Differences between Investment Casting and Sand Casting

The sand-casting and investment casting methods are both used for casting ferrous and non-ferrous metal parts. However, the molding process and materials used differ in both scenarios.

  • Investment casting

Wax patterns and ceramic slurry are used to build a mold.

  • Sand casting

Sand is used to build a mold.

Both of these processes have unique benefits. Therefore, a comparison may help the businesses select the proper method for metal casting based on their individual needs and budget.

Cost of Casting Process:

  • The investment casting method is more complex and elaborate than the sand-casting method. Therefore, the investment casting method costs more than the sand-casting method.


  • The investment casting method can be used to cast metal components weighing less than 1-pound, and it may even be used to cast metal parts weighing up to 100-120 pounds. This method is equally helpful for casting metal parts with complex designs. Therefore, the investment casting method can cast a large variety of metal parts.
  • The sand-casting method can be used to cast both large and small metal parts depending upon the type of the method. It can be used to cast both simple and complex parts. However, the investment casting method is preferable for small parts with intricate designs.

Quality of Surface

  • In investment casting, the surface of the metal parts features a smoother finish. The pieces usually require no additional machining to smooth the surface, saving time.
  • In sand casting, the final product is released after splitting the mold. Therefore, the metal part has a parting line and a rough surface. The parting line has to be removed, and the surface has to be smoothened through machining, which takes up additional time.

Intricate Designing

  • It is possible to cast metal parts in any shape with investment casting. Therefore, engineers can add intricate features and have the liberty to design metal parts of complex shapes.
  • In sand-casting, the cores have to be methodically shaped and inserted into the mold to create a metal part's interior. It may become necessary to use more than one core, and therefore, it is challenging to cast metal parts with intricate interior design.

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