Die Casting Process: A Comprehensive Guide

Die Casting Process: A Comprehensive Guide

I.Introduction to Die Casting Process

A.Definition and Overview

Die casting is one of the most influential casting methods, where metals melt, turning them into steel molds. After the strict procedure of manufacturing the molten metals, the dies, tools, or molds, are produced with unique designs suitable for any project in most industries. The commonly used alloys for metal die casting process are Zinc, Magnesium, and Aluminum.

B.Importance and Applications

Aside from the flexibility and durability of tools produced through die casting, the process also offers a good and smooth surface finish. Most industries also like using it repeatedly in their production operations since it has a long service life. Additionally, they follow strict protocols in quality control in die casting processing to ensure accurate and high-quality steel molds.
The application of die casting products expanded throughout time because of their properties and became functional for industrial, commercial, and consumer use. It is part of the production of consumer products and even automotive and aerospace parts because it can work even in complex internal details. Mainly die casting work on sink faucets, connector rods, heat sinks, small engines, gears, and many more.

_Die Casting

Ⅱ.Types of Die Casting

A wide range of die casting processes are used in every commercial and industrial application. Each method has different and unique peculiarities, depending on the scenarios and what the production needs for the application. Here’s a quick description of the commonly used die casting process with die casting process diagram:

A.Low Pressure Die Casting Process

The process uses pressure aside from gravity, mainly for aluminum and magnesium alloys. It goes from the holding furnace below the cast while the liquid metal is forced to go through a riser tube upwards.

Low Pressure Die Casting Process

B.Hot Chamber Die Casting Process

This is the suitable method for materials with a low melting point, and the process goes through the pressure of a hydraulic system after melting the metals. The most commonly used materials here are Zinc, Lead, Tin, and Magnesium alloys, and they have direct contact with the pump.

Hot Chamber Die Casting Process

C.Cold Chamber Die Casting Process

The most common alloy used in cold chamber die casting is Aluminum since it has a higher melting point than others. Melted materials will be scooped in a cold chamber before injecting it into the die. It also uses the hydraulic system like the hot chamber process, but the difference is between the pressure used.

Cold Chamber Die Casting Process

D.High Pressure Die Casting Process

The molten metals go through a locked metal die cavity when forced under pressure in this process. A powerful press will hold the metal until it solidifies before the casting gets ready for ejection.

High Pressure Die Casting Process

E.Gravity Die Casting Process

It is considered a permanent casting process, where the tilting controls the filling of the mold die with only gravity working on it. Also, the molten metal can be poured from a ladle going into the mold.

Gravity Die Casting Process

F.Multi-Slide Die Casting

This process is one of the best since it produces complex and accurate castings using four perpendicular slides at 90 degrees. But some of them have six slides.

Multi-Slide Die Casting

G.Injected Metal Assembly (IMA)

Molten zinc alloy is the material used to combine with other components to create one single assembled part. The tools produced from this process are flash-free, repeatable, and robust, with consistently high quality.

Injected Metal Assembly

III.Die Casting Materials

Die Casting Materials

A.Non-Ferrous Alloys

These alloys are metals that do not contain iron, such as Aluminum and Zinc. They are used in die casting because of their versatility, workability, and reliability, attribute high strength to products.
1.Aluminum Alloys
This is the most popular material used in die casting because it is lightweight but with high-strength metal. They can withstand temperatures and are suitable for any finishing options.
2.Zinc Alloys
This material can be injected into a prepared die casting mold to produce parts with impact strength, flexibility, and high resistance.

B.Ferrous Alloys

These alloys are metals that contain Iron (Fe) or are Iron-based, and some of them only have 1% carbon. Iron and steel are the most common ferrous alloys, which have durability and tensile strength. Contrarily, this type of alloy is not too common in die casting because of its propensity to rust.

C.Material Selection Considerations

Aside from Zinc and Aluminum alloys, there are also other options to consider as die casting materials. Some components like Brass, Tin, Lead, and Nickel can also be part of the die casting procedures.

IV.Die Casting Process Steps

Before the final delivery of die casting products to the doorsteps of different industries, they go through the manufacturing procedures of engineers and various die casting machines. Most die-casting companies have to invest in advanced equipment, and the most common are Hot and Cold Chamber Die Casting Machines. The two have different processing, but here’s an essential guide to the die casting process.

Die Casting Process Steps

A.Preparation and Design

The first step in every die casting process is the preparation of the design of the mold or die. A particular custom size, design, and preparation of the die casting machine is a must. Get the mold cavity ready and the custom design that you want to achieve.

B.Mold Preparation and Lubrication

Start cleaning the mold or die and remove unnecessary impurities. Shut the two parts with a high amount of pressure and make sure that the mold cavity is sealed and secured. After that, lubricate the die to achieve a smoother and better injection process.

C.Metal Melting and Preparation

The alloy, whether Aluminum, Magnesium, or Zinc, is melted in a furnace, and make sure you have it under control. After the melting procedure, pour the molten metal into a ladle. Give your full attention to this part.

D.Injection and Solidification

The next stage is crucial since it’s time to inject the molten metal into the mold cavity. Using and maintaining a high amount of pressure is an essential part until the metal solidifies.

E.Ejection and Trimming

When the metal has already solidified, it’s time to eject it from the mold. And the final stage can be the most challenging since you have to trim off the excess materials and clean the metal for another processing set.

V.Die Casting Defects and Troubleshooting

Even if the company has the best engineers and most advanced methods, there are still die casting advantages and disadvantages, whether from the outcome or the procedures itself. 

Advantages:

  • Efficiency in High Production
  • Accurate and Precise Standards
  • Excellent Mechanical Details
  • Smooth Surface Finishing
  • High Strength and Dimensional Tolerance

Disadvantages:

  • Not Suitable for Small Scale Production
  • Prone to Issues and Defects
  • Limited to Non-Ferrous Metals Only
  • High Investment Needed
  • Strict and Meticulous Production Operation
Die Casting Defects and Troubleshooting

A.Common Defects

The die casting process passes through advanced methods, but defects can still happen. Cold shuts and deformation are the most common issues because of the metal temperature, intricate dies, and dirty metal. Also, there are instances when there is a lack of venting and excessive lubricant.

B.Causes and Prevention

To avoid or minimize the number of defects from a die casting process, it would be best to have an effective rating system to manage the corrections well and follow the correct metal flow pattern for the standard designs and details. Also, monitoring the right die temperature will save you and avoid the possible effects on the product. It would be best to double-check the thickness of the walls and the filling time in the mold cavity.

C.Troubleshooting Techniques

There are various troubleshooting techniques that you can do when having the final quality control and inspection. A Proper Gating System is the best way to achieve the correct temperature and directional solidification. Taking precautions regarding Casting Design is also a good idea, plus preparing a proper mold expansion. It would be best to have excellent support to the cores and mold alignment, plus Proper Skimming should be considered to remove the impurities. Lastly, Proper Ramming and having complete control of the turbulence were also the best techniques to maintain the expected outcome.

VI.Conclusion

A.Summary of Key Points

Die casting plays a significant part in the industrial and commercial sectors. Thousands of die casting manufacturers compete globally, working with the best die casting engineers, advanced machines and methods, and top-notch die casting process flow. Depending on their application, the different types of die casting processes have something to do with the specifications in the demand of the industries.
Defects and other issues in the outcome can be avoided or reduced by following proper protocols and procedures. There have been a lot of improvements and developments in the die casting process, especially in the field where it became multi-purpose.

B.Future Trends and Outlook for Die Casting Process

In the last few years, the die casting industry has grown globally and significantly impacted the supply chain, among other sectors. This growth has opened a lot of opportunities to the die casting manufacturers as they expanded their products for the automotive market, parts in industrial machinery, and contributions to the growing constructional field.
Here’s some future trends to look forward to in the die casting process:

  • Anticipation to Aluminum Die Casting
    The demand for aluminum die casting has evolved, and the global market anticipates growth for numerous industrial applications. Aluminum die casting is lightweight and flexible for complex shapes that grew its popularity.
  • Significant Growth in Asia-Pacific Region
    According to the forecast, the Asia-Pacific Region is expected to accelerate in the die casting manufacturing industry. Applications in telecommunications and other industrial projects are anticipated in the region.
  • Manufacturing Capacity Expansion
    Die casting manufacturers have been targeting an expansion for their companies to accommodate their clients and ensure they can supply the demand for die casting products. It will be part of the future trends in the industry.
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Willie

Willie is a professional metal processing and manufacturing writer with more than eight years of industry experience.

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