How Humans Have Used Lost Wax Casting Process

Credit: Jessa and Mark Anderson, FlickrCC

The Bronze age began in 3200 BC and it ensued advancements in human technology and innovation. Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. It was malleable and ductile so humans could mold it into any shape they wanted. 

The lost wax casting process was one such process that developed in ancient Indus Valley Civilization, in South Asia. The use of this process was widespread in the past up until the 18th century. 

Now only a few experienced manufacturers use this process. The products produced are remarkable and they have a classic look to them. If you are interested in getting custom metal sculptures you should check out lost wax casting at Firebird Bronze. They are a well-known name in this industry.

Historical Uses of this Process

The most common use of this process was to make sculptures. These sculptures have been found all around the world at archeological sites. The ancient Indians used to make animal sculptures which include hollow cast bulls. 

The founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha’s sculptures were found all around Asia. These sculptures were made with the lost wax casting process.  

The making of small jewelry parts and ornaments was also common. People in Thailand used this process to make bangles. The South American civilization employed this technique to produce some of the region’s typical gold wire and delicate wire ornaments, such as fine ear ornaments. 

In Vietnam multiple discoveries have been made such as a sickle, this shows that people were also making hand tools with this process. 

Dentists used this method to make crowns and inlays. 

Modern Uses

In recent times lost wax casting has evolved into investment casting. Now the process requires lesser steps so the product is more refined and requires less machining. 

This process is employed in making components for aerospace and power generation industries for the production of turbine blades. 

Similarly, the firearm industry uses it to fabricate the precision parts of weapons. This technique is financially feasible for them. 

Car companies make engine blocks by using the lost foam technique to produce intricate designs.

Why Humans Use This Method 

As the human civilizations advanced they faced new challenges which required new tools and equipment. The method of carving stone into tools and weapons did not apply to metals/ metal alloys.

They discovered that they could make the required object by making a mold of it, pouring the molten metal in it, and letting it solidify. It let them make metal objects that were otherwise impossible to make with hands.   

The process produced more finished products that required less labor to give a finishing touch. 

After the end of World War II, specialized metal alloys being produced could not be shaped by conventional methods. It was also not possible to make the complex parts with old methods. The process of lost wax casting was used in investment casting to produce precision parts. 

The development of 3d printers had made it easier to produce sacrificial molds to be used in Investment Casting. 3d printers can print molds for satellites. 

The future use of this technique will depend on how it will evolve to meet the needs of ever-changing industry demands.