Custom die casting is a process that uses tailored die molds injected with high-pressure molten metal to create custom parts and components.
Ideally, this process allows you to create modified parts which are specifically designed to meet your application demands.
In this guide, you will find all information you are looking for about the custom die casting process – keep reading to learn more.
What Are The Main Custom Die Casting Tooling Available?
Custom Die Casting Process
Typical custom dies casting processes use different tooling options.
Of course, the exact tooling component used is dependent on the specific part you are creating.
The commonly used ones, however, include the following;
Cold Chamber Custom Die Casting
This custom die casting process entails heating metal in a different furnace and liquid metal transferred to the mold cavity.
In essence, the molten metal is forced by a pressurized plunger into the mold cavity.
Cold Chamber Custom Die Casting
You can learn more about cold chamber die casting.
Hot Chamber Custom Die Casting
It is a tooling process that comprises the use of various low melting temperature metal alloys.
The heating of metals in this process takes place inside the casting machine rather than in a different furnace to melt it.
Molten metal is forced out of the furnace into the die using a hydraulic-powered piston.
Ordinarily, this tooling option is quite faster and can last for a typical cycle, often about 15-20 minutes.
Hot Chamber Die Casting Process
You can learn more about the hot chamber die casting process.
Multi-slide Custom Die Casting
This tooling process utilizes four perpendicular slides to enable it to create more precise and complex castings.
In some instances, this tooling option may provide up to six slides at various angles apart from 90°.
Essentially, this tooling option is more advantageous since it offers consistent part quality.
Besides, it provides faster cycle speeds, reduces the need for secondary operations, and minimizes tooling costs.
Multi-Slide Custom Die Casting
Here is more information about multi-slide die casting.
What Benefits Do Custom Die Casting Offer?
Custom die casting offers a broad range of advantages, including the following;
- Perfect product quality
This type of die casting guarantees high-quality parts with accurate dimensions and an immaculate surface finish.
Of course, this is advantageous since it adds significant value to your parts and components.
- Highly cost-effective
In many instances, the design of custom die castings enable you to attain immensely smooth surface material.
Hence, you will hardly need to integrate mechanical processes to improve the surface finish.
Moreover, this process allows you to produce different casting parts in bulk quickly.
In essence, it means you will cut your cost immensely, and this is imperative from a commercial point of view.
- Improved production efficiency
Custom die casting use fast and reliable tools and equipment, which guarantees high productivity.
For instance, you can produce up to 700 times within eight hours when using a cold air custom die casting instrument.
A small hot-chamber custom die casting machine, on the other hand, can give you up to 7,000 times more within eight hours.
In a nutshell, this process guarantees high production output, which of course, is beneficial in business profitability.
- Efficient for producing complex parts
You can create parts with complex shapes using a custom die casting process.
Ideally, the essence of this process is to create personalized parts and components suitable for specific application demands.
Thus, this process makes it easy to create such parts to enable you to attain the ultimate desired results in your project.
- Enhances strength and reduces weight
This casting technique allows you to produce parts with relatively thin walls, which technically have less weight and improved strength.
Hence, you can use it in a wide range of applications where lightweight and strength are of the essence.
It Is Possible To Create complex Parts Of Great Quality From Custom Die Casting\
Which Process Methods Can You Use To Attain Custom Die Casting?
Ordinarily, custom die casting usually use two main process techniques, which include the following;
- Low-pressure injection – It is a process that entails the use of air pressure to force molten metal upwards into an enclosed die cavity.
This is an ideal custom die casting process method for making pressure-tight vessels and tight circular vessels.
- High-pressure casting – It is a method that involves injecting liquid metal into a mold by using immense pressure to form parts.
Ideally, it yields exceptional dimensional accuracy and evenly smooth surfaces, eliminating the need for post-production machining.
This process is often seemingly faster and more cost-effective than other casting processes.
What Is The Difference Between Hot Chamber Custom Die Casting And Cold Chamber Die Casting Process?
Hot Chamber Die Casting
Notably, hot and cold chamber casting is the primary process used in creating a custom die casting parts and components.
However, they tend to vary in operation and functional aspects such as the following;
Injection mechanism in hot chamber die casting is immersed in liquid metal.
A specific metal feed system known as gooseneck attaches the furnace to the machine.
During operation, the die closes to enable the piston to rise and the port to open hence making it possible for liquid metal to fill the cylinder.
Subsequently, the plunger seals the port and forces the molten metal through the nozzle and gooseneck into a die cavity.
This triggers the die to open cores to retract and allows casting to stay in one die half of the ejector side.
As such, the ejector pins push the castings forcefully out of the ejector dies.
Molten metal then flows via the inlet and refills the gooseneck once the plunger uncovers the filling hole.
In the cold chamber, custom die casting process, however, molten metal is served from a crucible into a short-sleeve.
At this point, the hydraulically-operated plunger forces liquid metal into die.
The excess material pushes extra metal into die cavity as compensation for shrinkage, which takes place during solidification.
Cold chambers usually handle corrosion issues by separating melt pot from injector parts.
Technically, that’s how these two custom die casting processes differ.
What Are The Core Elements In Designing Custom Die Casting Part?
When designing custom die casting parts, it is imperative to always look into different core factors that include the following;
- Wall thickness – Ordinarily, there is no limitation to the minimum wall thickness required. But it is advisable always to create parts and components with consistent thickness.
Injection point’s location – The best way to achieve this is by surrounding the points with the metal and still allowing the part to come off when mold is separated.
- Mold design – It should be seamless such that it can separate and allow solidified material to come off easily.
- You must consider the parting line in the initial stages of custom die part design
Components Created Should Be Of Consistent Thickness
What Are The Ideal Metals To Consider For Custom Die Casting?
Custom die casting can utilize a wide array of metals to create different desired parts.
But it is important to note that the best metal is dependent on the specification and demands of the project.
Nevertheless, the commonly used metals in making parts using this process include the following;
This metal exhibits incredible strength, dimensional precision, quality surface finishing properties, and corrosion resistance.
Besides, zinc has high hardness and sturdiness, making it suitable for a wide range of machining processes.
It is available in various alloys, including Zamak 7, EZAC, ZP2, ZP3, ZP5, and ZA8 among others.
It is widely used in different applications; thus typical for custom die casting.
Some of the notable features of aluminum include; high operating temperatures, lightweight, fully recyclable, and excellent thermal conductivity.
Moreover, this metal also exhibits incredible strength, corrosion resistance, and heat-dissipating properties.
The common aluminum alloys used in custom die casting include; A360, A413, A380, B390, 44300, 46000, and 47100 among others.
Magnesium exhibits notable strength, rigidity, and high recyclability hence ideal for alloying materials where weight is a concern.
It is relatively economical and assures immense durability than most metals used in custom die casting.
AZ91D is the common magnesium alloy often used in this process.
It offers an exceptional combination of corrosion resistance, castability, and mechanical properties among others.
Which Surface Finishing Processes Can You Integrate Into Custom Die Casting?
You can apply an array of surface finishing processes on custom die casting parts.
Ideally, the most suitable one is dependent on various factors but majorly, application demands, budget, and environmental factors.
The popular surface finishes often integrated with this part-making process include the following;
- Powder coating
It involves curing the part surface by subjecting it to elevated temperatures to give the material a sturdier finish.
This surface finishing process is generally scratch-resistant and often available in different textures, hues, and gloss levels.
A Powder Coated Metal Alloy
Quite a common surface coating process, which involves applying paint on the casting and allowing it to cure and dry.
You can use several techniques to apply paint on the surface material of different castings depending on the tool or device you are using.
In essence, painting custom die casting is more economical and effective than most surface coating methods.
It entails using electrical current to attract paint or coating substrate to a metallic part or component.
This process involves immersing the component into a wet coating substance to infuse it into metal parts electrochemically.
An Electroplated Zinc Alloy
It is an electrolytic passivation process in that technology increases the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of different casting materials.
This surface finishing method is an affordable approach for creating corrosion resistance and longevity in casting parts.
- Chrome plating
This is an electroplating technique, which involves plating a thin chromium layer on the surface of the casting part.
In essence, the chromed layer guarantees corrosion resistance enhances surface hardness, and allows easy cleaning.
Chrome Plated Alloy
How Much Does Custom Die Casting Process Cost?
The actual cost of custom die casting usually varies based on a host of factors.
Since it involves tailoring the process to ensure you obtain custom parts and components, it means you are likely to spend slightly more.
The common cost-determinants of the custom die casting process, nevertheless, include the following;
- Design planning – Ordinarily, punctual and meticulous design planning makes this tooling process comparatively affordable. It allows you to analyze mold flow thoroughly and determine and reduce all cost-related factors.
- Casting material – Different castings materials feature various properties, which affect and influence the actual cost of the process. Some materials are hard and require higher temperatures to melt and lower to solidify hence more expensive than vice versa.
- Post-casting operations – Ideally, the specific post-casting operation to integrate into part also determines the actual cost. Some materials hardly require such operations, others require it slightly, whereas some need them intensively. It depends on the exact application demands and the type of material you are using for custom die casting.
- Required tolerance – Ordinarily, tighter-tolerance parts will be more expensive to produce using this process and vice versa.
- Manufacturer – Different manufacturers have different prices for custom die casting operations. Thus, you need to inquire from your preferred manufacturer to determine the actual cost.
What Is The Ideal Tolerance In Custom Die Casting?
It varies based on an array of variables.
Remarkably, the exact type of casting metal you are using plays a fundamental role in determining the ideal tolerance required.
Also, the specific application of the custom die casting part influences the most suitable tolerance.
Therefore, it is necessary for the design engineer, during the custom die casting process, to understand the specific precisions for every part.
Essentially, it is vital to state precision tolerances in agreed-upon critical sections.
Even so, the suitable tolerance in custom die casting should be +/-.0005″ depending on the part size.
What Are The Main Quality Tests For Custom Die Casting Parts?
Ordinarily, custom die casting parts are usually subjected to a wide range of tests to determine whether they meet right quality.
But the common quality tests include the following;
- Initial test – This examination involves scrutinizing the part to determine whether it is filled with suitable materials.
- Dimensional test – The essence of this test is to establish a specific value range the custom die casting part falls in.
- Non-destructive evaluation – It establishes the overall quality of the custom die casting part without essentially destroying it.
- Mechanical test – The design of this evaluation is to figure out whether the specific custom die castings contain the ideal properties.
- Chemical test – It analyzes the chemical properties of custom die castings to ensure they are within required levels.
Is There Recommended Wall Thickness For Custom Die Casting Parts?
Often, the part design and size are the primary determinants of minimum or maximum cross-sectional wall thickness of any custom die castings.
In essence, if localized, it becomes easy to attain a wall thickness of 0.010.
On the contrary, it can be quite challenging to attain such a wall thickness if it runs across the whole length of 4” apart.
Hence, it merely means that the maximum wall thickness of a typical custom dies casting part range from 0.04 to 0.12.
But this is also dependent on the size and design of the part.
Notably, minimizing the wall thickness reduces the material content and cost of the particular casting component.
What Types Of Dies Are Used In Making Custom Die Castings?
There are four primary types of dies using the custom die casting process, and they include the following; single, multiple, combination, and unit dies.
As the names suggest, a single cavity die has one cavity, and a multiple cavity die has several identical cavities.
However, a combination die has cavities featuring different shapes and is often vital when making various assembly parts.
Unit die, on the other hand, is for producing comparatively simple parts, particularly when determining tooling and production economies.
Moreover, unit dies also come in handy in casting numerous for different customers simultaneously.
Is Custom Die Casting Automated?
Contemporary tools used in custom die casting automate this process using various complex methods to provide exceptional quality control.
The process is thus automated from various perspectives, including dies lubrication and integration of other parameters such as trimming and quenching castings.
Moreover, machines used in this process have microprocessors designed to obtain metal velocity and hydraulic pressure.
Also, these microprocessors can shoot rod position and adjust all the data accordingly, ensuring consistency in shot after shot casting.
Besides, the control systems in automated processes often record the instrument’s performance data ideal for quality control statistical analysis.
What Are The Technical Features Of Custom Die Casting Parts?
Primarily, custom dies castings exhibit a wide array of technical features.
However, the basic features often vary from one part to another based on the specific material used in the process.
Essentially, the main features cutting across most custom die casting parts include the following;
- Excellent electrical conductivity
- Exceptional dimensional stability and high accuracy
- Comparatively lightweight
- Thin-wall capability
- Quality smooth finish
- Excellent thermal conductivity
Why Is It Advisable To Use Thin-Walled Custom Die Castings?
Thin-walled custom die castings are integral when used in a wide range of applications.
Notable reasons for choosing to use these variants include the following;
1) Since they have thinner walls, it means they are significantly lightweight, and this is critical in tooling for attaining desired results.
2) Such parts retain precise dimensional stability leading to durable, reliable, and effective applications.
3) You can easily create a wide range of surface finishing options on thin-walled custom die casting parts.
4) They guarantee exceptional versatility, given you can swiftly and efficiently use them in various applications.
Thin-Walled Custom Die casting
How Can You Activate Core Slides In Custom Die Casting?
Technically, core slides are moving die components.
Hence, it is necessary to activate them, and you can consistently achieve that by using the following techniques;
- Hydraulic cylinders
This is a slide motion technique allowing the selection of cycles and slides’ placement on any side of the die.
It is imperative because it prevents interference when removing casting from the die.
- Angle pins
It is a mechanical source of motion usually activated by opening and closing the die.
This method barely requires hydraulics or limit switches.
Moreover, it hardly has control over the slide pull cycle.
What Factors Determine is Custom Die Casting Production Lead Time?
Often, custom die casting turnaround usually varies based on different factors, and the main ones include the following;
- Custom die casting equipment and method – This process uses cold or hot chamber methods to produce parts. It also uses different equipment depending on the specific part you are creating.
- Shape complexity – You can use a custom die casting process to produce a wide range of parts’ shapes. However, parts with more complex shapes tend to take longer to make than those with simple designs.
- Type of metal – Ideally, different casting metals exhibit various properties, which in many instances influence the actual casting lead-time.
- Quantity – The volume of parts you are casting also determines how long it takes to fulfill the order. Ordinarily, more parts take longer to produce than fewer parts.
- Type of die – Custom die casting using a unit die is faster since you can produce numerous parts relatively fast and simultaneously.
Where Do You Commonly Use Custom Die Casting Parts?
The typical applications of custom die casting parts are innumerable.
You will find different casting parts in several industries used for making a wide range of components.
The main applications, nonetheless, include the following;
- Heat sinks
- Light fixtures
- Automotive parts
- Medical equipment
- Consumer electronics
- Telecommunication devices
- Maritime components
- Aircraft equipment
- Agricultural components
An Automotive part Made From Die casting
Which Ways Can You Use To Enhance Surface Finish Quality In Custom Die Casting?
Here are the main operation of improving surface quality in custom die casting;
Buffing – It entails using fine abrasives usually suspended in a lubricating binder to soften and revitalize the custom die casting surface.
Honing – This technique uses silicon carbide abrasives to correct spirals produced by the initial machining operation.
Super-finishing – It is an operation involving refining the exterior diameter, specifically for cylindrical custom die casting parts.
Polishing – This process uses abrasives attached to an elastic backing tightly like a wheel or belt. It is suitable for maintaining close tolerances while improving surface finish.
Precision grinding – It is a method that uses firmly attached abrasives to remove impurities and imperfections from the surface of the casting part.
What Challenges Can You Encounter In Custom Die Casting?
This art making process has a few challenges, which include the following;
- It requires attentive monitoring and management, particularly at the cooling phase.
- Majorly, the molding and shaping instrument is explicitly designed to withstand stress and heating process only.
- This process can be relatively expensive given it might require individual precision hence needs more time, resources, and skills.
- It only guarantees the best results when using high-fluidity metals, and this may end up influencing the specific parts created.
What Does High Integrity In Custom Die Casting Entail?
High integrity is a reference to custom die casting process variations commonly used for producing metal castings for dedicated applications.
In essence, such applications need minimum gas porosity in the castings.
The common types of high integrity in custom die casting include the following;
a) High custom die casting
It entails sealing and vacuuming die to eliminate unwanted gas from die cavity.
The amount of gas trapped in die cavity is reduced by injecting the metal.
Nonetheless, parts formed using this process have excellent mechanical properties.
b) Squeeze custom die casting
This process involves the injection of liquid metal at reasonably slow speeds to eliminate turbulence.
Therefore, high pressure is used in squeezing metal into the die to create quality castings.
c) Semi-solid custom die casting
It is a method that uses semi-solid billet often injected inside the die cavity.
The semi-liquid state of molten metal minimizes the level of gas acquired during injection, creating dense and heat-treatable parts.
What Are The Best Techniques Of Enhancing Efficiency In Custom Die Casting?
An integral element in attaining efficiency in custom die casting is appropriate planning.
Proper planning is relatively broad and entails the following elements;
Replication – It is advisable to conduct a test run to ensure you adjust all vital elements, which require attention before the actual process.
Automation – Using tech-based equipment would be ideal for the custom die casting process since it minimizes delays and reduces running costs.
Reducing scrap – Ideal way of attaining this is by properly planning the whole production process; hence necessary to determine the causes of scrap.
How Do You Eliminate Porosity In Custom Die Casting Parts?
Porosity is essentially inherent in the custom die casting process, but here are some approaches you can use to reduce it;
- Appropriate and early planning
- Effective communication with design engineer during the designing stage
- Proposing reasonable and practical part design modifications
What Are The Suitable Custom Die Casting Design Prototyping Processes?
The appropriate prototyping processes to consider in custom die casting design include the following;
Machined prototype – It produces nearly exact parts based on weight and casting tolerance
Gravity cast – This method needs reasonably thick-walled custom die castings and fairly large tolerances
Die-cast prototype – It is the most suitable prototype if you aim to attain accurate geometry and characteristics of the component.
3D printing – This prototyping method is suitable for creating prototypes in sturdy rigid plastics.
How Do You Enhance Precision During Custom Die Casting?
Inherently, custom die casting is an ideal process for improving precision of parts.
But the actual precision of custom die cast parts are based on tooling accuracy.
Hence, this process allows you to include comparatively complex features in your design.
Moreover, this technique inhibits you from providing thin walls and undercuts in your ultimate design.
As such, this improves the precision of the custom die casting part, making it ideal for its designed application.
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