What Is Lost Wax Casting?

What Is Lost Wax Casting?
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

There are numerous artistic methods around us. A lot of them have withstood the test of time. The neat part about this fact is that artists of today are bringing back these aesthetic approaches. They continue practicing these various art techniques. They do so to save the art forms and approaches from being lost in time. In today’s piece, we will tackle one such method: the process of lost wax casting. What is wax casting? How does it work? Is it worth it at all? We will answer these questions and learn a lot more. So you might want to stick around to learn more what is lost wax casting.

Lost-Wax Casting Fundamentals

Lost wax casting or cire perdue is a type of metal casting. It involves pouring molten metal into a mold. The mold is the result of a wax model. After finishing the mold, workers will then melt and drain the wax away. The process of lost wax casting has gone through several changes since it first came into existence more than a thousand years ago. But the entire idea remains the same. As casting bronze or other metal is not everyone's play, you should reach out to a professional.

Why Call It “Lost-Wax” Casting?

That is a simple question. Artisans and customers refer to it as such because of one reason. You will have to destroy or break the wax to complete the art piece. There are scenarios where workers might also get rid of the mold. That is why some individuals also call lost wax casting the lost mold technique.

The Lost-Wax Casting Steps

Here is a quick look at how the art technique works.

  1. The first step is to create a metal die cavity. It will be for the wax pattern later.
  2. The second phase is to prepare a heat-disposable wax pattern, along with a gating system. Workers do it by injecting wax into the metal die cavity.
  3. Workers will now make a pattern assembly. They attach these patterns to a wax runner bar. 
  4. The fourth step involves workers dipping the pattern assembly into a slurry mixture. 
  5. After dipping the assembly, workers will sprinkle it with fine silica sand.
  6. Next comes a self-supporting ceramic shell. Workers will take the item and form it around the sprinkled wax assembly.
  7. After the ceramic shell, workers will now take the assembly and heat it in an oven. This part of the process is where the wax melts away from the entire piece.
  8. After the initial wax removal, the piece undergoes another heating session. Workers take this measure to strengthen the piece and to eliminate the remaining particles of wax.
  9. Next, workers will pour molten metal into the mold while it is still hot. They obtain casting clusters afterward.

The Advantages Of Lost-Wax Casting

Lost-wax casting has a ton of advantages. Check them out below:

  • Lost-wax casting can utilize any material that can burn, melt, or evaporate to leave a mold cavity.
  • The process allows the faithful replication of the original wax.
  • There are fewer issues with lost wax casting.
  • The method also allows casting shaping that might not be available via other means.

Is It Worth It At All?

If you have a custom design for a jewelry piece, then that is a yes. There are a ton of other methods out there. But perhaps, the lost wax casting is the ideal artistic technique to bring your idea into reality. In addition, you can use lost wax casting for products other than jewelry. The process is also ideal for casting small construction parts and textile pieces.

What Kind of Place Deals with Lost-Wax Casting?

Say hello to lost-wax casting foundries. A foundry is an infrastructure where casting and other metal works happen. There are many services you can find in your local casting foundry. Such services include the following:

  • Bronze casting
  • Waxing
  • Mold creation
  • Custom casting
  • Metal art repair
  • Lost-wax casting
  • Crating and packaging
  • And the list goes on

It will not hurt to ask around if your city or town has a local foundry. You can also take your search online. Doing so will bring you a ton of advantages. In addition, you will not have any issues looking for a foundry near you. Some sites and platforms tell you so.

Additional Reading

The internet will be your best friend if you want to answer the question: what is lost-wax casting? Several blogs, sites, podcasts, and other media are all available for your perusal. All it takes is for you to take a look at one of them, and you can start your casting journey from there onwards. So why not give it a try today?