 1.2344 etc), structural steels –plain carbon and low alloyed grades. (1.7131 and 1.7225 very frequently). Gray cast iron and ductile iron may also be cast. Just a few examples were cited but the range is very large according to the request of the customer.