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Author Archives: DyCast Specialties Corporation

  1. Best Aluminum Alloys for Die Casting

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    Aluminum Alloy Types and Characteristics

    Aluminum die casting is a popular manufacturing process for quickly producing identical metal parts at high volumes. It is also a versatile and cost-effective method to produce parts with customizable finishes.

    In die casting, molten metal is ejected at high speeds and high pressures into a die. Aluminum is an excellent material choice for this production method because it is easily workable and imbues the finished part with positive characteristics. Learn more about the most popular types of aluminum alloys, their most valuable characteristics, and common applications for aluminum die-cast parts.Aluminum Alloy for Die Casting

    Manufacturers often prefer aluminum alloys for producing strong yet lightweight metal parts at high volumes. Some of the most valuable characteristics of aluminum alloys include the following:

    • Cost-effectiveness: Aluminum alloys are affordable and highly accessible. Even specialty alloys with added strength, resistance to damage, and other added features are cost-effective to acquire and use.
    • Sustainability: Aluminum is recyclable. Manufacturers can repurpose used aluminum parts to create new components. They can also collect excess material around the castings and remelt them. This recyclability and sustainability reduce the environmental impact of every aluminum production project.
    • Durability: Despite its lightweight nature, aluminum is very durable. The material is corrosion-resistant, heat-resistant, strong against physical damage, and can hold complex or intricate shapes.

    Almost all aluminum alloys share these characteristics, but different alloys also have specialized features that make them appealing for specific projects. Some of the most popular aluminum alloys are:

    • Aluminum Alloy A380: This lightweight, moderately corrosion-resistant alloy is used to build chassis, automotive parts, consumer goods, and other parts for high-heat applications. It can hold a variety of different shapes and surface finishes for different applications.
    • Aluminum Alloy A383: Also called ADC12, this aluminum alloy is a popular choice for extremely intricate configurations because it responds so well to casting. Compared to A380, A383 is less durable but stronger and more resistant to cracking in high heat.
    • Aluminum Alloy A360: A360 is built for industrial components. It has excellent fluidity and high-pressure resistance. Although it is harder to cast than A380, this alloy gives components good corrosion resistance and strength, including tensile strength, yield strength, and shear strength.
    • Aluminum Alloy A413: This is the ideal metal for hydraulic cylinders and other highly pressurized parts. It’s also a top choice for intricate components and cold chamber die casting.

    Applications of Aluminum Alloy Die Casting

    Aluminum alloy die casting is a popular option for creating high-volume, dimensionally stable components across multiple industries. It’s important to work with a knowledgeable manufacturer that can help you determine the best aluminum alloy for your project. These are three of the most common applications for these parts.

    Automotive Industry

    Vehicles need strong, lightweight components that won’t break down despite exposure to high heat levels and potentially corrosive chemicals. Increasingly fuel-efficient cars and electric vehicles rely even more on these light, durable parts. Die casting can be used to create virtually identical chassis, engine components, and more.

    Infrastructure Equipment

    Because aluminum is thermally conductive, it’s commonly used for parts that need to offer a high degree of heat dissipation, such as networking and infrastructure components.

    Handheld Device Components

    Consumer goods and electronic devices also benefit from aluminum die casting, which can produce frames, structural elements, and intricate parts within the circuitry and controls.

    Aluminum Alloy Die Casting from DyCast Specialties

    At DyCast Specialties Corporation, we specialize in creating high-quality die-cast products from aluminum, zinc, and other metal alloys. We offer die casting services, engineering support, finishing services, in-house inspections, and more. Contact us today to learn more about our aluminum alloy die casting capabilities, or request a quote for custom pricing details.

  2. What Die Casting Process Should You Use for Your Designs and Products?

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    Understanding Die Casting

    Die casting is a manufacturing process in which metal alloys are liquified and injected into a reusable mold using extreme pressure. The finished piece is removed from the mold after cooling – sometimes requiring secondary processes. The process is fast, automatable, and able to produce high volumes of virtually identical components. This process is similar to injection mold in that it can create complex parts with specific geometries, however, die casting creates metal parts whereas injection molding creates plastic parts. Learn more about the different types of metal die casting, some of its most common applications, and how DyCast Specialties Corp. can help with your next project.

    Types of Die Casting

    Die casting is an efficient production method that produces high-quality, durable parts with considerable service life. There are several different types of die casting and it is important to know the differences when choosing a material and a casting method. The six most common types of die casting care:

    Aluminum Die Casting

    Aluminum is a versatile, cost-effective metal with a good strength-to-weight ratio. It also has a high melting point, meaning it needs a specialized process to accommodate it. Aluminum die casting uses cold chamber die casting, a process that specifically reduces the risk of corrosion by keeping the melting pot and the injector components separate.

    The advantages of die casting with aluminum include:

    • Quality: Aluminum is very formable and responds well to die casting processes. Manufacturers can create highly precise components that map accurately to the original design plan, even for parts with intricate geometries.
    • Excellent product characteristics: The resulting parts are also durable, lightweight, and strong.
    • Simplicity: Aluminum responds well to die casting, so it doesn’t need to undergo finishing or secondary processes.

    Zinc Die Casting

    Unlike aluminum, zinc die casting uses a hot-chamber process. In this form of die casting, the zinc is melted directly in the casting machine (rather than in a separate furnace) and then injected into the preformed mold. Zinc offers unique advantages for die-casted parts, including:

    • Resistance to corrosion and general low-maintenance characteristics
    • Excellent formability and castability, which makes it ideal for thin, intricate parts
    • Sustainability because the metal is recyclable
    • Excellent ability to conduct heat and electricity

    Low-Pressure Die Casting

    Unlike other processes that eject molten metal into molds at high pressures, this process works without feeders to create high-yield batches. This process is commonly used to create symmetric, circular aluminum parts, such as vehicle wheels.

    Vacuum Die Casting

    Vacuum die casting processes reduce turbulence and gas inclusions in the setting parts, which in turn results in strong, low-porosity components. Components that require heat-based finishing treatments are often vacuum cast.

    Squeeze Die Casting

    Metals with low fluidity are difficult materials to cast because they don’t efficiently fill the molds. Squeeze casting is ideal for these metals because once the mold is filled, it squeezes shut pushing the material into the deeper portions of the mold. Molten aluminum parts are often produced through squeeze die casting. The process results in products with stronger fibers and less fluidity.

    Semi-Solid Die Casting

    If you need parts with maximum possible density and virtually no porosity and turbulence, semi-solid die casting is the right choice. The metal is cut into smaller pieces and melted to a semi-solid state. Once in this state, a shot sleeve moves the material into the mold where it cures. It results in very precise components. Non-ferrous metals like aluminum and magnesium respond well to this process.

    Die Casting Applications

    Some of the most popular applications for die casting include parts for the following industries:

    • Appliances: Die casting creates extremely precise components, which is ideal for small, compact configurations of moving parts.
    • Automotive: Cars benefit from increasing light and durable metal parts that increase their fuel efficiency and performance.
    • Electric Motors: EV motors often have aluminum parts because the metal is strong while still being lightweight.
    • Hand Tools: Die cast parts are strong and durable without being brittle; they also have safe edges without relying on finishing and secondary processes to remove any burrs.
    • Robotic Automation: Increasingly complex and flexible robots need precise, lightweight components that allow for complex motions.
    • Security Components: Because die casting can work with a variety of metals, manufacturers can build everything from lightweight electronic security components to heavy-duty locks and tumblers.

    Different applications and use cases often require different types of die casting and materials. For complex precision parts, for example, aluminum is often a good choice; for rugged tooling parts, heavy-duty carbon steels may be a better fit. Our design and engineering professionals can help you find the right process and materials for your die-cast design.

    Die Casting at DyCast Specialties Corp.

    Don’t let inferior die casting processes negatively impact your product quality or brand reputation. At DyCast, we specialize in full-service aluminum and zinc die casting projects. We prioritize complete customer satisfaction through excellent customer service, cost-effective services, expertise, and complete engineering support from start to finish. Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities or request a quote for pricing details.

  3. Die Casting vs. Injection Molding

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    Which Process to Choose?

    When manufacturing parts for your business, the first aspect to consider is the best manufacturing process for your application. Die casting and injection molding are two of the most popular choices, but they have specific pros and cons that influence how well they suit your project. While the main difference between die casting and injection molding is the material used, there are other key differences that we will take a closer look at here.

    Die Casting Process

    Die casting is a process by which a molten metal material is transformed into solid precision parts. First, a custom steel mold or die is developed and sprayed with lubricant to allow easier removal of the finished part. The metal—commonly aluminum, magnesium, or zinc—is poured into these steel molds using extreme pressure. The mold is then cooled, often through immersion in cold water. Finally, the die is opened and the finished component is removed.

    Die casting offers many benefits for those needing precision metal components, such as: High pressure die casting part for automotive and electrical equipment

    • High level of accuracy
    • High repeatability
    • Ability to create complex shapes and details
    • Minimal need for secondary operations
    • Tight tolerances
    • Reduced material waste
    • Increased production rates

    Depending on your project’s requirements, die casting may present the following cons:

    • Limited raw material options (only works with metals with high fluidity)
    • Higher initial cost due to custom mold design
    • Limited casting size and weight

    Injection Molding Process

    In contrast, to die casting, injection molding utilizes liquified plastic to create precision parts. The injection molding process follows similar steps to die casting, including creating a mold of the part needed, using extreme pressure to inject the plastic or polymer into the mold, and cooling and removing the finished part.

    Benefits of injection molding include:

    • Quick turnaround times
    • Greater variety of raw materials
    • Use of fillers to enhance part strength
    • Efficient processing
    • Design flexibility
    • High level of accuracy

    These are some potential cons to using injection molding:

    • Expensive upfront costs for obtaining injection molding machines and other equipment
    • Small margin for error (requires a high level of design accuracy)
    • Higher costs for larger injection molds

    Die Casting at DyCast Specialties Corp.

    While die casting and injection molding can both produce precision parts, it’s important to know the differences between the two processes to choose the one right for your application. To manufacture many plastic parts quickly, injection molding is your best choice. Those seeking the durability of quality metal parts should opt for die casting.

    If you’ve decided that die casting is the best solution for your project, trust the experts at DyCast Specialties Corp. for high-pressure aluminum or zinc die casting solutions. We can create durable, high-quality parts for almost any application and provide you with other value-added services. Contact us to learn more about our die casting capabilities, or request a quote for your project today.

  4. Top Four Common Defects in High-Pressure Die Casting Operations

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    A Quick Look at the High-Pressure Die Casting Process

    High-pressure die casting is a cost-effective method for manufacturing high-fidelity metal pieces in medium to high volumes. It can produce complex components to tight tolerances with excellent surface finishes when it is performed correctly. However, many issues may arise during production operations that can affect the quality of the cast parts and products.

    The high-pressure die casting process involves injecting molten metal under high pressure into a pre-fabricated steel die or mold. High speed-injection ensures that the liquid material is forced into every section of the die cavity. The result is highly accurate components with exceptional details and smooth finishes once the material is allowed to cool and harden.

    Top Four Common High-Pressure Die Casting Defects

    High-pressure die casting relies on highly accurate and precise metal temperatures, mold temperatures, gas ventilation, and injection pressure. The cast component can also be air- or water-cooled, depending on the material. If the temperature, cooling method, or injection pressure are not correct, a number of die casting defects can occur.

    die cast

    The four most common defects found in components made using the high-pressure die casting process are porosity, blisters, cold shuts, and misruns.

    1. Porosity

    Porosity refers to holes or voids in solid cast metal components. They can range from very small (microscopic) to very large (several cubic millimeters or larger). The two main causes of porosity are solidification shrinkage and gas porosity.

    • Solidification shrinkage occurs when the molten metal cools too quickly after being injected into the mold. The metal shrinks as it solidifies against the cooler mold wall, creating pores in the still-liquid metal away from the wall.
    • Gas porosity refers to pockets formed by air or gas trapped in the mold. It can occur due to many conditions, including insufficient venting or material mixing during the mold filling stage.

    Manufacturers can correct these issues by modifying the mold design and/or casting operation to ensure even cooling, reduce shrinkage, or decrease the risk of entrained air. The right solution depends on the root cause of porosity.

    2. Blisters

    Blisters are a form of gas porosity that occurs closer to the surface of the component, often appearing as visible raised bubbles. They are formed when high-pressure air or gas trapped within the casting pushes the material outward after it is removed from the mold.

    The solutions for blisters are based on the same principle as the solutions for internal gas porosity: reduce entrained air. They may involve cooling the mold at a different rate, adjusting water flow, increasing cooling time, or quenching the component upon ejection from the mold. You can also change the temperature of the alloy to reduce the thermal difference between the mold and the metal.

    3. Cold Shuts

    Cold shuts—also known as cold laps—occur when metal molten flows into the mold via two or more channels but cools too quickly. As a result, the streams solidify before meeting, which prevents them from forming a seamless piece.

    This defect typically occurs because of poor gating system design or lack of material fluidity. Manufacturers can prevent it by modifying the gating system, increasing pour temperatures, or improving the mold’s gas permeability.

    4. Misruns

    Misruns occur in similar conditions to cold shuts. However, the molten metal cools so quickly that it does not completely fill the mold, resulting in incomplete components.

    The solutions for misruns are similar to the solutions for cold shuts. Manufacturers should check the mold design, the gating system design, and/or the fluidity of the molten metal.

    High-Pressure Die Casting Solutions at DyCast Specialties

    Manufacturers may encounter a variety of issues during high-pressure die casting operations. Knowing why they occur and how to avoid them is an indicator of a good die casting partner.

    At DyCast Specialties Corporation, we provide high-pressure die casting solutions to customers in a broad range of industries. Our experts carefully set up and conduct operations to avoid metal casting defects in components. To learn more about our die casting services, contact us or request a quote today.

  5. Aluminum Die Castings for the Communications Sector

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    What is Aluminum Die Casting?

    Click to Expand Aluminum Die Castings for the Communications Sector

    Aluminum die casting is a manufacturing process used to create smooth, precise, defined, and textured metal components. The alloys used with aluminum die casting offer many benefits such as high thermal and electrical conductivity, corrosion resistance, good mechanical properties, high dimensional stability, and low weight. These desirable properties make aluminum die castings an excellent option for various applications within the communications sector.

    Applications of Aluminum Die Castings for the Communication Sector

    die castingVarious equipment within the telecommunications industry relies on aluminum die cast components due to their durability, low weight, and high conductivity. Specifically, aluminum die castings are useful for communication applications such as electric utilities, radio, and video conferencing.

    Other applications for aluminum die cast parts throughout the communications industry include:

    • P.C. accessories and hardware. Computer hardware and various accessories rely on die cast parts due to their heat dissipating properties.
    • Relay boards. Aluminum die cast parts are utilized because they are lightweight and can withstand heat from the device’s operating system.
    • Hubs. Aluminum die cast parts are extremely durable and lightweight, making them a great option for hubs.
    • Communication equipment. Communication equipment is often made with aluminum die cast parts due to their strength, excellent dimensional stability, corrosion resistance, and heat dissipating properties.
    • Set top box systems. Aluminum die cast components are a strong, cost-effective material choice for set top box systems.
    • Electrical housings. Aluminum die cast parts feature good shielding properties and electrical performance, making them a great option for electrical housings.
    • Electronic connectors. Aluminum is a natural conductor, making aluminum die casts ideal for electronic connectors.
    • Antenna mounts. Antenna mounts can benefit from these components due to their durability, low weight, and high conductivity.
    • RF filters. Aluminum is widely used in RF filters due to its effective shielding properties.
    • Front face plate. Aluminum die castings are lightweight and durable, making them ideal for front face plates.

    Advanced Aluminum Die Casting at DyCast Specialties

    Many companies in the communications sector and other industries choose to partner with DyCast Specialties to meet their aluminum die casting needs. We offer high-quality aluminum die casting services for a wide range of industries and applications. Our trained and highly equipped team can manage the entire aluminum die casting process from the project’s initial design to the machining, finishing, and final shipment.

    We work with various aluminum alloys, including 380, 383, and 413, to produce lightweight and intricate die castings for many applications. Our facility is equipped with in-house CNC machining centers with tolerance capabilities within +/- 0.00025 of an inch. Depending on your specific needs, we can provide additional processes including coating, annealing, testing, inspecting, and assembling of your products.

    Please contact us today to see how your organization can benefit from our quality aluminum die casting services, or request a quote to get started. With DyCast Specialties, you can count on us to produce parts made to your exact specifications, with superior customer service throughout the entire process.