Die Casting Material: The Complete Guide

The uniqueness of die casting is through its wide range of applications.

Parts produced are of high quality, have a higher degree of accuracy, good surface finish and uniformity.

Considerations When Choosing Die Casting Material

Fig 1-Parts Produced From Die Casting Are Of Great Accuracy And Uniformity

Parts Produced From Die Casting Are Of Great Accuracy And Uniformity

Function And Use Of The Final Product

The use and application of the end product determine the type of material that will be used.

For example, high temperature dominated operations require materials with high-temperature resistance.

Production Volume

The level of the quantities to be produced affects the cost of production.

Selection of the material is meant to make the process cost-effective

Dimensional Strength

The material selected should be able to maintain dimensional stability during operation.

The dimensional properties affect the functionality of the end product.

Rapid Production

How fast is the casting process occurring?

The material selected should meet the production needs of the casting process.

Smooth Surface Finish

Does the final product require tooling and machining operation?

Each metal has its cast surface finish.

Tooling and machining operations increase the production cost.

It is recommended to use the material that will require little or no pre-casting and post-casting operations


Some final parts require very high degrees of accuracy in their construction.

Metal Fluidity

The ease of flow of the molten metal affects the speed of the casting process.

Size And Weight Limit

The size of the component being cast and the weight requirement influences the choice of metal to be used.

Size and weight work hand in hand with the functionality and use of the final product.

Applications such as automotive and aerospace, demand lightweight components with high dimensional properties.

Melting Temperature

The melting temperature of the metal to be used

Wear Resistance

Most die cast materials are resistant to wear.

However, the operating conditions of the final component may affect the degree of tolerance to wear of the part.

Damping Capabilities

Vibration damping properties are useful to some applications.

In such cases, the material with the best damping capabilities should be selected.

Cooling Speed

The cooling speed influences the cycle time of the casting process to be used.


The cost of the material directly affects the cost of production.

Types Of Die Casting Materials

The functionality and use of the final product determine the die-casting material.

Each property of the end product has a material to match it.

The volume to be produced also determine the die-casting material used.

Selecting a die-casting process to use, you should consider some advantages and limitations of the processes.

Advantages Of Die-casting Materials

  • Improved Dimensional Strength:

End products are stronger than parts made from other materials.

  • Rapid Production:

High production volumes are possible with limited tooling and machining.

  • Smooth Surfaces:

The finishing on die-cast parts is smooth

  • Accuracy:

There is high dimensional accuracy of die-cast parts.

Limitations Of Die-casting Material

  • High Volume:

The cost-effectiveness of producing small parts is reduced.

  • Limited Metal Fluidity:

Differing malleability affects the complexity and shape of the final products.

  • Size And Weight Limits:

The capacity of die-casting machines limits the dimensional range of parts.

Aluminium Die Casting

Aluminium alloys are alloys with aluminium are the predominant metal.

The most common alloying metals are manganese, magnesium, zinc, silicon, tin, and copper.

Aluminium silicon (Al-Si) is the most used cast alloy.

Silicon gives the cast alloy superb casting properties.

The process produces accurate parts, well-defined fine finished parts.

Benefits Of Die Casting Aluminium Alloys

  • Are lightweight
  • Are resistant to corrosion
  • Can withstand high thermal stresses
  • Good electrical conductivity
  • High thermal resistivity
  • Have high dimensional stability making it suitable for the production of complex and thin-walled parts.
  • Have low density making then essential to the die-casting sector
  • They have great strength to weight ratio
  • Recyclability and reusability in the production
  • EMI/RFI shielding properties are excellent
  • Have great and many finishing options.

Limitations Of Die Casting Aluminium Alloys

  • They shrink easily and cause shrinking defects such as shrinkage porosity.
  • Susceptible to hot-cracking
  • They have high hydrogen solubility
  • Low ductility

Die-casting Aluminium Applications

Their lightweight nature contributes to improvement in fuel efficiency in the automotive industry.

The increased need for lightweight components in aeroplanes has increased their usefulness in aerospace industries.

Their good electrical and shielding properties accompanied with withstanding high temperatures make them useful in electronic uses.

They provide rigidity, EMI/RFI shielding and durability to handheld devices with reduced weight requirements.

Their heat dissipation properties are required in RF housings and boxes in networking projects .

Fig 2- Die Cast Aluminum Is Widely used In Automative Industry

Die Cast Aluminum Is widely Used In Automotive Industry

Aluminium Alloys To Die-Cast


It is the most common aluminium alloy

Its benefits include;

  • Good fluidity
  • It’s pressure-tight and hot-crack resistant
  • Can be combined with other metals
  • Superb mechanical characteristics
  • Outstanding thermal resistivity

Can be used for electronic component’s chassis, cases for gearboxes, power tools, hand tools, household tools and engine brackets

383 Or ADC12

It is an alternative for the A380 alloy.

Some of the properties are:

  • Better corrosion resistances
  • Easy to cast
  • Excellent mechanical properties
  • Dimensionally stable
  • Lightweight


It has very high hardness properties

Besides, it is resistant to corrosion

Also, it is wear-resistant

It is used to make IC engines pistons, brakes, and compressor cylinder bodies


It has excellent pressure tightness

Moreover, it is used in the die-casting of intricate parts such as hydraulic cylinders.


It has numerous benefits;

  • Excellent fluidity
  • Good pressure tightness
  • Hot-crack resistant
  • Can be combined in casting mechanical and thermal properties
  • Wide range of applications


  • High corrosion resistance
  • Great cooling properties due to good thermal conductivity.
  • Removes the need for operations before and after casting such as anodizing and painting.


  • Has excellent pressure tightness
  • Good fluidity
  • High silicon content
  • High corrosion resistance
  • High impact strength

Zinc Die Casting

It is used in the production of components for various industrial applications.

Furthermore, it has superior mechanical properties at room temperatures than grey iron, aluminium and brass.

It has high impact strength and toughness.

Zinc die casting uses both hot and cold chamber casting processes.

Benefits Of Die Casting Zinc Alloys

  • Improved ability to cast- the fluidity of zinc alloys makes it easier to cast thinner, complex and more intricate parts.
  • The fluidity eliminates the need for tooling and machining procedures that are needed for both magnesium and aluminium alloys.
  • Good electrical conductivity
  • They are easy to plate
  • They have a high thermal conductivity
  • High ductility
  • The cold-forming ability makes joining easy
  • High impact strength and hardness
  • Superb resistance to corrosion
  • Cost-effective raw material
  • It is fully recyclable
  • Promotes long life for the dies that are being used
  • Good for thin-wall applications

Limitations Of Die Casting Zinc Alloys

  • Poor mechanical properties at high temperatures
  • Hot-crack susceptibility
  • Poor corrosion resistance
  • Poor surface finish due to the presence of blistering on the surface
  • Heavier end products compared to other alloys.
  • Unsuitable for lightweight applications

Zinc Die-casting Applications

Zinc has excellent castability properties making it useful in making products that are multi-faceted and have complex shapes.

Automotive Industries

They are used due to their strength and hardness.

It is used in fuel systems, air conditioning systems and brake systems.

It is also used in powers steering and engine components.

The Electrical And Electronic Sector

They have good electrical performance and shielding elements due to their thin wall capabilities.

Fig 3 - Electrical Connectors Manufactured From Zinc Die Casting

Electrical Connectors manufactured from Zinc DSie Casting

Zinc Alloys To Die-Cast

Zamak – It is characterised by dimensional strength and high impact strength.

  • Zamak 2 or Kirksite

It is used for gravity casting

It has the highest impact strength and hardness among the other Zamak alloys

Excellent material for bearing constriction

Eliminates the need for bushes and wear insertion in die casting designs

  • Zamak 3

It is often the first choice of material when selecting materials for zinc die-casting.

Has excellent balance of both physical and mechanical properties

Easy to cast

Maintains long-term stability dimensionally

  • Zamak 5

Has increased hardness and impact strength compared to Zamak 3

It is the most used zinc alloy all over Europe

  • Zamak 7

It is an alloy with very high purity.

Has lower magnesium content

It maintains a tight impurity specification.

It is characterised by;

  1. Improved fluidity in casting
  2. High ductility
  • Improved surface finish
  • ZA8

It has more aluminium content than other zinc alloys approximately 8.4%

It is the only zinc alloy that can be die-cast using the hot chamber casting process.

  • ZA27

It has approximately 27% aluminium content.

Magnesium Die Casting

It is the light metal of all die-casting materials.

The most common magnesium alloy is AZ91D

Benefits of Die Casting Magnesium Alloys

Some of the main benefits are:

  • Easy to machine
  • Resistant to corrosion due to their high purity.
  • Are good thermal conductors
  • Have excellent electrical conductivity
  • One of the lightest alloys that are usually die-cast,
  • Have superb noise and vibration dampening properties/
  • They are good materials for EMI and RFI shields.
  • Good strength to weight ratio
  • Are fully recyclable
  • Can be used for making complex and thin-walled parts
  • They have great finishing properties.

Limitations Of Die Casting Magnesium Alloys

  • Low tensile and yield strength with increasing temperature
  • Decrease in hardness with the increase in temperature
  • Change in metallurgical structure over a time
  • Temperatures affect the mechanical properties of magnesium alloys
  • Alloys do not reach equilibrium before solidification.

Magnesium Die-casting Applications

Aerospace industry

  • They are often the best choice in the construction of aircraft and spacecraft.

Electronic housings and casing

  • They can also be used are electromagnetic and radio interference shields.
  • They are used to protect tablets, smartphones, televisions and laptops through their casings.

Automotive industry

  • They are used to make components for high-performance vehicles like sports cars.
  • They also make light shell casting to reduce the weight of the vehicle.
  • This increases the speed of a vehicle and improves vehicle fuel efficiency.

Fig 4- Magnesium Die Casting

Magnesium Die Casting

Magnesium Alloys to Die-Cast


Some of the notable features are:

  • Most used alloy.
  • Good mechanical properties combination
  • Resistant to corrosion
  • Easy to cast

Special precautions must be put in place in case you are machining magnesium alloys.

Titanium Die Casting

Titanium is very strong and offers superb resistance to corrosion.

It is very useful in high-performance applications

Besides, it can easily be alloyed with other metals such as molybdenum, aluminium, iron and vanadium

It is used to produce strong and lightweight alloys.

Benefits Of Die Casting Titanium Alloys

  • High corrosion resistance when exposed to chlorides and mineral acids.
  • It is non-toxic and compatible with human bodies
  • Has a higher tensile strength to density ratio compared to other metals
  • It is resistant to hot cracking
  • Also it is fatigue resistant
  • Moderate resistance to heat
  • Compatible with carbon and epoxy material
  • Superior oxidation resistance
  • Non-magnetic properties
  • Have a shorter radioactive half-life

Limitations Of Die Casting Titanium Alloys

  • High reactivity
  • Difficult to machine
  • Low ductile yield
  • Lower thermal conductivity
  • Difficult to cast
  • It is more expensive than other metals

Applications Of Titanium Die-casting

Its most desirable feature is corrosion resistance.

Strength and durability also play a vital role in its application.

It is used in;

  • Aircrafts
  • Medical implants
  • Automobiles
  • Nuclear waste storage
  • Chemical and petrochemical plants

Titanium Alloys To Die-Cast

Some of the main features of Titanium alloy grade 2:

  • Llightweight
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Has wide usability and availability
  • Mostly used in chemical processing plants.
  • Cold formable
  • Has the ultimate tensile strength of about 40,000 psi and above.
  • It is high ductility
  • It has a high impact strength
  • easily weldable
  • It can not be hardened by heat treatment

Fig 5- Titanium Alloy Grade 2

Titanium Alloy Grade 2

Titanium Alloy Grade 5

Some of the notable benefits are:

  • It is the most used titanium alloy in the world
  • Has 4% vanadium and 6% aluminium
  • Accounts for over 50% of titanium usage worldwide.
  • It can be heat treated to improve its mechanical properties.
  • Can be welded and fabricated at 315° C.
  • High impact strength at very lightweights
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Easily formidable

 Titanium Alloy Grade 6

Titanium Alloy Grade 5

Tin Die Casting

Tin has a very low melting point

It has high fluidity

It is easy to form tin alloys

Can be cast using gravity die-casting, centrifugal die-casting and pressure die-casting methods.

Benefits Of Die Casting Tin Alloys

  • Close dimensional accuracy
  • High density,
  • Corrosion-resistant.
  • Low melting point
  • Excellent molten fluidity
  • It is non-toxic
  • Highly solderable
  • Easily combined with other metals to form alloys such as copper, zinc, lead, and bismuth.
  • They are easily cast and extruded.
  • Cast alloys of tin do not shrink easily during solidification making them dimensionally precise.

Limitations Of Die Casting Tin Alloys

High capital cost

Need for high volumes of production

Low corrosion resistance

Poor wettability

Low metal density

High current density

Applications Of Tin Die-casting

It is used in steel soldering and coating.

It is excellent in making bearing, bronze and pewter alloys.

Tin alloys are used to make decorative and costume jewellery items.

Die-cast alloys of tin are also used for precision and bearing parts.

Such parts are used in motors, engines, generators, household appliances, and turbines.

Tin is also non-toxic making it useful for food handling machinery and equipment.

Used for electroplating electronic parts

Tin Alloys to Die-Cast

Some of the alloys to consider include Bronze and Bearing alloys.

Copper Die Casting

Its technology is used for commercial use.

Besides, it is an alternative  tool to steel moulds that are used in aluminium die casting with high-temperature die material mould.

The die inserts are preheated which reduces the differential temperature between the mould interior and the surface.

Reduced temperature differential minimizes the thermal shock failure and fatigue.

Fig 7- Coppper Die Casting Moulds For Machining Use

Copper Die Casting Moulds For Machining

Benefits Of Die Casting Copper Alloys

  • High corrosion resistance,
  • It has high mechanical characteristics,
  • High resistance to wear,
  • It has high dimensional stability,
  • Good impact strength and component hardness
  • High melting point than aluminium alloys.

Limitations Of Die Casting Copper Alloys

  • Difficult to cast pure cast
  • It is susceptible to surface cracking
  • It is prone to shrinkage and the formation of internal cavities.
  • High working temperatures
  • Unstable die-filling due to the molten metal being of very high temperatures
  • Absence of copper die-casting designs
  • Damage to the die mould due to continuous exposure to high thermal stresses
  • Short lifespan compared to aluminium die-casting dies.
  • Difficult to build specialized tools for the copper die-casting process.
  • Difficult to operate due to very high operating temperatures.

Applications Of Copper Die-casting

It is used to make high-efficiency gear motors

They are also used in forging high-conductivity copper used in;

  • Busbars,
  • Overhead lines,
  • Household wiring, and
  • Power cables

They are used to make non-standard complex parts using the high-pressure die-casting process.

Its applications are majorly electrical and are used in making;

  1. Contact mechanisms
  2. Terminal lugs
  • Die-cast rotors for high-efficiency gear motors
  1. Electrical switchgear
  2. Electrode holders
  3. Irregularly shaped busbars
  • Die-cast terminals for batteries
  • High amperage circuit breakers
  1. Spot welding electrodes
  2. Rings for machinery in the process industry

 A Copper Bus Bar

A Copper Bus Bar

Copper Alloys To Die-Cast

Some of the common alloys:


An alloy of copper and nickel


An alloy of copper, tin and other metals.

Silicon Tombac Die Casting

This alloy is a combination of copper, zinc and silicon.

Besides, it is the highest strength material that is economical to cast.

It is suitable for thin-walled and heavy-duty components

Silicon Tombac Die Casting

 Silicon Tombac Die Casting

Benefits Of Die Casting Silicon Tombac Alloys

  • It is more economical compared to other steel investment die casting processes.
  • Has higher solidity of the end product
  • Ease of producing high strength thin-walled construction parts
  • High dimensional accuracy.
  • Crack-resistant
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Excellent mechanical machinability
  • Does not require heat treatment
  • High hardness and tensile strength
  • Thermal resistivity
  • Excellent friction-bearing characteristics
  • Superb casting capabilities

Limitations Of Die Casting Silicon Tombac Alloys

  • It is expensive than steel
  • It is abrasive to machine or tool
  • It is difficult to weld
  • It has poor fatigue properties
  • It has a poor hardness
  • Low wear resistance
  • Poor abrasion resistance
  • Can not be used in ammonia filled atmosphere

Applications Of Silicon ombac die-casting

Machine and plant engineering

Lock and fitting technology

Automotive industry

Electrical industry

Medical technology

Silicon Tombac Alloys to Die-Cast

It is an alloy of copper, zinc and silicon.

At Inox, we will help you choose the best die casting material for all your applications.

For any questions or inquiry, contact us now.

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