During the manufacture of turbine blades from single crystal nickel-based superalloys by investment casting, recrystallisation can occur during solution heat treatment. The introduction of grain boundaries into a single crystal component is potentially detrimental to performance, and therefore manufacturing processes and/or component geometries should be chosen to prevent their occurrence. In this work, numerical models have been designed to enable a predictive capability for the factors influencing recrystallisation to be constructed. The root cause is plasticity on the microscale caused by differential thermal contraction of metal, mould and core; when the plastic deformation is sufficient, recrystallisation can take place subsequently. The models take various forms. First, one-dimensional models based upon static equilibrium have been produced – our calculations indicate that plastic strain is likely to take place in two temperature regimes: by creep between 1150°C and 1000°C and by tensile (time-independent) strain below 650°C. The idea of a strain-based criterion for recrystallisation is then proposed. Second, more sophisticated three-dimensional calculations based upon the finite element method are carried out. Our predictions are compared critically with experimental information.