NADCA shares some common facts about the Die Casting Industry
Die casting is a versatile process for producing engineered metal parts by forcing molten metal under high pressure into reusable steel molds. These molds, called dies, can be designed to produce complex shapes with a high degree of accuracy and repeatability. Parts can be sharply defined, with smooth or textured surfaces, and are suitable for a wide variety of attractive and serviceable finishes.
Die castings are among the highest volume, mass-produced items manufactured by the metalworking industry, and they can be found in thousands of consumer, commercial and industrial products. Die cast parts are important components of products ranging from automobiles to toys. Parts can be as simple as a sink faucet or as complex as a connector housing.
Die cast parts are found in many places around the home. The polished, plated zinc die casting in this kitchen faucet illustrates one of the many finishes possible with die casting. These connector housings are examples of the durable, highly accurate components that can be produced with today’s modern die casting.
The earliest examples of die casting by pressure injection - as opposed to casting by gravity pressure - occurred in the mid-1800s. A patent was awarded to Sturges in 1849 for the first manually operated machine for casting printing type. The process was limited to printer's type for the next 20 years, but development of other shapes began to increase toward the end of the century. By 1892, commercial applications included parts for phonographs and cash registers, and mass production of many types of parts began in the early 1900s.
Refinements continue in both the alloys used in die casting and the process itself, expanding die casting applications into almost every known market. Once limited to simple lead type, today's die casters can produce castings in a variety of sizes, shapes and wall thicknesses that are strong, durable and dimensionally precise.
Advantages of Die Casting
Die casting is an efficient, economical process offering a broader range of shapes and components than any other manufacturing technique. Parts have long service life and may be designed to complement the visual appeal of the surrounding part. Designers can gain a number of advantages and benefits by specifying die cast parts.
The Die Casting Process
The basic die casting process consists of injecting molten metal under high pressure into a steel mold called a die. Die casting machines are typically rated in clamping tons equal to the amount of pressure they can exert on the die. Machine sizes range from 400 tons to 4,000 tons. Regardless of their size, the only fundamental difference in die casting machines is the method used to inject molten metal into a die.
Die Casting vs. Other Processes
- Die casting vs. plastic molding
- Die casting vs. sand casting
- Die casting vs. permanent mold
- Die casting vs. forging
- Die casting vs. stamping
- Die casting vs. screw machine products
Choosing the Proper Alloy
Each of the metal alloys available for die casting offers particular advantages for the completed part.
- Lead and Tin
Dies, or die casting tooling, are made of alloy tool steels in at least two sections, the fixed die half, or cover half, and the ejector die half, to permit removal of castings. Modern dies also may have moveable slides, cores or other sections to produce holes, threads and other desired shapes in the casting.
Hot Chamber Machine
Hot chamber machines are used primarily for zinc, copper, magnesium, lead and other low melting point alloys that do not readily attack and erode metal pots, cylinders and plungers.
Cold Chamber Machine
Cold chamber machines are used for alloys such as aluminum and other alloys with high melting points. The molten metal is poured into a "cold chamber," or cylindrical sleeve, manually by a hand ladle or by an automatic ladle. A hydraulically operated plunger seals the cold chamber port and forces metal into the locked die at high pressures.
Check out all of NADCA's die casting facts.
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Hill and Griffith Customer Service
We're known for our hands on approach. Let us visit your plant, offer die casting technical support and recommend release agents, lubricants, plunger lubricants and permanent mold lubricants that suit your needs. Products that represent the latest in technology and ongoing research that enhance competitiveness and increase productivity.
We are pleased to provide samples in quantities large enough to allow you to "try before you buy." Die Casting and Squeeze Lubricants- Diluco®, Permanent Mold Coatings- Concote™, Plunger Lube™- Graphite and non-graphite oils and pastes with excellent anti-wear properties, Casting Operations Products: Start-up lubes, Ladle coatings, Anti-soldering pastes, Water glycol, Trim press lubricants, Surface protection for casting storage, Corrosion protection for die storage, Cleaners for machines and dies, Corrosion protection for machines, Heat treatment quenchants, and Heat-transfer fluids. Also, Industrial Lubricants Griflube®, Hydraulic fluids with fire-resistant and anti-wear properties, Bio-Syn natural ester-based hydraulic fluid, Way oil knuckle lubes and Metalworking Fluids- Grifcut™
Technical Services & Support
On-site process surveys, Casting defect investigations, Product testing, Tooling start-ups and Statistical process controls and much more. Also, lab facilities are available to provide testing upon request.