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What Is Die Casting, Its Types, and Applications?

What Is Die Casting, Its Types, and Applications?

The term “die cast” refers to forming a metal object after you pour molten metal on a reusable mold. Die casting is used in numerous industries and helps create healthcare equipment, appliance components, automotive housings, and many more. Luckily nowadays, any company can easily find a good contractor, whether it’s looking for die casting in Singapore or in the United States.

Materials used for die casting are nonferrous metals like lead, magnesium, copper, zinc, and aluminum. These are preferred because they end up forming components that are high-quality and robust. In most scenarios, as the process goes on, you can add different chemical elements to the molten metal to help reach some of the metal composition. The final material can be multiple or single casts. This is dependent on the material, size, and complexity. This process makes many metal parts useful in the manufacturing industry.

Types of Die Casting

There are several types of die casting, but the two major ones include hot die casting and cold chamber process. Other die-casting processes include vacuum die casting, semi-solid metal forming, and squeeze casting process.   

1. Hot Chamber Die Casting

The first type of die casting is the hot chamber. This is the most popular type and also goes by the name of gooseneck casting. The liquid alloy comes into contact with the casting chamber during the process. 

The molten metal goes through the valve to get to the casting chamber. Since it needs to do this at high speed, that is where the piston comes into play. 

The piston presses the molten metal in the chamber at the appropriate rate. After it goes into the die cavity, it is under pressure for complete solidification. Because of the high pressure, the hot chamber gives off a higher production rate compared to the cold chamber process.  

This process is excellent and convenient for casting metals with low fluidity and low melting points. These include metals like zinc and tin.

Advantages

  • Offer more extended life courtesy of the low melting points
  • There is a faster production rate
  • Minimal wastage 
  • The end product has little or no porosity
  • Melted metal inside the die-casting machine

Disadvantages

  • Heat treatment issues usually accompany the process
  • You only save on costs if you are doing high-volume production
  • Metals with high-melting points are not applicable

2. Cold chamber process

For this type of die casting, the molten metal goes into a cold chamber, specifically through an injection system. The casting chamber is filled with alloy and then pressed to pass through the channels to the die-cast mold. 

Unlike the Hot Chamber method, the metals used for this process have higher melting points like copper and aluminum. Due to the corrosive nature of these metals, they are not suitable for hot chamber die casting.  

During the process, the pressure ranges from around 30Mpa to 150Mpa when the hydraulic plunger closes the cold chamber port, forcing the metal into the mold cavity.

Advantages

  • Maintenance cost is low
  • The process is relatively simple to carry out
  • There is exceptional dimensional accuracy
  • High-speed production
  • Metal casting is dense

Disadvantages

  • The final result is likely to be affected courtesy of pollutants
  • Cycle time is slower compared to hot chamber die-casting
  • High level of contamination and oxidation

3. Vacuum die casting

This type of casting is associated with cold chamber-type die casting. Here gas and air are removed from the die cavity courtesy of a vacuum source before introducing molten metal. The reason behind this is to reduce gas inclusion and cut down on turbulence. Some of the advantages of this type of casting include a shorter time cycle, a better surface finish, and dimensional stability.

4. Semi-solid metal forming

This type of casting involves the use of semi-molten materials. It is popular in making aluminum alloy parts for building airplanes, oil pump filter housings, engine mounts, and pressure containment. One downside to this process is that the materials here are prone to damage by environmental factors like temperature. This, in turn, makes it more expensive.

5. Squeeze casting process

This liquid metal forging method involves both the cast and forge to make mortar bodies and automotive components. Dense products are a result of this process. The molten metal is squeezed into the mold while being filled with recessed regions of the mold.  

Applications of Die Casting

Most medium-sized components with complex parts are made from die-casting. The process works exceptionally on aluminum, magnesium, and other nonferrous metals. 

Die casting is the leading method for producing and manufacturing industrial, commercial, and consumer products. These include things like gears, connector housing, and sink faucets. 

The process can be applied in almost all industries, like lighting technology, machinery, electronics, power tools, furniture, and domestic appliances.

Conclusion

Die casting has been around for a long time and has proven helpful in the manufacturing and industrial industry. We hope this article has helped you do familiarize yourself with the basics of the operation, including what it entails, the advantages and disadvantages, and its applications.

About the author

Mike K. Watson

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