Die casting is the process of producing large quantity of complex, intricate metal parts through the use of a die, a reusable mould created to the specific design of your component. In essence, this process works by pouring or injecting molten metal under high pressure into a mould cavity.
After creating a specific die for the production of your part, a metal with a low melting point, like aluminium, is forced into the die and cast to create even the most complicated design, with the finished product being a part manufactured to the highest of standards.
Advantages of die casting:
High-speed production – thousands of identical castings can be manufactured with little to no machining. Dimensional accuracy and stability – with die casting, you can be confident that your parts are durable and dimensionally stable while maintaining close tolerances. Thin walls – die casting allows for the production of casts with thinner walls when compared to other methods. Finishing options – whether you require a smooth or textured finish, die casting can produce parts that match your specifications. Lightweight parts – die casting is capable of producing parts for industries where weight is a concern, such as the aerospace and automotive sectors. Improved performance – die casting parts are proven to improve general performance such as Mpg and vehicle handling.
Pressure die casting VS Gravity die casting:
Pressure die casting is an automated process in which the metal is injected at high force into the die. It’s a quick, cost-effective and reliable process for a high-volume production and the metal components manufactured through it are net-shaped and have tight tolerances. The molten metal solidifies very quickly and is automatically extracted. This process is capable of producing thousands or millions of components with close consistent dimensional control and thin walls.
Gravity die casting produces good-quality components as well, but it’s best-suited for low to medium volume orders. This process requires the molten metal to be poured into the mould by relying on hydrostatic head height to offer pressure to the casting, with the correct filling of the die being controlled by tilting. This can be a manual process and, although an automatic ladle to pour the metal can also be used, tooling is generally simple and as a consequence is far cheaper than pressure die casting. Both pressure and gravity die casting are only suitable for alloys with low melting points such as aluminium and zinc. Zinc is the easiest metal to cast and offers a high degree of ductility, high impact strength and a long lifespan. Aluminium is a lightweight material, so it’s perfect for industries where weight is a concern, such as aerospace and automotive. It offers high dimensional stability, good resistance to corrosion and high thermal and electrical conductivity, amongst other properties.
Die casting is a very efficient and versatile process used in metalworking, capable of producing countless varieties of parts used in a wide range of applications and industries. However, it is important to take certain factors into consideration when making the decision between pressure and gravity die casting. These factors include:
The batch and quantities required The complexity and surface finish of the castings The wall thickness of the components The type of material you would like to use The lead time you need for your project