Weight, design and complexity were determining factors in choosing investment casting as the method of manufacture for a sensor used in a forward looking infrared system (FLIR) in a military aircraft.
The part, manufactured by Uni-Cast, Londonderry, NH, is one of three winners in the Investment Casting Institute’s Casting contest conducted in conjunction with the l2th World Conference on Investment Casting. The 16″ x l6″ x l4″ component is cast in beryllium-free aluminum (F357). The electro-optics component was designed as an investment casting. The customer’s weight and design requirements dictated investment casting as the only process capable of producing the light-weight geometry at a reasonable price.
The combination of thin walls and complex geometry created manufacturing challenges in wax injection, wax assembly, straightening and inspection. These challenges resulted in adaptive and unique manufacturing techniques, which were used to successfully produce the casting.