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Is 3D Printed Tooling a Solution for Die Casting?

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Mar 24, 2021 5:03:24 PM

After tackling the 3D printer, material and design, there's still one challenge left for Exco Engineering: convincing customers.

Article Excerpt from the December 2019 Modern Machine Shop issue

Die casting is a particularly harsh operation. The process involves forcing molten metal into a mold cavity at high pressure, and is commonly used to make automotive parts such as engine blocks, wheels and engine cradles. The tooling that produces these parts must be durable, and buyers are not likely to trust a new process easily. In other words, die cast tooling is not an obvious place to experiment — but the challenge of the process makes it exactly the kind of application that is ideal for testing the limits of metal 3D printing.

This is what Exco Engineering (located in Toronto) has done over the last four years. In an initiative led by Wes Byleveld, now director of additive manufacturing, the company has not only proven that 3D printed tooling can withstand the die cast process, but that it also provides benefits to that process in the form of better cooling, reduced cycle time and longer tool life.

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Tags: Die Casting, Metal Casting, Permanent Mold, Die Casting Adhesion Solutions, High Pressure Die Casting, Die Casting Awards, Magnesium Die Casting, Modern Machine Shop

Die Casting - Permanent Mold

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Mar 17, 2021 5:01:57 PM

High Pressure Die Casting

Excerpt from the Encyclopedia of Materials: Science and Technology 2001

High-pressure die casting is a process in which molten metal is forced under pressure into a securely locked metal die cavity, where it is held by a powerful press until the metal solidifies. After solidification of the metal, the die is unlocked, opened, and the casting ejected. After removal of the casting, the die is closed and locked again for the next cycle. The injection of metal into the die cavity is completed in a fraction of a second. Often, while the molten metal is still held in the die, extremely high pressure is applied (called intensification pressure). This high pressure compresses any gas entrapped in the metal and feeds additional metal into the cavity to compensate for the shrinkage of the metal as it solidifies.

Two types of systems are used for injecting the molten metal into the die. The hot chamber system is used with metals such as zinc, magnesium, and lead. The injection system of a hot chamber machine is immersed in the molten metal bath of the melting furnace. As the shot plunger moves, it forces metal through the nozzle and into the die.

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Tags: Die Casting, Metal Casting, Permanent Mold, Die Casting Adhesion Solutions, High Pressure Die Casting, Die Casting Awards, Magnesium Die Casting

Resolving Adhesion Problems - Post Die Casting Operations

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Mar 10, 2021 9:36:12 PM

Introduction

In the Die Casting Industry, many of the castings manufactured undergo secondary operations incorporating the use of paints, adhesives and other polymers such as RTV (Room Temperature Vulcanization).  The application of these types of materials requires the polymer to bond to the metal substrate (surface) of the casting.  When this bond fails, it is considered to be a die casting adhesion problem. For the die caster, this can be a very costly problem; therefore, it is imperative that it be solved quickly.

To gain a better understanding of the problem and its potential solution, the following points will be discussed. 

  1. What creates Adhesion?
  2. What prevents Adhesion?
  3. Assessing the Problem
  4. Solving the Problem
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Tags: Die Casting, Metal Casting, Die Casting Adhesion Solutions, Die Casting Awards, Magnesium Die Casting

Characterization of Spray Lubricants for High Pressure Die Casting

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Mar 3, 2021 5:33:24 PM

Excerpt from the study published in the Journal of Materials Processing Technology 195 (2008) 267–274 by Adrian Sabau and Ralph Dinwiddie

Abstract

During the high pressure die casting process, lubricants are sprayed in order to cool the dies and facilitate the ejection of the casting. The cooling effects of the die lubricant were investigated using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), heat flux sensors (HFS), and infrared imaging. The evolution of the heat flux and pictures taken using a high-speed infrared camera revealed that lubricant application was a transient process. The short time response of the HFS allows the monitoring and data acquisition of the surface temperature and heat flux without additional data processing. A similar set of experiments was performed with deionized water in order to assess the lubricant effect. The high heat flux obtained at 300° C was attributed to the wetting and absorbent properties of the lubricant. Pictures of the spray cone and lubricant flow on the die were also used to explain the heat flux evolution.

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Tags: Die Casting, Die Casting Release Agents, High Pressure Die Casting, Die Casting Lubricants, Die Casting Release Agent, Die Casting Lubricant, Die Casting Process, die casting lubricant management

Pushing for Larger-Dimension Die Castings

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Feb 24, 2021 4:03:33 PM

Lightweight vehicle designs need high volumes of complex cast parts, prompting a wave of projects for large pressure die casting machines.

Excerpt from the Foundry Management & Technology November 2015 article by Robert Brooks.

Walker Die Casting, a Lewisburg, TN, producer of aluminum components for automotive and truck manufacturing, has ordered a 4,500-ton cold-chamber die casting machine from HPM North America to be delivered in 2017. According to the contractor, it is the largest cold-chamber machine it has produced to-date in North America. But, that distinction may not last for long.

There is an outbreak of demand in North America for new die casting capacity on that scale, machines sized to produce a range of highly engineered parts in aluminum alloys. Its demand was prompted by motor vehicle manufacturers working on new production programs keyed to lighter vehicles, with lighter component parts for powertrains, drivetrains, and structural systems.

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Tags: Die Casting, Die Casting Release Agents, High Pressure Die Casting, Die Casting Lubricants, Die Casting Release Agent, Die Casting Lubricant, Die Casting Process, die casting lubricant management, Foundry Management & Technology magazine

Basic Knowledge of Die Casting Tools and Molds

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Feb 10, 2021 4:47:41 PM

The mold determines the contours of a die cast part and affects its properties.

Excerpt from the Spotlight Metal March 2019 article by Isabell Page.

Die casting is a forming process for the mass production of, parts made from aluminum, magnesiumand their alloys. The casting process takes place in die casting machines which are divided in hot chamber and cold chamber die casting machines. The main difference is that in hot chamber casting machines the container with the molten metal is located inside the machine, while in the other case the container is placed outside the machine. In both types of machines, the molten metal is pressed from a casting chamber through one or more casting channels into the cavity of a permanent steel mold where it takes the shape of the die and solidifies. These die casting molds consist of two halves so the cast part can be removed from the mold. The feed-side mold half is mounted on a fixed plate on the rigid side of the die casting machine, while the ejector-side mold half is mounted on a movable plate placed on the other side. Before closing, the halves are sprayed with a release agent so that later the cast part can be easily released from the mold and the plates do not overheat. Depending on the size of cast parts, up to 300 casting cycles per hour can be carried out.

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Tags: Die Casting, Die Casting Release Agents, High Pressure Die Casting, Die Casting Lubricants, Die Casting Release Agent, Die Casting Lubricant, Die Casting Process, die casting lubricant management, Global Casting Magazine

Eliminating Zinc Die Casting Defects

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Feb 3, 2021 5:29:45 PM

The Role of Alloys and Melting Processes in the Cause and Elimination of Zinc Die Casting Defects

Excerpt from the Spotlight Metal October 2013 article by John Titley.

Zinc alloy pressure die castings are selected because the process-material combination will manufacture precise net shape parts, which accept a wide variety of finishes. Very high-quality standards are achievable both consistently and cost-effectively over large production quantities.

This, coupled with the range of physical and mechanical properties available and the highly productive manufacturing process, has made the Zinc alloy die-cast part the first-choice material for a huge range of mass-produced components. This includes an extensive array of applications from electronics to locks, security and hardware for doors and windows, connectors and fittings for hydraulics and pneumatics, to decorative parts for the automotive industry. All of these applications utilize more than one of the properties available from Zinc alloy pressure die-castings.

However, this diversity carries a penalty the designer must consider when undertaking the new part manufacture. The need for high-quality decorative finishes invariably means the finishing criteria becomes more critical. This affects the cost and the prospect of higher reject rates must be taken into account.

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Tags: Die Casting, Die Casting Release Agents, High Pressure Die Casting, Die Casting Lubricants, Die Casting Release Agent, Die Casting Lubricant, Die Casting Process, die casting lubricant management, Global Casting Magazine

NADCA Webinars: Die Casting Defects - Flash, Solder, and Other Defects - Highlight

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Jan 27, 2021 4:52:02 PM

The material presented in this video are some highlights from NADCA’s online webinar - Die Casting Defects - Flash, Solder, and Other Defects. This course is focused on the causes and corrective measures related to a number of defects including: blisters, sinks, solder, flash, erosion, out-gassing, and cold flakes. 

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Tags: Die Casting, Die Casting Release Agents, Die Casting Lubricants, Die Casting Release Agent, Die Casting Lubricant, Die Casting Process, die casting lubricant management, NADCA Education

Relevance of Die Casting Release Agents

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Jan 20, 2021 4:34:32 PM

Excerpt from the Spotlight Metal December 2019 article by Nicole Kareta.

The use of die casting release agents represents an essential process step in the production of cast parts, as the so-called mold release agent prevents components from sticking to the mold or the metal from being soldered to the mold. What else is worth knowing about die casting release agents?

As a rule, release agents are sprayed onto the wall of the die casting mold. This separates the metal from the mold and also simplifies the de-molding of the casting. In addition, die casting release agents offer numerous other functions and advantages which have a positive influence on the entire production process:

  • Improved flow of molten metal
  • Easy removal thanks to homogeneous coating
  • Good lubrication of moving parts
  • Improvement of economic efficiency due to lower material requirements
  • Shortened cycle time due to cooling properties
  • Continuously high product quality
  • Reduced scrap rates
  • Increased mold life
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Tags: Die Casting, Die Casting Release Agents, High Pressure Die Casting, Die Casting Lubricants, Die Casting Release Agent, Die Casting Lubricant, Die Casting Process, die casting lubricant management, SpotLightMetal.com

Using PVD Coatings to Reduce Die Casting Costs

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Jan 13, 2021 4:49:57 PM

Coating can address heat checking, excessive soldering, and erosion, to extend die life, reduce die maintenance, and minimize overall manufacturing costs.

Excerpt from the Foundry Management & Technology February 2020 article by David Bell, Viktor Khominich, and Steve Midson.

Die casting often is the lowest-cost method to produce castings, especially when large volumes of components are required. However, the reusable steel dies used in die casting typically are expensive, and may be a significant portion of overall production costs. Therefore, extending die life can have a significant effect on reducing production costs. Dies typically fail for one of three reasons: heat checking, excessive soldering, or erosion. Using PVD coatings to address these mechanisms can extend die life, reduce die maintenance, and so minimize overall manufacturing costs.

Die casting involves injecting liquid metal into a reusable steel die at extremely high rates (gates speeds between 80-250 ft/sec, cavity fill times of 0.05-0.2 sec) and high pressures (6,000 to 15,000 psi.) Due to these aggressive conditions, soldering (sticking) of the castings to the die can be a problem, and to minimize soldering, casters use a water-based organic lubricant (basically a parting agent) sprayed onto the die face before each shot. The lubricant forms a barrier between the casting and the steel die to minimize soldering and sticking.

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Tags: Die Casting, Die Casting Release Agents, High Pressure Die Casting, Die Casting Lubricants, Die Casting Release Agent, Die Casting Lubricant, Die Casting Process, die casting lubricant management, Foundry Management & Technology magazine

 


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