Investment casting sector begins switch from solvents

The investment casting industry was in the forefront last year in objecting to the new system of local authority air pollution control (ENDS Report 201, pp 17-20). But several foundries in the sector have now successfully completed a switch to water-based ceramic castings, enabling them to avoid installing expensive emission abatement equipment.

The investment casting process uses a ceramic mould formed on a wax or polystyrene pattern. The pattern is melted or burned out, and the mould is then filled with molten metal. The industry makes a wide range of precision products such as gas turbine blades, pump casings, valves and machine parts.

The trade association BICTA is still unhappy about the requirements of the new pollution control regime. The main bones of contention are the e

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