Die Castings

In the Aluminum die casting process, solid ingots of aluminum are melted in furnaces at approximately 700-720 Degrees Celsius. Once liquified, the aluminum metal is trasferred into a dosing furnace that delivers the metal to the steel shot sleeve. The two halves of the die or mold are mounted on the machine and the machine closed and holds the two die halves together. The molten aluminum metal is then injected with hydraulic pressure into the two halves of the die. The molten aluminum metal is then held under high pressure until the metal solidifies, usualy within only a matter of 2-15 seconds depending on the size of the parts. The die halves are then opened and the part(s) ejected and removed by hand or robotically. Finishing operations follow such as trimming, tumble deburring, precision machining, painting, anodizing, chrome plating and assembly.

In the Zinc die casting process, ingots of zinc are melted in a furnace at approximately 400-420 Degrees Celsius. Once liquified, the zinc metal remains in the furnace. The shot sleeve (called a gooseneck for its shape like a goose's neck) is immersed in the furnace and the zinc metal is injected directly from the furnace into the two die halves held together by the machine. The remaining process is identical to that of casting aluminum parts.

A complete die casting cycle can vary from seconds for small components weighing less than an ounce to three minutes for a casting weighing several pounds.

Die casting is an efficient and very cost-effective manufacturing process that offers a broader range of shapes, sizes and dimensionally precise die castings than any other manufacturing process. Parts have a long lifespan and designers can gain a number of advantages and benefits by specifying die cast parts.

High-speed production - Die casting provides complex shapes within closer tolerances than many other mass production processes. Little or no machining is required and thousands of identical castings can be produced before additional tooling is required.

Dimensional accuracy and stability - Die casting produces parts that are durable and dimensionally stable, while maintaining close tolerances. They are also heat resistant.

Strength and weight - Die cast parts are stronger than plastic injection moldings having the same dimensions. Thin wall castings are stronger and lighter than those possible with other casting methods. Plus, because die castings do not consist of separate parts welded or fastened together, the strength is that of the alloy rather than the joining process.

Multiple finishing techniques - Die cast parts can be produced with smooth or textured surfaces, and they are easily plated or finished with a minimum of surface preparation.

Simplified Assembly - Die castings provide integral fastening elements, such as bosses and studs. Holes can be cored and made to tap drill sizes, or external threads can be cast.