Investment Casting

Investment Casting (also known as Lost Wax Casting) is a precision “near net shape casting methodology. The accuracy and definition of complex shapes achieved by the process significantly reduces the number of production steps e.g. fabrication and machining resulting in a high-quality component at reduced cast. The process can be used over wide range of metal types including Stainless Steel, Medium Alloy Steels, Carbon Steels, Brass and Bronze, Aluminium, Tool Steels and Super alloys such as Cobalt and Nickel based alloys.

Malabou supply castings ranging from a few grammes (approx. 1/2 oz.) in weight to about 65kg (145 lb).

A precision casting process (also known as lost wax casting) that can be used over the widest range of metal types including;

  • Plain Carbon Steel
  • Low Alloy Steel
  • Stainless Steel
  • Cobalt Alloys
  • Nickel Base Alloys
  • Tool Steels
  • Brass
  • Bronze
  • Aluminium

The process produces highly detailed components, which dramatically reduce the need for expensive post casting processes e.g. machining and fabrication.

The advantages of investment casting process include:

  • Excellent surface finish
  • High dimensional accuracy
  • Complex, detailed and intricate parts can be cast
  • Wide range of metals can be cast
  • No flash or parting lines
  • Elimination or reduction of downstream operations such as machining significantly reducing total cost.

Malabou supply castings ranging from a few grams (about 0.1 oz.) in weight to about 65Kg (140 lb).

IC Tooling Design and manufacture

Malabou will design manufacture Investment Casting tooling (known as Dies) from customer supplied drawings and sold Models. The dies are used to form the wax patterns that will form the mould cavity to cast into. Our tooling is CNC machined from Aluminium, give excellent surface finish, and tool life.

Metal Casting Simulation Magma5

MAGMA5 is designed to predict total metal casting quality by simulating mould filling, solidification and cooling. Residual stresses and distortion, as well as microstructure formation and property distributions can be assessed in all casting manufacturing processes. Simulations can be used in a virtual test plan to pursue different quality and cost objectives simultaneously.

Heat Treatment

General Heat Treatment
We provide a full range of general heat treating including; stress relieving, normalising, homogenisation, annealing, harden and temper, precipitation hardening, etc.
Vacuum Furnace
Heat treating under a vacuum maintains the surface finish of components during treatment.
Vacuum heat treating is used for bright hardening and tempering, bright annealing, solution annealing of stainless steel, and vacuum brazing. We use a nitrogen gas quench into the vacuum furnace if required.
Induction hardening
Induction hardening is a process where the component is heated by electromagnetic induction. A high frequency alternating current is passed through a coil that is near the area to be heated. The heated area is then quickly quenched using water spray. The heating and quenching is very rapid and localised.
A surface hardening treatment in which carbon is diffused into the surface of a low carbon/low alloy steel at high temperature (approx. 900ᵒC). After quenching the result is a component with high hardness on the surface, but the core remains tough.
Nitriding is a surface hardening treatment that introduces nitrogen into the surface of the steel at a relatively low temperature (approx. 520ᵒC). At this temperature, the nitrogen reacts with alloying elements in the steel and forms a hard compound known as a ‘nitride’. The creates an extremely hard surface. Because of the low processing temperatures and the absence of quenching, Nitriding is a very low distortion process in comparison to conventional heat treatment.
FNC – Ferritic NitroCarburising
A case hardening that diffuses nitrogen and carbon into the iron or steel component. This is done at a relatively low temperature 525 to 625°C (977 to 1157°F). At this temperature iron/steel are still in a Ferritic Phase, which is advantageous compared to other case hardening processes that occur in the Austenite Phase. The process is used to improve three main surface integrity aspects including;

  • scuffing resistance,
  • fatigue properties, and
  • corrosion resistance.

Like Nitriding it has the added advantage of inducing negligible distortion during the hardening process.


Investment casting accuracy and ability to deliver near net shape does negate the need for machining in many instances. We however provide comprehensive machining capability if required by the client to deliver components ready for installation.
We offer a full range of machining.

  • Milling
  • Turning
  • Thread Rolling
  • Gear cutting
  • Grinding
  • Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM)

Surface Finishing and Coatings

We offer a comprehensive range of surface coating and surface engineering technologies. Including

  • Mechanical finishes
    • Shot Blasting
    • San Blasting
    • Bead Blasting
    • Polishing
  • Chemical conversion Coatings
    • Phosphating
    • Black Oxide
  • Pickling and Passivating,
  • Plating
    • Nickle, Chromium, Zinc
  • Painting, Powder coating
  • Mil Spec Coatings
  • Physical Chemistry
    • Nitriding
    • Carburising
    • NitroCarburising

Geometric Validation – CMM

Along with normal metrology equipment we offer full CMM reporting. We utilise the advanced PC-DMIS software to directly import the CAD model and create customised inspection reports.

Mechanical Testing-Tensile, Impact, Compression, Bend,

Computerise Universal testing making 40 tonne load capacity. Impact testing at ambient and -sub zero temperatures.

Hardness Testing

  • Rockwell
  • Vickers
  • Brinell

Non-destructive Testing NDT

  • Radiographs
  • Ultrasonic
  • Die Penetrant
  • Magnetic Particle

Metallographic Examination and reporting

  • Macro examination
  • Micro Structure
  • Micro Hardness
  • Case Depth
  • Decarburisations
  • Grain Size
  • Failure Analysis

Metal Chemistry

Fully capability Chemical Analysis using spectrometer capable of 27 elements allowing testing of Ferrous, Copper base and Aluminium Alloys.
Full range of ASTM Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) for calibration of instrument.

Full Certification, Verification and Traceability

Full suite of testing and traceability available, from routing process testing to individual component tracking and laser engraving.

Fitting and Assembly of Components and subassemblies.

Fitting, functionality testing, OEM packaging, SKU codes we will ship it however you want it, ready to integrate into your production on receipt.

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