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I am looking to cast a ring using lost wax casting. I know that with my current setup I can cast pure silver, but I got to thinking: why silver? Why not, say, glass? So I am wondering what unusual materials I can cast a ring of, with about as much ease as silver?

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It depends: What is your mold material ? I expect any type of glass would fuse to any ceramic mold materials I am familiar with ( mostly alumina). And many glasses get soft and bendable at 1500 F , but that is nowhere near liquid which will be 2200+ F. How hot can you get your melting furnace? High alloy stainless ( 310 = 25 Cr : 20 Ni) melts "low" and has excellent fluidity. Vitalium is relatively unusual but common ( cobalt # 21 , Co + Cr) ; is used for silver colored dental applications and jet engine compressor blades. Maybe start with tin ( AKA pewter) very low melting ( roughly 600 F), good corrosion resistance.

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  • Your jet engine example is a bit off. Nobody makes compressor blades by lost wax casting (and most of them are aluminum or titanium). The nickel based superalloys used for turbine blades (typically >60% Ni) are used in lost wax casting and have typical melting points around 1100C to 1200C (2000F - 2150F). But that sort of lost wax casing is not a "do this at home" process. – alephzero Jan 7 at 2:36
  • … Stellite (aka Vitalium) was used for cast turbine blades back in the 1950s, but its temperature capability (800C, 1450F) is much to low for modern jet engines. – alephzero Jan 7 at 2:45
  • i am afraid I dont know the specifics other than I can cast silver (so trmp>1750) and the investment compound is similar to plaster and needs to be put in a vacuum chamber prior to curing in a kiln, but mostly shatters off when thrown in water after casting – Jesse McDonald Jan 7 at 12:01
  • what about aluminum? any potential there? – Jesse McDonald Jan 7 at 12:04
  • @alephzero I don't know about jet engine parts in particular, but many aluminum machine parts are made by lost foam casting. Anything that won't bind to the mold material should be fine, though. (And tin and pewter aren't the same thing; pewter is an alloy of tin.) – Allison C Jan 7 at 14:48

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