Q.a.t. : Can anyone tell me whether Stainless Steel (316 grade) is commonly investment cast ? And whether there are any foundries around who are dedicated to one-offs of small ( 1-2kg) castings who will accept a wax investment and do everything from there on ? A web-based service would be good...
I haven't got details handy but a mate mentioned that there are a few companies that investment cast stainless steel down on the south coast Southampton and/or Portsmouth area mainly for marine fittings but he is involved in engine development. I've searched for it before and found a number of places that do it but have never enquired about minimum quantity or cost.
I recall all the work we did for a fishing tackle company were small parts made of Stainless 316 castings, made by the investment process. Cant remember the company that made them, just that it was either in Hitchin, Letchworth or Hatfield. A quick google brought up the company pasted below, but I don't know if this was the one in question. I also recall that the cored cross holes in the castings had awful hard spots, which made opening out the holes and tapping very difficult. Other holes were cast accurately to tapping hole size were ok for tapping.
132 Great North Road Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 5JN United Kingdom tel: +44 (01707) 262871 fax: +44 (01707) 271565