Introduction of Commonly Used Die-Casting Materials

When selecting die-casting materials, product design engineers should choose the correct materials according to various factors such as the product’s service performance, process performance, production conditions, economy and the characteristics of die-casting materials. The commonly used die-casting materials include aluminium, zinc, and magnesium alloy.

Aluminum alloy

Aluminium is the most widely used die-casting material in automobiles, motorcycles, aerospace, etc.

The characteristics of aluminium alloy are as follows.

1) The density of aluminium alloy is small, only about 1/3 of that of iron, copper and zinc, and its outstanding advantages are high specific strength and specific stiffness.

2) Aluminum alloy has good electrical and thermal conductivity.

3) Aluminum alloy has good oxidation corrosion resistance. In the air, a thick film of disulfide trioxide is readily formed on the aluminium’s surface, preventing further oxidation.

4) Aluminum alloy has good die-casting performance. The aluminium alloy die casting process is simple, forming and cutting performance is good, has high mechanical properties, and corrosion resistance is the most potential to replace iron and steel casting alloy.

5) Aluminum alloy has good mechanical properties at high temperatures and maintains good mechanical properties when working at low temperatures.

6) The disadvantage of aluminium alloy is that it is easy to produce large concentrated shrinkage holes at the final solidification place. In addition, aluminium alloy and iron have a strong affinity, are easy to stick to die, and should be in the cold chamber die casting machine die casting.

The application of aluminium alloy is shown in Table 5-1.

Zinc alloy

The characteristics of zinc alloy are as follows:

1) Zinc alloy has excellent casting properties, mechanical properties, and toughness and is widely used in traditional mechanical parts, hardware, locks, toys and other industries.

2) Zinc alloy has excellent electrical and heat conduction properties, good vibration damping characteristics, and good electromagnetic shielding performance, and its application in electronics, telecommunications, and home appliances is growing.

3) Zinc alloy is a versatile, reliable, low-cost material with easy-to-die casting production. Zinc alloy has good die-casting properties, so it is easier to die-cast products with complex shapes, thin walls and high dimensional accuracy. Due to the thin-wall casting property of zinc alloy, the requirements of product lightweight and cost reduction can be realized.

4) Compared with aluminium and magnesium alloy, zinc alloy has higher tensile strength, yield strength, impact toughness and hardness, and better elongation.

5) Zinc alloy die casting surface is very smooth and can not be used directly for surface treatment, but also easier to carry out a variety of surface treatments, such as polishing, electroplating, spraying, etc., to obtain better surface quality.

6) Zinc alloy has a low melting point and melts at 385℃. Compared with aluminium and magnesium alloy, zinc alloy is the easiest die cast.

7) Poor corrosion resistance. When THE IMPURITIES OF zinc alloy elements lead, cadmium and tin exceed the standard, they will gradually age and deformation, manifested as bulk swelling, mechanical properties (especially plasticity) significantly decreased, and a long time break.

8) Timeliness. If used for a long time, the shape and size of the zinc alloy die casting will change slightly.

9) Zinc alloy should not be used in high-temperature and low-temperature working environments. Zinc alloys have good mechanical properties at room temperature, but their tensile strength and impact properties decrease significantly at high and low temperatures. Zinc alloy is easy to age, which is the main reason that the application scope of zinc alloy is limited. The operating temperature range of zinc alloy is narrow. When the temperature is lower than -10℃, the impact toughness of zinc alloy decreases sharply. When the temperature increases, the mechanical properties decrease and creep easily occurs. Therefore, the temperature of the stressed parts generally does not exceed l00℃. Strictly controlling the purity of zinc alloy raw materials and the smelting process, adding a small amount of Mg and a proper amount of Cu to zinc alloy can reduce or eliminate the ageing phenomenon and improve the machining performance.

The applications of zinc alloys are divided into two categories, as shown in Table 5-2.

Magnesium alloy

The characteristics of magnesium alloys are as follows.

1) Magnesium alloy is the “green engineering material of the 21st century”. Its density is 2/3 of aluminium alloy and 1/4 of iron and steel. Still, its specific strength and stiffness are better than aluminium alloy and steel and far higher than engineering plastics. It is an excellent and lightweight structural material.

2) Magnesium alloy has good energy absorption and vibration absorption characteristics, which can reduce noise transmission when used in product shells and can absorb vibration when used in motion parts to prolong the service life of parts.

3) good electromagnetic shielding can provide electronic products with electromagnetic radiation resistance. (Metal electromagnetic shielding is good.)

4) Good rigidity and impact resistance.

5) Good flexibility, easy to form, can make the product design flexible and improve the grade of products.

6) The melting point of magnesium alloy is low, which makes the low-temperature deformation small and the dimensional accuracy high, which is conducive to the one-die forming; The affinity with iron is small, and the adhesion to the mould is small, which is beneficial to improve the productivity and the life of the mould; Moreover, the good flow property of magnesium alloy is beneficial to the production of complex parts and small parts.

7) The best machining performance, the required cutting force is small, the cutting effect is good, and the tool life is long.

8) good heat dissipation, second only to aluminium alloy.

9) Good dimensional stability, the small impact of environmental temperature and time change on size.

10) 100% renewable.

11) Magnesium alloy is easily oxidized in the air, so magnesium alloy die castings must be surface treated after forming to improve corrosion resistance and surface quality of parts. Common surface treatments include electroplating, spraying, anodizing, etc. At the same time, magnesium alloy has the disadvantages of high brittleness and hot cracking tendency.

Typical applications of magnesium alloys are shown in Table 5-3.

Features of commonly used die-casting materials are summarized

The characteristics of die casting of various metals are as follows:

Zinc: THE EASIEST METAL TO DIE CAST, very ECONOMICAL TO MANUFACTURE SMALL parts, easy to film, high compressive strength, plasticity, long-lasting life.

Aluminium: LIGHT weight, high dimensional stability, strong corrosion resistance, good mechanical properties, high thermal and electrical conductivity, and high strength at high temperatures.

Magnesium: Easy to machine, high strength-to-weight ratio, the lightest metal commonly used in die casting.

Copper: high hardness, strong corrosion resistance, commonly used die casting metals in the best mechanical properties, wear resistance, strength close to steel.

Lead and tin: High density, high dimensional precision, can be used as special anti-corrosion components. This alloy cannot be used as food processing and storage equipment for public health reasons. Alloys of lead, tin, and antimony (sometimes with a little copper) can be used to make hand type in relief printing and bronze.

The upper mass limits for die-casting using aluminium, copper, magnesium and zinc are 70 lb (32 kg), 10 lb (4.5 kg), 44 lb (20 kg) and 75 lb (34 kg), respectively.

 

The common material grade of die casting

Commonly used die-cast aluminum alloys are: ADC12, YL113,YL102,A380,A360 and so on

Commonly used die-casting zinc alloys are generally: 3#Zn;

At present, the Pearl River Delta region commonly uses aluminium alloy ADC12; its die-casting moulding, cutting, mechanical properties, and other aspects have a better performance.

 

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