From cylinder heads and engine blocks to garden furniture and bicycle frames, die casting is used to create a wide variety of products. It involves the use of pressurized molten metal to fill a mold cavity. The raw metal is heated, after which it’s forced into a mold cavity. After the molten metal has cooled and solidified, the newly created casting is ejected. While die casting is a versatile casting process, though, it offers both advantages and disadvantages for manufacturing companies.
Die Casting Pros
Die casting supports many different metals and alloys. Zinc is a popular choice for this casting process because of its high ductility and equally high strength. It’s also relatively inexpensive, making it ideal for large-scale manufacturing applications. Other metals and alloys supported by die casting include aluminum, magnesium, copper, lead and tin.
Manufacturing companies don’t have to worry about rough or rigid casting surfaces with die casting. Since it involves pressurized molten metal, it’s able to create super-smooth surfaces on castings. As the molten metal is forced into the mold cavity, it completely fills the otherwise voided space to ensure a smooth surface.
Another benefit of die casting is its ability to minimize the need for finishing operations. With other types of casting processes, castings are often finished using a machine. These secondary machining operations can be time-consuming and cumbersome. The good news is that die casting reduces the need for such operations. In many cases, castings are ready to be shipped immediately after this casting process.
Die Casting Cons
On the other hand, die casting is somewhat expensive when compared to other casting processes. It requires a special type of casting machine that’s expensive to purchase as well as maintain. Manufacturing companies can save money by choosing zinc as the casting material, but die casting is still a relatively expensive casting process.
Die casting also has weight specifications to which the castings must adhere. For instance, a typical casting may require a weight of 1 ounce to 15 pounds. If the casting weighs more or less, it suffer from defect.
To recap, die casting is a casting process used in the manufacturing industry to create objects using pressurized molten metal. The metal — or alloy for that matter — is heated and then forced into a mold cavity. As the molten metal cools, it hardens. The solidified casting can then be removed from the mold cavity.