Die casting is an efficient, economical process offering a broader range of shapes and components than any other manufacturing technique. Parts have long service life and may be designed to complement the visual appeal of the surrounding part. Designers can gain a number of advantages and benefits by specifying die cast parts.
High-speed production – Die casting provides complex shapes within closer tolerances than many other mass production processes. Little or no machining is required and thousands of identical castings can be produced before additional tooling is required.
Dimensional accuracy and stability – Die casting produces parts that are durable and dimensionally stable, while maintaining close tolerances. They are also heat resistant.
Strength and weight – Die cast parts are stronger than plastic injection moldings having the same dimensions. Thin wall castings are stronger and lighter than those possible with other casting methods. Plus, because die castings do not consist of separate parts welded or fastened together, the strength is that of the alloy rather than the joining process.
Multiple finishing techniques – Die cast parts can be produced with smooth or textured surfaces, and they are easily plated or finished with a minimum of surface preparation.
Simplified Assembly – Die castings provide integral fastening elements, such as bosses and studs. Holes can be cored and made to tap drill sizes, or external threads can be cast.
There are many sources for information on die casting design. These include text books, technical papers, literature, magazines, seminars and courses conducted by engineering societies, trade associations and industry. Often, the die caster selected to produce a component part is an excellent source for information.
To gain maximum advantage of the die casting process, it is always a good idea to draw upon the wide ranging experience of a custom die caster. New designs should be reviewed during the early stage of development. Significant savings may be realized during this interchange of ideas.
The data appearing (Table 5) on approximate dimensional and weight limits for die casting of different alloys may vary under special conditions. When in doubt, ask your die caster. He is thoroughly familiar with his machinery and equipment and can make suggestions (during the design stage) which may affect tooling and production changes, resulting in lower costs.
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