Die Casting Alloys
Most alloys used in die casting are non-ferrous with strong mechanical properties. The non-ferrous moiety is responsible for the low melting point in agreement with the strong mechanical properties. The type of properties needed depends on the material being worked on. Consequently, there is no limitation when choosing a material. However, below are several popular alloys:
· Aluminum Alloys
Aluminum alloys have unique properties, making them applicable in making a wide range of products. On the one hand, aluminum alloy 380.0 is the most common material in die casting due to its unique properties. Other alloys include Aluminum Alloys 360, 390, and 413. You can use aluminum alloys because of the following:
- High operating temperatures
- Outstanding corrosion resistance
- Very good strength and hardness
- Good stiffness and strength-to-weight ratio
- Excellent EMI and RFI shielding properties
- Excellent thermal conductivity
- High electrical conductivity
- Good finishing characteristics
- Full recyclability
- Withstand the highest operating temperatures of all the diecast alloys
- It retains high dimensional stability with thin walls
· Zinc Alloys
Zinc alloys have incredible strength, toughness, firmness, performance, and cost-effectiveness. As a result, they are an important part of the die casting process, with properties rivaling and exceeding other alloys such as aluminum, magnesium, and bronze.
There are many alloys of zinc you can use. However, the common die casting zinc materials are Zamak #2, #3, #5, #7, ZA8 and ZA27, known for the following properties:
- Improved Castability
- Shortened Cycle Time
- Extended Die Life
- Ideal Mechanical Qualities
· Magnesium Alloys
Magnesium is another material used for die casting. It has many alloys, but the most common one is the AZ91D, known for its toughness, durability, lightweight and good castability. It is 75% lighter than steel and 33% lighter than aluminum without a loss in strength. Most enthusiasts prefer magnesium as it is better for complex casting with tight tolerances and it has better corrosion resistance.
· Other Alloys
Other alloys suitable for making die casting parts include Bronze, Brass, lead, and tin.
- Tin is the first material used in die casting due to its high fluidity. It has a low melting point, and it leaves little or no wear on the molds.
- Bronze (white bronze) is the right die cast material used in the jewelry industry. It has a similar color to white gold and stainless steel alloys but is suitable for die casting due to its low melting point.
Surface Finish Options for Die Casting Parts
The diecast must have a good surface finish that will promote durability, protection, or aesthetic effect. There are different finishing options you can use for die casting parts. However, choices are based on the size of the cast parts and the alloy you are using.
Painting is the most common surface finishing technique ideal for many materials. It can be for further protection or aesthetic purpose.
The process involves applying lacquers, paints, or enamel with special consideration for the metal used. Before the addition, clean the surface of the metal to remove impurities such as oil (this also helps in adhesion), add an underlying paint (primer), and the primary paint.
Powder coating is another common decorative finish you can use for your die casting part. It involves applying charged particles on the surface of the die casting part. This process is ideal as it hides minor flaws on the die cast surface, has better thickness control and is uniform. Consequently, the product becomes durable, hard, high anti-corrosion and anti-scratch upon completing the process. Powder coating is environmentally friendly as it produces no hazardous toxic material
This surface finish technique gives the cast an antique look, and it is mostly applicable to zinc casting. The casting is electroplated with copper or other alloys and then covered with a colored component such as copper sulfide. The casting is relieved (i.e., removing some colored layers to give the underlying layer of copper) and then treated to prevent tarnishing.
Ceramic coating is a decorative process and involves adding ceramic in its solution form to the exterior of a part. The process produces a thin layer that is similar to anodizing. Consequently, surface preparation procedures are important before their applications.
Plating can be electroless or electroplating processes and is a suitable and cheap method for die cast finishing. As the ceramic coating option, the layer of finish is thin. Therefore, you need a surface preparation procedure before using it.
Electroless plating uses chemicals instead of electricity to plate a diecast part. The die-casted part is placed in a chemical with reducing properties. When catalyzed by other minerals, the chemical becomes deposited on the die cast. Electroplating is similar. However, instead of being catalyzed by minerals, catalysis occurs by passing a current through the electrolyte. Both methods are ideal for aesthetic purposes. Although some sheet metal enthusiasts use it to improve some parts’ conductivity.
Applications of Die Casting Parts
The die casting process is applicable in creating different parts and components that are truly unique and highly functional. Below are a few applications of the process:
Manufacture of consumer and industrial products
The process is suitable for making consumer products such as sink faucets, compressor pistons, connector rods, heat sinks, etc.
Manufacture of automotive products
The process is used in making gear, cylinders, small engines, gladhands, transfer cases and more specific parts applicable in the automotive industry.
Manufacture of aerospace parts
Die casting is a cost-effective solution to produce light but superior metal components that meet high-quality standards of the aerospace industry.
Create your die cast parts with the help of PRIMO Corporation!
Advantages of Die Casting Process
Die casting is an important metal fabrication method due to its low-cost production and ease of operation. However, there are other benefits of using the process: Here are the advantages of the die casting process.
- You can create complex parts
- Manufacture of multiple parts without the need for assembly
- Lowering labor costs
- Variable wall thicknesses
- Tighter tolerances
- Fast production cycle times
- Recyclable choice of material
Disadvantages of Die Casting Process
- Not suitable for metals with high melting points
- Not suitable for large sheet metal parts
- High die cost
- Long lead time
Factors That Affect Die Casting Costs
Generally, die casting has a low-cost production. However, the cost depends on several factors. Below are a few factors you can consider when tailoring the best for your diecast project cost-wise.
· Material Selection
The type of materials you choose plays a huge role in the cost of die casting. Some materials are costly in value. Also, the price of die casting materials is generally increasing even though it looks erratic.
· Production Cost
Production cost depends on three important factors: the tooling cost and die casting cost. Depending on the production processes you use, the technological approach, the mold manufacturing process, and maintenance, the tooling cost can be high.
· Mold Cost
The cost of the mold depends on the manufacturing process used. For example, when using CNC machining, the capabilities and advantages of the process will contribute to a high mold cost.
· Secondary Operations Cost
Secondary operations such as trimming will also play a role in the die casting cost. Therefore, the secondary operation cost’s extent, efficiency, and effectiveness will be important in their cost.
· Finishing Cost
The finishing cost also depends on the finishing method you are using. For example, methods such as electroplating will have a higher finishing cost when compared to painting.
PRIMO CORPORATION Die Casting Services
Die casting is an important sheet metal fabrication process known for its low-cost production and efficiency. The process is simple but might require little knowledge and experience, making outsourcing to the right service such as ours a better approach.
At PRIMO, you have access to a team of well-experienced engineers in die casting services. Our team’s experience puts us in a better position to advise you on the right die casting process for your project.
We are an ISO 9001:2015 certificated company with numerous manufacturing plants and advanced facilities to manufacture high-quality parts. We have a fast lead time, and on uploading a design file, you will get a quote and DfM analysis within 12 hours.