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Die Casting News

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

Combining Toughness, Thermal Resistance in HPDC Die Steel

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Jan 7, 2021 10:32:01 AM

New automotive casting objectives highlight the deficiencies in standard tooling materials, but an alternative promises quality, lower cost, longer tool life, and more

Excerpt from the Foundry Management & Technology November 2019 article

The difficulties of casting high-volume automotive parts are well established, and those issues become more critical in production of critically engineered parts, such as the increasing volume of parts produced by high-pressure die casting (HPDC.) Three experts in hot-work production addressed the issues recently in a white paper for Uddeholm AB's newly developed Uddeholm Dievar 25 Joules tool steel for die manufacturing. It gives "the perfect balance between toughness and heat-checking" for HPDC, and other applications, they claim.

Most dies used by foundries, diecasters, and OEMs are formed in AISI H13 or H11, but the Uddeholm experts raise the concern that the die-related problems of HPDC powertrain and transmission castings have not changed in decades, and may be more acute with the advent of production for hybrid and electric vehicle castings.

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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, Die Casting Engineer

The Exclusion of Inclusions in High-Pressure Die Casting

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Dec 30, 2020 9:07:08 AM

Identifying the Causes and Determining the Solutions

Excerpt from the Die Casting Engineer January 2008 article by Dr. David V. Neff

Defective castings, scrap... Yikes! — The scourge of the high pressure die caster trying to make a good living in a highly competitive marketplace! What's a body to do? Well, for one thing, he can try to avoid making defective castings in the first place! But just what is a "defective" casting? For this article, we wish to consider a defective casting as one which has a defect, right? But there are many ways that a casting can be "defective." For our purposes, we shall limit this discussion to those defective castings where the cause can be attributed to "inclusion" defects — out of the many other defects and their causes that possibly could exist. Inclusions in castings are foreign bodies that exist in the finished casting and are detrimental to the casting's properties and functionality. Where do they come from? If they are present, how do we get rid of them? More importantly, how can we avoid the "inclusion of the inclusion" into the casting in the first place? So, let's start at the beginning.

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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, Die Casting Engineer

High-Pressure Die Casting

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Dec 23, 2020 11:30:06 AM

Excerpt from the May 2020 article from the Engineering.com article by Dr. Jody Muelaner

A key process for close-to-market manufacturing of high-value products.

Products are getting more complex, with organic shapes increasingly being specified to achieve the required strength while minimizing material use. There is also a trend for re-shoring and producing goods closer to the market where they are sold. The usual business case for close-to-market manufacturing is being able to respond quickly to increasingly dynamic markets. Reducing the carbon footprint involved in transporting goods and making supply chains more resilient are also important drivers. The current need for an urgent ramp-up in ventilator production has sharply brought into focus the need to respond rapidly to increasing demand with a resilient supply chain. Additive manufacturing (AM) plays into both trends. It is making people believe that products can be any shape we like and that they can be locally produced. In reality, AM has little scope to replace conventional production in the foreseeable future. Issues with material properties, feedstock costs, machine costs and build speeds mean that AM will remain a relatively niche process.

This article gives a detailed overview of another highly automated manufacturing process that can produce complex shapes in high-strength alloys. Die-casting may not be a new technology, but it is very well-suited to many modern products. I recently reported on how European bicycle manufacturers are re-shoring production as demand for high-quality e-bikes ramps up rapidly. These are sophisticated machines that use aerospace-grade materials with correspondingly high prices. In that article, I noted the importance of automation when re-shoring production into high-wage economies and identified high-pressure die casting as the most highly-automated process for high-quality bicycle frames. High-pressure die casting is a highly automated process that can economically produce parts with very complex shapes. It is typically suited to high-volume production. This article explores the process in detail, looking at tooling requirements, breakeven volumes, material properties and surface finish.

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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 Webinars: Defects in Die Casting

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Dec 9, 2020 8:59:25 PM

The material presented in this video are some highlights from NADCA’s online webinar - Defects in Die Casting: Surface Defects and Other Problems. This second course covers defects caused by such things as venting problems, surface defects such as “white surface” and die spray marking. It then goes into the two main types of cracking, leakers, flash and flaking/spalling during machining.

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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

 


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