Today, casting is a highly-sophisticated manufacturing process used to create many objects that it would not be practical or economical to produce any other way. A casting of multiple items can be made cost-effectively in one go - a huge benefit, for example, in the production of jewellery, removing the need for intermediate stages such as soldering, sawing and filing while enabling intricate, bespoke designs.
Casting is also used to produce large or complex products for use in a wide range of sectors including automotive, aerospace, power generation and medical where items can be made in one piece to the required size.
The platinum challenge
The expertise required for casting platinum jewellery was developed over decades. More recently, platinum casting has benefited from new technologies leading to even higher quality finishes – necessary to create the world’s finest jewellery.
These include high-temperature casting methods that were originally pioneered for the aerospace industry, as well as introducing a new densification process which helps eliminate shrinkage as the platinum changes state from a liquid to a solid.
In 2018, industrial use of platinum, including casting, overtook other demand segments for the first time since 2011, reaching 35 per cent of net demand. Jewellery was the next largest demand segment in 2018, at 34 per cent of net demand for platinum.