Die casting is a manufacturing process that utilizes reusable molds or dies to mass-produce complex metal parts at a competitive cost. The process occurs in highly-automated facilities and involves the use of four key elements: metal raw materials, a furnace, a die, and a die casting machine. Metals used in the die casting process are generally non-ferrous alloys of aluminum, brass, zinc or copper, but the composition of an alloy employed may vary, depending on individual customer specifications and product requirements.
During the production process, metals are melted either in a cold chamber or a hot chamber furnace. Cold chamber furnaces work well for metals or metal alloys with a high melting point, such as aluminum, while hot chamber will accommodate metals or metal alloys with low melting points, such as zinc. Once the metal is in its liquid form, die casting machines inject it forcibly into the dies, where it rapidly cools and solidifies into desired shapes.
Being almost completely automated, the die casting process incurs very low labor costs. However, the expenses involved in the production of tool steel dies and the use of complex heat-resistant tools require high volume production in order to achieve a relatively low cost per unit.
The versatility of die casting makes this process excellent for the creation of numerous types of die cast parts with surfaces that display an array of different textures. These parts can come in a variety of sizes and weights, ranging from components of only a few ounces to massive parts weighing hundreds of pounds.
Regardless of the size, all die cast components display very fine grain sizes and good mechanical properties including dimensional stability, durability, and dimensional accuracy. Also, because die castings do not consist of separate parts that are welded or otherwise fastened together, their strength is not limited by the strength of the welds but it depends exclusively on the strength of the material they’re made of.
Due to their versatility and comparatively low cost, dies castings have found applications in many industries. They’re particularly widely used in the automotive industries as engine blocks, pistons, and cylinder heads, but they also frequently form components of consumer appliances and equipment. Other industrial applications include gears, pumps, propellers, valves, electrical cases and housings, bushings, valves, and more.
The die casting process typically uses aluminum alloys, copper alloys, magnesium alloys, and zinc alloys. The selection of a particular alloy depends on the desired physical properties and design features of the final casting. Qualities such as corrosion resistance, melting point, density and strength may all factor into this decision, together with cost considerations.
Each of the metals used conveys specific properties which may prove advantageous in certain situations. For example, aluminum alloys usually provide the advantages of light weight and corrosion resistance. By contrast, copper alloys typically cost more, but supply excellent electrical conductivity.
The desired parts design features may also strongly influence the selection of materials used for die cast parts. Some metal alloys, such as zinc, display highly ductile properties, and these alloys may represent an excellent choice for parts with a better surface finish and thin walls.
The choice of the material will also influence tooling and machining possibilities. While zinc and other alloys that melt at low temperatures are cast using hot chamber machines, aluminum and copper alloys that have significantly higher melting points require the use of cold chamber machines.
The die casting process offers a number of manufacturing advantages. Unlike other casting methods, it allows for mass the production of very complex shapes with multiple cavities and thin walls. Thanks to corrosion resistance rates that vary from good to high, die cast surfaces can be left as cast, without applying protective finishings. However, if necessary, there are a number of available finishing options including acid-etched, anodized, painted, plated, and powdered coating finishings.
The die employed in die casting is a semi-permanent mold that can be used for the production of thousands of identical parts. The die eventually requires replacement, re-tooling or machining and this consideration typically enters into cost projections associated with the die casting process. However, thanks to the large volume of parts that can be produced with a single die, die casting remains highly cost-effective and efficient.
Bunty LLC is dedicated to providing the highest level of customer satisfaction and maintaining exceptional quality of the castings at a very competitive price. We are equipped with die casting machines that allow us to deliver castings tailored to individual customer specifications that adhere to high quality and manufacturing standards. We also offer a full range of post-casting or secondary operations such as coating and plating.
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From a contract manufacturing firm, BuntyLLC evolved into a full service custom machined, forged and cast metal parts fabrication enterprise. We supply global solutions from our headquarters in Greenville, South Carolina.Get A Quote