Prominent metals used in die casting
Die cast products will only be as good as the metals being used in their production. So let’s explore the most commonly used metals in die casting.
Die casting is a metal fabricating process that is characterized by forcing molten metal under high pressure into a mould cavity. Manufacture of parts using die casting is relatively simple, involving only four main steps, which keeps the incremental cost per item low. It is especially suited for a large quantity of small- to medium-sized castings, which is why die casting produces more castings than any other casting process.
However, die cast products will only be as good as the metals being used in their production. The source metals will impact the overall quality, durability, and aesthetic appearance of the finished product. So, let’s take a look at the metals that are used commonly in this process.
The easiest metal to cast; zinc has high ductility, impact strength, and can easily be plated. The strength of zinc comes from its alloyed metals. Parts cast from zinc have very close tolerances. Zinc alloyed parts have higher impact resistance than cast aluminum, plastics, and grey cast iron. The low casting temperature of zinc results in minimal thermal shock, which extends the life of die casting tools more than 10 times that of aluminum dies. Zinc die casting applications are widespread and are all around us everywhere. Zinc alloy die casting is used for numerous decoration and functional applications, including in electronics, automotive, appliance, mechanical designs, etc.
Aluminum is one of the most popular metals used in die casting. Aluminum is a very lightweight metal, so it’s great for creating lightweight parts without sacrificing strength. Other advantages of aluminium include: high dimensional stability for very complex shapes and thin walls; good corrosion resistance; good mechanical properties; high thermal and electrical conductivity; retains strength at high temperatures. These characteristics make aluminum an excellent option in the production of components for computing, energy management, and other tech fields.
Cast aluminum accounts for over fifty percent of aluminum in automobiles, and the industry represents the metal’s biggest market. It has also been widely used in motor vehicles for more than 100 years. The telecom industry uses this metal as well. Its ability to disperse heat makes it an ideal material for RF filter boxes. Cast aluminum is essential to electronics. It has strong performance under high temperatures, making the metal especially well-suited for connectors and housings
Magnesium is the easiest metal to machine; it offers an excellent strength-to-weight ratio ( magnesium is 75% lighter than steel with no significant loss of strength) and it is the lightest alloy commonly die cast. Magnesium alloys have a variety of unique characteristics like excellent fluidity, less susceptibility to hydrogen porosity, and better castability over other cast metals such as aluminum and copper. Magnesium also offers EMI and RFI shielding properties.
Magnesium is used in a wide range of applications from connectors and electrical housings. Magnesium is also often used to produce medical and laboratory equipment because it provides protection against interfering signals. A little trivia: The 2014 Volkswagen XL1 is currently the most fuel-efficient production car in the world. It had a carbon fiber body, magnesium alloy frame. The magnesium has contributed on building this car, which can do a staggering 313 miles per gallon.
Copper offers many outstanding advantages: high hardness; high corrosion resistance; highest mechanical properties of alloys die cast; excellent wear resistance; excellent dimensional stability and strength approaching that of steel parts. Copper alloy castings are used in applications that require superior corrosion resistance, high thermal or electrical conductivity, good bearing-surface qualities or other special properties. Casting makes it possible to produce parts whose shape cannot be easily obtained by fabricating methods such as forming or machining.Cast copper is widely used for making different high quality and high performance parts, components and products for use in diverse fields and areas. Some of the fields where the metal alloy is used are: Architectural and building materials, automotive parts, household products and industrial fittings