Pressure Die Casting Process

Written by a. renee hutcherson
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Pressure Die Casting Process
The metal of some model cars undergoes pressure die casting. (Viewstock/Photodisc/Getty Images)

If you are a model car collector, many of the cars in your collection may have been manufactured by die casting. Die casting allows you to mould metal into various shapes. Before die casting, many metals were welded and hammered together. This resulted in a time-consuming and costly process. Aluminium, iron and lead are alloys that can successfully undergo the die casting process. Although there are other methods of die casting, pressure die casting is considered to be a process that provides accurate and durable moulds.

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Background

Die casting is the process of forcing molten metals into mould cavities. The metal hardens and takes the shape of the mould. Tin and lead were the first two alloys to undergo die casting. Before die casting became widely used, plastic moulding and sand casting were used to shape metal. Plastic moulding resulted in a less-durable and heat-tolerant product. Sand casting results in a rougher mould and a slower production time. .

Process

Cold-chamber and hot-chamber are the two main die casting process types. Pressure die casting is a variation of the two. During pressure die casting, metal alloys such as aluminium and tin are melted in a furnace. The molten material is injected with extreme pressure into steel moulds. These steel moulds, or dies, are made prior to the die casting process. They are reusable and recyclable. Cold-chamber machines have an injection piston connected to the furnace. This prevents corrosion better than hot-chamber machines. The injection pistons on hot-chamber machines are immersed in the molten metal. The molten metal is then shot into the mould with extreme pressure and speed. This results in a uniform, durable part that has dimensional accuracy.

Uses

Die cast alloys are used in many products. Automobile parts may undergo an aluminium die casting process. Die casting aluminium auto parts make them lighter and faster to manufacture. Aluminium is usually cast with silicon and copper because pure aluminium is more susceptible to cracking and shrinking. Mirrors, gas tanks and engine housings are auto parts that are made by die casting. Die cast drum hoops give drums a sharper and clearer sound. Cookware may also be manufactured by die casting in order to make it more durable and environmentally friendly.

Advantages

Although there are other methods of manufacturing metal products, die casting has advantages over other processes. Die casting results in a smoother surface that you can paint over with ease. You can combine a broader range of shapes and parts to make one mould. This results in faster and more efficient production. The die casting machinery and dies may be considered costly, but the die casting process is economical if a high volume of products is made.

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