Shell molding is also similar to sand molding except that a mixture of sand and 3-6% resin holds the grains together. Set-up and production of shell mold patterns takes weeks, after which an output of 5-50 pieces/hr-mold is attainable. Aluminium and magnesium products average about 13.5 kg as a normal limit, but it is possible to cast items in the 45-90 kg range. Shell mold walling varies from 3-10 mm thick, depending on the forming time of the resin.
There are a dozen different stages in shell mold processing that include:
1. initially preparing a metal-matched plate
2. mixing resin and sand
3. heating pattern, usually to between 505-550 K
4. inverting the pattern (the sand is at one end of a box and the pattern at the other, and the box is inverted for a time determined by the desired thickness of the mill)
5. curing shell and baking it
6. removing investment
7. inserting cores
8. repeating for other half
9. assembling mold
10. pouring mold
11. removing casting
12. cleaning and trimming.