Die castings are formed by injecting molten metal under high pressure into steel molds called “dies”. This process can provide a wide range of products because close tolerances can be consistently held and metal parts cab be produced efficiently and at high rates of production. The die casting process produces parts that are cost-efficient and highly engineered. The size of die castings can be as small as a matchstick and as large as 300 cubic inches. Tolerances in die casting can be held on the order of .003″ to .005″. Die castings are used in a wide variety of industries, including Agriculture, Mining, Construction Equipment, Commercial Machinery and Tools, Communications, Office Equipment, Military, Aerospace, Railroad, Automotive, Lighting and Medical.
A steel die is mounted to a die cast machine. The mating die halves are tightly locked together to withstand the high injection pressure of the motlen metal. The molten metal is then injected into the die, the metal solidifies quickly and the part is ejected from the machine. Gates and flash are removed, and other secondary operations are performed as required. The process is repeated in rapid succession thus producing high quantities of accurate parts in a short period of time
The die casting process offers the following advantages:
- Die casting can produce both simple and intricate parts to near-net shape, reducing or eliminating the need for secondary operations such as machining and assembly.
- Although the tooling required for the die casting process has a relatively high initial cost, it has a long wear life. In high volume production runs, the cost per casting is lower than other casting processes.
- Minimal draft is required, compared to other casting processes.
- Casting surfaces are smoother than other casting processes.
- Holes and slots can be formed as part of the die casting without machining and hold very close tolerances.
- Parts such as studs, nuts, and bushings can be incorporated as composite integral parts of the die casting. These inserts can be made from aluminum, brass, steel, stainless steel, bronze and iron, and other materials.