This guide covers all the different types of die casting techniques.
So, before choosing die casting process for your part production, read this guide.
This information will help you save time and money – take a look.
- What Are The Available Types Of Die Casting?
- How Does Pressure Die Casting Operate?
- How Does Hot Chamber And Cold Chamber Die Casting Compare?
- How Does High Pressure And Low Pressure Die Casting Compare?
- What Are The Benefits Of Using Pressure Die Casting?
- What Are The Limitations Of Using Pressure Die Casting?
- What Factors Should You Consider When Working With High Pressure Die Casting?
- How Does Gravity Die Casting Operate?
- What Are The Benefits Of Gravity Die Casting?
- What Are The Limitations Of Gravity Die Casting?
- What Are The Benefits Of Tilting In Gravity Die Casting?
- How Does Vacuum Die Casting Operate?
- What Are The Benefits Of Using Vacuum Die Casting?
- What Are The Limitations Of Using Vacuum Die Casting?
- How Will You Lower Production Costs Through The Use Of Vacuum Die Casting?
- How Will You Ensure The Success Of A Vacuum Die Casting?
- What Are The Applications Of The Different Types Of Die Casting?
- How Does Squeeze Die Casting And Semi-Solid Die Casting Compare?
- What Metals Can The Different Types Of Die Casting Handle?
- What Should You Consider When Purchasing The Machines That Will Perform The Different Types Of Die Casting?
- What Dies Are Available For Use In The Different Types Of Die Casting?
- What Factors Are Important When Choosing Metals You Will Use On The Different Types Of Die Casting?
- What Factors Are Important When You Are Designing Components Using The Types Of Die Casting?
What Are The Available Types Of Die Casting?
Die Casting Process
The main types of die casting available in the market today include the following:
Pressure Die Casting
This type of die casting is suitable for the production of components in high-volume usage.
Besides, it can manufacture thin-walled parts without compromising on their quality.
Also, the tonnage of pressure die casting will range between 80 tons and 1000 tons, and this relies on the pressure requirements.
Pressure die casting applies pressure from outside which forces the molten metal to enter the die molds.
Furthermore, you can categorize pressure die casting based on the amount of pressure you will use in the process.
These categories include:
Low Pressure Die Casting
Low pressure die casting
High Pressure Die Casting
High Pressure die casting
Gravity Die Casting
This type of die casting is suitable when you are manufacturing parts in high to medium production processes.
It also uses permanent dies in common scenarios thus enabling you to attain near-net-shape parts.
Besides, you can use either manual or automatic processes in gravity die casting.
The type of gravity die casting machine you use in your application will determine the final weight of the parts you are making.
Gravity die casting allows you to save on the production costs thereby making it applicable for several industries.
The cost of the tooling you use in gravity die casting costs less than that for pressure die casting.
Gravity die casting is suitable for the production of heavy parts.
Gravity die casting
Vacuum Die Casting
This type of die casting is suitable for use in industries that make large parts.
When you are manufacturing large parts, they tend to trap air during the fabrication process.
This trapped air will cause the parts to have porosity issues.
However, vacuum die casting is a suitable choice to make large parts since it will eliminate such effects.
Vacuum die casting
How Does Pressure Die Casting Operate?
The steps you will undertake during pressure die casting include:
In this stage, you will tightly clamp the two die halves after cleaning and lubricating them.
Besides, lubrication should happen at least after 2 to 3 cycles as it depends on the metal you are using in your application.
Afterward, you will apply ample pressure to close the die before you begin injecting the molten metal.
Also, large pressure die casting machines require more time and force to securely clamp the dies.
This process involves transferring the molten metal from the furnace into the die chamber where you will inject it.
Also, you can perform the injection process through a cold or hot chamber die casting process.
Afterward, you will inject the molten metal at the appropriate pressure level.
The pressure you apply to the molten metal assists it to solidify.
Furthermore, the injection time is quick and lasts around 0.1 seconds as this ensures even solidification of the cast part.
The thickness of the cast wall and thermodynamic properties of the metal determine the time of injection.
For instance, you will have a longer injection time if you want to make thicker walls.
After injecting molten metal in the die casting, it starts to solidify.
The molten metal will take the shape of the die cavity after it fills it and solidifies.
Besides, ensure you wait for the cooling time to expire before opening the die cast.
The cooling time depends on the complexity of the die, wall thickness, and thermodynamic traits of the molten metal.
This stage entails the opening of the die halves once the cooling time expires.
Besides, you can manually open the die or use ejector units that assist in the process.
During the solidification process, the metal cast attaches to the sides of the die cavity.
For this reason, it is vital to eliminate the surplus material as well as flash that occurs.
The trimming process can happen using various devices like trimming presses or saws.
Also, you can recycle the parts you trim for use in the next cycle.
How Does Hot Chamber And Cold Chamber Die Casting Compare?
Here is how these two compare:
- Temperature level
Hot chamber die casting works with non-ferrous metal alloys at a low-temperature level.
Besides, the maximum temperature level of metal alloys you can use in a hot chamber die casting is about 450°C.
Such metal alloys include lead, magnesium, zinc, etc.
However, cold chamber die casting can handle non-ferrous metal alloys at a high-temperature level.
The temperature level of these alloys in this system is equal to or above 600°C.
Examples of these metal alloys include brass, copper, aluminum, etc.
- Location of furnace
The furnace that melts the metal alloy is in different locations for both of these die casting chambers.
An in build furnace that melts the metal alloy is within the hot chamber die casting.
This means the molten metal enters the die cavity via a gooseneck system.
However, the melting furnace in a cold chamber die casting is not attached to the chamber.
This means you need to carry the molten metal into the cold chamber die casting system manually or automatically via ladles.
- Production time
The cycle time in cold chamber die casting is lower than that of hot chamber die casting.
Cold chamber die casting has longer cycle times because you are manually handling the molten metal.
This is even though these two chambers operate almost similarly.
- Tool durability
The materials that make both hot chamber and cold chamber are similar.
Hot chamber die casting uses metals alloys that have a low melting point, thereby, minimally affecting the die.
For this reason, the die is more durable in hot chamber die casting.
However, the die material in cold chamber die casting is not as durable since it degrades at a rapid rate.
This is because the molten metal you are using has a very high-temperature level.
- Safety requirements
Hot chamber die casting can operate with minimum safety procedures whereas cold chamber die casting requires a lot of safety requirements.
This is due to the location of the melting furnace.
Hot chamber die casting
Cold chamber die casting
Hot chamber versus Cold chamber die casting
How Does High Pressure And Low Pressure Die Casting Compare?
This is how these two types of pressure die casting compare:
- High pressure die casting
This version entails the injection of molten metal within the metal die cavity at high-pressure levels.
In high pressure die casting, the process occurs at high speeds and pressure rates.
The temperature of the molten metal in several of these applications is around 700°C.
Some advantages of using high pressure die casting include:
- Minimal machining requirement as it is a precise process
- Enables you manufacture light components
- It allows you to achieve tight tolerance levels for the cast parts
- Suitable for large-scale component volume production
- It allows you to fabricate complex parts
- Highly flexible thus guarantees rapid delivery
- A high production capacity for metal parts
- It allows you to make thin parts
- Superior component finish as they are smooth
Some of its disadvantages include:
- Costly to produce parts in low quantities
- The machine size determines the size of the cast part
- It may need the application of complex machinery
- Costly tooling costs than that of gravity die casting
High Pressure die casting process
High Pressure die casting machine
- Low pressure die casting
This type of die casting entails injecting molten metal within the die cavity at a low-pressure level.
Furthermore, the parts you make using this die casting process have higher quality than that of gravity die casting.
However, their quality is less than that of high pressure die casting.
This process works well with low melting point metals like magnesium or aluminum.
Some advantages of low pressure die casting include:
- Minimize secondary functions due to enhanced metal finish
- Suitable for production of parts in small amounts
- It enables you to perform heat treatment on the metal casts
- Low production costs than high pressure die casting
- Guarantees high production yields
- High production capacity
Some disadvantages include:
- High cost of tooling
- It requires complex and expensive equipment
Low Pressure die casting Process
Low Pressure die casting machine
High Pressure die casting versus Low Pressure die casting
What Are The Benefits Of Using Pressure Die Casting?
Pressure die casting will offer you the following benefits:
- It allows you to make components with high mechanical traits.
This means the parts have appealing surface finishes and a tight and accurate dimension.
Therefore, you will use pressure die casting to manufacture complex parts.
- Pressure die casting is suitable when making parts in large amounts.
This is because pressure increases the flow rate of the molten metal.
Due to its high setup costs, pressure die casting is not suitable for short production runs.
- The purity of part from pressure die casting remains intact.
This means the cast part has no oxidation effects since it traps no gas within the component.
- This process is more cost-effective than other types of die casting.
Besides, this is suitable only when conducting large production processes.
Also, the parts of the machine are durable meaning you can conduct several cycles before performing any replacements.
- The configuration of the final cast is controllable as it depends on the pressure you are applying.
- It allows you to make lightweight and thin-walled cast parts.
Pressure die casting
What Are The Limitations Of Using Pressure Die Casting?
Pressure die casting has the following limitations:
- Not suitable for casting metals with low fluidity traits
- High initial cost due to the technology
- Not suitable for the production of parts in small amounts
What Factors Should You Consider When Working With High Pressure Die Casting?
These are important aspects as they ensure the whole process happens successfully.
This means you should consider the pressure, weight, and heating temperature.
Choosing the best metal is important as it the efficiency of the die casting machine.
For example, highly efficient die casting machines ensure you attain high production capacities.
The castings you can make per hour relying on the capacity of the die casting machine and the complexity of components.
Some other aspects to consider include the suitability and sustainability of the process.
Pressure die casting mostly operates on zinc and aluminum metal alloys.
This is because they are easily available and you can recycle them and they will maintain their important elements.
How Does Gravity Die Casting Operate?
Gravity die casting relies on gravitational force and not exerted pressure like in pressure die casting.
This means you will apply no force to the molten metal to make it flow in gravity die casting.
Gravity die casting is also suitable when casting non-ferrous metal alloys like aluminum, copper, and zinc.
The main procedures you will undertake when performing gravity die casting entail the following:
- The initial phase involves heating the die mold
- Afterward, you will spray it with lubricants as they help with the control of temperature levels in the mold
- Once you complete this process, you will tightly close the entire setup
- The next phase entails pouring the molten metal into the die cavity
- Thereafter, you will allow the molten metal to cool and solidify in the die cavity
- Once the cooling time elapses, you will open the die cavity and remove the cast metal component
- This may happen manually or with the assistance of ejectors that apply the appropriate force
- Finally, you will trim the cast metal part then prepare the gravity die casting machine for the next casting process
Gravity die casting enables you to make components that have complex shapes.
Examples of components you can fabricate using gravity die casting include:
- Air conditioning systems
- Valve flow systems
- Cylinder parts
- Components in diesel engines
Gravity die casting operation
What Are The Benefits Of Gravity Die Casting?
Gravity die casting will offer you the following benefits:
- It allows you to attain quick production capacities
- Components have better dimensional accuracy
- It enables you to attain thin-walled components
- The process produces suitable components that need no or less secondary functions
- It allows you to make undercuts on parts by the use of undercuts
- The process produces a smooth surface finish when compared to sand casting
- It will enhance the mechanical characteristics of the metal alloy, for instance, a high tensile strength
What Are The Limitations Of Gravity Die Casting?
Gravity die casting has the following limitations:
- The setup cost is expensive
- It will not support the fabrication of complex component shapes
- The process can produce parts with minimal wall thickness levels ranging between 3 and 5 mm
What Are The Benefits Of Tilting In Gravity Die Casting?
Tilting gravity die casting offers the benefit of producing dense castings.
Also, the castings will be of high quality with suitable mechanical characteristics such as stiffness and strength.
This makes it vital for automotive usages that tend to be demanding such as suspension units and braking systems.
Tilting Process in Gravity die casting
tilting gravity die casting machine
How Does Vacuum Die Casting Operate?
Vacuum die casting works similarly to other types of pressure die casting.
The only change is with the formation of a vacuum during the die casting process.
Vacuum die casting can happen in both cold chamber and hot chamber die casting processes.
The main processes that happen in vacuum die casting include the following:
- Firstly, you will melt the metal in a furnace
- When using a hot chamber die casting process, you will move the molten metal to the shot chamber through the use of plungers
- If you are using cold chamber die casting machines, you will use a ladle to move the molten metal to the shot chambers
- Afterward, you will perform the act of creating a vacuum and injection of molten metal under a high-pressure level
- Air escapes the die cavity as this assists the molten metal to reach all parts of the die cavity uniformly
- The next step is allowing the molten metal to cool down and solidify
- Afterward, you will remove the cast metal part using ejectors
The creation of a vacuum in a vacuum die casting happens in the following ways:
- Injection of metal after you create the vacuum
- Metal injection happens concurrently with the creation of the vacuum
- Using actuated sensors to perform the metal injection and vacuum creation
Vacuum die casting operation
What Are The Benefits Of Using Vacuum Die Casting?
Vacuum die casting offers the following benefits:
- Minimal porosity
Vacuum die casting allows you to make parts with minimal to no porosity compared to traditional types of die casting.
- Lack of surface defects
The vacuum ensures no air gets trapped during the formation of the die cast part.
Entrapped air can cause surface defects such as blowholes and blisters.
- Thin walls
Negative pressure in vacuum die casting enables the molten metal to reach all narrow recesses thus you can make thin-walled components.
- Suitable mechanical characteristics
Because the metals casts have a dense pack, they have suitable mechanical properties due to minimized porosity.
Enhanced mechanical strength will improve other properties of the metal.
- Enhanced production rate
Since vacuum die casting minimizes defects and produces suitable surfaces, the production time is lowered.
This means you require no post-production processes thus saving you money and time.
- Minimal waste
Lack of quality control in other types of die casting forms defective components.
Also, you can treat other defects and reject others.
Vacuum die casting combats these issues as the parts are of high quality.
- Allows for heat treatment and welding
Die cast parts are not heat treatable because gas pores within the cast can form surface blisters in high temperatures.
Vacuum die casting allows you to heat treat the parts as it eliminates this effect.
Also, the components are highly wieldable.
What Are The Limitations Of Using Vacuum Die Casting?
Some limitations include:
- It is difficult setting up this process
- High initial cost
- Other parts may require secondary processes due to inaccuracies
How Will You Lower Production Costs Through The Use Of Vacuum Die Casting?
How Will You Ensure The Success Of A Vacuum Die Casting?
The following aspects can assist you in making a successful vacuum die casting:
- To produce highly precise and reproducible parts, ensure you control pressure and velocities
- Ensure the vacuum component is of high quality to ensure high performance
- Properly sealing die and shot units make sure you attain high efficiency and reliability
- Control parts such as:
- Control die temperature
- Plunger lubrication
- Molten metal fees
- Die spraying
What Are The Applications Of The Different Types Of Die Casting?
The different types of die casting find their application in several industries such as:
- Automotive industries
- Aerospace industries
- Plumbing industries
- Lighting technology
- Domestic appliances
- Power tools
- Decorative industries
- Medical equipment
- Instrumental components
- Manufacturing industries
- Processing industries
- Electrical industries
How Does Squeeze Die Casting And Semi-Solid Die Casting Compare?
Here is how these two compare:
- Squeeze die casting
This is a method that offers suitable solutions when casting alloys and metals that have a low fluidity rate.
It starts by filling the open die with molten metal.
Afterward, you will close the squeeze die thereby forcing the molten metal inside the die cavity.
Squeeze die casting is suitable for strengthening fibers and they produce dense products.
Squeeze die casting
Squeeze die casting machine
- Semi-solid die casting
This is also known as thermoforming and will provide high density and less porosity on the cast parts.
It involves cutting the materials into smaller pieces before heating.
Once the metal is between the solid and liquid phases, you will force it into the die cavity.
This process is suitable for use with non-ferrous materials like aluminum and magnesium alloy.
Semi solid die casting process
What Metals Can The Different Types Of Die Casting Handle?
Die casting machines can work with the following metals:
This metal is commonly used and comes in different alloys such as ZA alloy and Zamalek alloy.
Zinc metal can withstand high pressure and temperature levels.
This alloy combines copper and zinc metals and the various brass alloys come about due to different zinc and copper amounts.
Adding other metals will enhance the characteristics of brass alloy.
Some brass alloys you can find include:
- Beta brass
- Aluminum brass
- Duplex brass
- Alpha brass
- Admiralty brass
Brass alloy is easy to machine and has high strength levels and corrosion resistance.
It also has low melting points making it easy to cast with the different types of die casting machines.
This is a common die casting material as it is readily available, affordable, lightweight, and recyclable.
Aluminum is strong thus suitable for various applications.
The aluminum alloys available include:
- B360 alloy
- Alloy 383
- Alloy 413
- B390 alloy, etc.
This metal is very versatile therefore finds its application in several areas.
It combines carbon and iron thereby having suitable performance characteristics.
Steel alloys include:
- Tool steel
- Alloy steel
- Stainless steel
- Carbon steel
Besides, steel is recyclable, resistant to corrosion, strong, lightweight, and has suitable thermal and electrical conductivity.
These alloys are long-lasting making them suitable for making mechanical parts.
Copper is highly resistant to corrosion thus find their application in plumbing and electrical areas.
The strength-to-weight ratio of this alloy is high despite being lightweight.
Besides, they are suitable for usages requiring thin walls and tight precisions.
What Should You Consider When Purchasing The Machines That Will Perform The Different Types Of Die Casting?
When purchasing different types of die casting machines, consider the following:
- Die locking unit
Several types of die casting machines employ hydraulic systems.
Also, you need to adjust them for them to handle different types of dies for your application.
- Injection and ejection systems
They function using hydraulic systems and receive power from the accumulators.
- Heat exchanger system
It works by cooling down the unit and preventing the formation of molds due to overheating.
- Support base
This is the structure that the whole die casting machine rests on.
- Ton capacity
The weight of these machines can reach or surpass 80 tons and depends on the usage.
- Hydraulic system
The hydraulic systems will help you move several parts of the die casting machine.
- Electrical system
These units are important in hydraulic machines and comprise switchgear, motors, etc.
What Dies Are Available For Use In The Different Types Of Die Casting?
- Single cavity
This cavity produces a single unit component and is good for die casting machines than handles one die.
- Multiple cavity
This cavity will produce many similar component units within a single casting process.
This cavity can produce different components that operate together within a single casting process.
This version is inserted in large dies which you will fix and use various units to make different components.
What Factors Are Important When Choosing Metals You Will Use On The Different Types Of Die Casting?
Some of these factors include:
- Mechanical properties
These properties entail:
- Impact strength
- Yield strength
- Tensile strength
- Physical properties
This involves understanding the behavior of metals as you expose them to extreme conditions such as high pressures and temperature levels.
- Material composition
This involves understanding individual metal element composition and their use.
What Factors Are Important When You Are Designing Components Using The Types Of Die Casting?
The factors you should consider are:
The amount you have determines the design you can make.
Also, ensure the budget does not negatively impact the quality of the cast component.
Here, you will consider the area of application of the cast part.
- Assembly method
The complexity of the cast part determines if the assembly process will be simple or challenging.
Furthermore, you can assemble individual segmented parts via:
- Cored holes
Customers will consider how the final product looks, therefore, ensure you plan the surface finish you will use.
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