KILN & CASTING INTRODUCTION
After the REFREACTORY (INVESTMENT) MOULD has been constructed over the WAX PATTERN ASSEMBLY, the founder removes the wax contained inside the refractory mould by FIRING in a KILN. The founder then replaces the air gap in the refractory mould created by the 'lost wax' with a molten metal CHARGE. Once the spent mould is broken apart this produces a 'positive image' metal cast of the sculptor’s design.
This part of the founding process can be remarkably short in duration. Using modern founding systems, a small scale refractory mould can be de-waxed, fired and poured within an hour. By the same token, a great deal can go wrong during this short period of time, potentially rendering all the founder’s earlier preparations useless.
The first two steps – wax removal and mould firing, are usually (though not always), carried out in a single operation using a gas or electrically fired kiln. After firing, the mould is removed from the kiln and a molten metal charge is taken from the furnace and poured in.
Most of the method descriptions in the following articles can be applied to a variety of metal casting systems, any important exceptions or variations in process are noted where possible.
WARNING: Take extreme care when working with hot materials, follow OHS guidelines and safe working procedures. Undergo professional training before attempting the processes described in this section.
A recently poured group of
'flasked' refractory moulds.
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