The Value of Aluminum Die Castings
With a growing demand for high-quality metal parts in various industries, die casting—manufacturing by injecting molten metal into a steel mold—remains one of the most important techniques relied on. Aluminum die castings see wide use in consumer and industrial products, owing both to the properties of aluminum alloys and the advantages of the casting process.
Advantages of Aluminum
The common image of aluminum for most people is likely a soda can, but aluminum shows its true strength in industry through its versatility. At a third of the mass of steel, aluminum is prized wherever lightweight components are needed, and several aluminum alloys rival steel in hardness and strength while exceeding it in corrosion resistance. This high strength-to-weight ratio is invaluable in the construction, automotive and aerospace industries. It also possesses excellent thermal and electrical conductivity and a variety of surface finishing options.
Why Die Casting?
Die casting’s main advantage is that, with specially prepared dies, it allows for complex and precise geometries in fabrication, owing to the injected metal swiftly filling the mold and solidifying into shape. The dies are reusable as well, so the process is relied on for high-volume production runs of custom components with strict tolerance for their dimensions. These components also need little to no machining afterward, further improving rate of production.
The Casting Metal of Choice
Almost all die castings are made with nonferrous alloys, as they are most receptive to the casting process. Among them, aluminum is tied with zinc as one of the most common metals used. Its exceptional stiffness and strength for its weight means cast aluminum parts possess high structural stability even with complex shapes. Aluminum alloys are often the best choice for thin-wall casting, retaining integrity at minute thicknesses. Coupled with excellent tolerance for high temperatures, this makes aluminum die castings long-lived.