What Is Die Casting

Die casting is a process in which various metals can be cast from molten states into a mold. These molds are called “dies” in many foundry environments. The die is filled with typically non-ferrous metals, such as zinc and aluminum. It is filled in a high-pressure application that ensures that the density of the die-cast material is at the desired level.

The metal is injected into a specific cavity or mold that has been created. This is then machined to create two opposing steel dies. After the cooling process is completed, the casting is then removed from the mold. It is next burred or buffed to create a product that has been manufactured to exact specifications.

The process of die casting has evolved since its original inception to become much more efficient, in terms of both production and a decrease in the creation of scrap materials. When the molten metal is injected into the mold, this shot uses between 1,500 pounds (680.39 kilograms) to over 25,000 pounds (11,339.08 kilograms) per square inch of pressure. This is to ensure that the entire mold is filled with material to create consistent and full mold shots. The term shot refers to each mold being injected, since there can be multiple molds within a mold casing, and multiple castings produced within a shot.

Die casting has long been a valuable means of producing hardened metal products, such as engines. Many other items are also cast into molds from molten states, such as cast-iron pots and pans, and other car parts. This method of production has been used in industrial settings to create a multitude of different products, mainly because the casting process is able to produce parts of virtually any size and shape, depending on the mold that has been created for the metal to be poured or injected into.

Virtually any part that is needed for a specific application can be cast from almost any metal. One of the most popular, however, is aluminum. The low melting point and the ease of machining applications with aluminum make it an easily manipulated material to work with. This, in turn, results in a lower cost of production.

Due to the increased initial cost for the die casting equipment and the facilitation of a die casting operation, most of the industrial environments that have these types of productions take place do so on a large or heavy production scale. This is especially true in the automotive industry. There, the bulk of many automobile engines are made out of cast metal parts.

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What is Cast Aluminum

Cast aluminum is a specific metal that has gone through one of the several processes known as casting. Essentially, cast aluminum is created when methods such as die casting, mold casting, or sand casting are used to temper the aluminum for use in creating components for many different types of products. Cast aluminum is used for a number of items around the house, as well as machinery and other products that are necessary to the manufacturing of a wide range of goods and services.

One of the more common applications of cast aluminum is in the creation of cookware. Just as cast iron is used for skillets, baking pans, and other kitchen essentials, cast iron can also be used for these items. Usually created using the die cast approach, the cookware can withstand the high temperatures required to cook food properly and will remain useful for a number of years with no more than minimal care.

Cast aluminum is also used to create outdoor furniture. While not quite as popular as cast iron furniture for the lawn, cast aluminum patio furniture is somewhat more lightweight and can be moved around the space with greater ease. Patio furniture made with cast aluminum includes such items as chairs, gliders, and tables.

In addition to cookware and cast aluminum furniture, the cast metal is also used to create a number of motor parts for land vehicles as well as boats and ships. Components such as connecting rods, pistons, housings, radiator tanks, and other essentials can be created using both die casting and mold casting methods. Even components such as compressors and various types of gears may be created using aluminum of this type.

One of the main advantages to using cast aluminum is that the metal is often cost efficient in comparison to other cast metals. Along with the lower cost, the metal also retains a high degree of durability. While it is not necessarily true that cast aluminum will last as long as cast iron in some applications, the aluminum products do tend to hold up well for a number of years. The combination of lower cost and reliable durability makes cast aluminum an excellent choice for a number of metal components and products in domestic and commercial applications.

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What is Metal Casting

Metal casting is a metalworking technique in which molten metal is poured into a mold and allowed to set before being removed to reveal a metal piece which can be finished with grinding, sanding, and polishing before being sold. This is one of the oldest metalworking techniques in the world, with evidence of cast metal pieces being found at archaeological sites all over the world, sometimes demonstrating a very high level of skill. This technique continues to be utilized today in a broad range of industries.

A wide variety of materials can be used to make molds for metal casting, depending on the metal being worked. The material needs to be strong and durable enough to withstand the hot metal, while being workable enough to be to be carved or worked into a mold. Wood, limestone, plaster of Paris, and ceramic have all been used for molds, and crude metal casting has been performed by pouring molten metal into forms made by hollowing out sand or clay. Re-usable molds for metal casting click together, holding the metal while it sets and then pulling apart.

Some molds are made by carving a form from wax, including a high level of detail so that the piece will be as finished as possible. The wax can be inserted into a wet ceramic or plaster of Paris block and then fired, leaving the shape of the mold behind while the wax flows out. This technique is known as “lost wax casting,” and it is simple enough to be taught in elementary school art classes.

To do metal casting, people usually need access to a foundry, a facility which has been specially outfitted for work with hot metals. Foundries include a very hot furnace or fireplace known as a forge which can be used to work metal directly for blacksmithing, or to melt metals for metal casting. Once metal is molten, it can also be alloyed with other metals to bring out desired properties, and then carefully poured into molds for casting.

Different metals require unique levels of skill to work with, as indicated by the terms “Bronze Age,” “Iron Age,” and so forth for different periods in human history. Some foundries are equipped to handle a range of metals, including metals which need a very high temperature for working, while others are more crude, and designed to be used with softer metals which are easier to work. Metal casting can also be accomplished with fine metals like silver and gold to make cast jewelry.

 

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Definition of Die Casting

Die casting is a metal casting process that is characterized by forcing molten metal under high pressure into a mould cavity. The mold cavity is created using two hardened tool steel dies which have been machined into shape and work similarly to an injection mold during the process. Most die castings are made from non-ferrous metals, specifically zinc, copper, aluminium, magnesium, lead, pewter and tin based alloys. Depending on the type of metal being cast, a hot- or cold-chamber machine is used.

The casting equipment and the metal dies represent large capital costs and this tends to limit the process to high volume production. Manufacture of parts using die casting is relatively simple, involving only four main steps, which keeps the incremental cost per item low. It is especially suited for a large quantity of small to medium sized castings, which is why die casting produces more castings than any other casting process. Die castings are characterized by a very good surface finish (by casting standards) and dimensional consistency.

Two variants are pore-free die casting, which is used to eliminate gas porosity defects; and direct injection die casting, which is used with zinc castings to reduce scrap and increase yield.

Die casting equipment was invented in 1838 for the purpose of producing movable type for the printing industry. The first die casting-related patent was granted in 1849 for a small hand operated machine for the purpose of mechanized printing type production. In 1885, Otto Mergenthaler invented the linotype machine, an automated type casting device which became the prominent type of equipment in the publishing industry. Other applications grew rapidly, with die casting facilitating the growth of consumer goods and appliances by making affordable the production of intricate parts in high volumes. In 1966, General Motors released the acurad process.

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