Very often I receive calls or requests for quote from designers or purchasing people who are not sure if they need a die casting or another process for their project.
Quite often with a good design review process we can suggest the part as a die casting along with other components that are assembled onto the initial part, thus saving tooling and other purchased components.
This is one of the many advantages of die casting – creating a basic part with add-ons to eliminate assembly and machining, saving the customer money in the long run.
However, die casting is a high volume production process, so part requirements need to be more than a few hundred parts per year in order to amortize the initial tooling costs of the program.
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.
Die casting component parts, decorative trim and/or finished products offer many features, advantages and benefits to those who specify die casting as a manufacturing process.
Here is a bullet list of die cast advantages and why a designer would want to design his product as a die casting:
- Die casting provides complex shapes within closer tolerances than many other mass production processes.
- Die Castings are produced at high rates of production. Little or no machining is required.
- Die casting provides parts which are durable, dimensionally stable, and have the feel and appearance of quality.
- Die castings can be produced with thinner walls than those obtainable by other casting methods and much stronger than plastic injection moldings with the same dimensions.
- Die casting dies can produce thousands of identical castings within specified tolerances before additional tooling may be required.
- Zinc castings can be easily plated or finished with a minimum of surface preparation.
- Die castings can be produced with surfaces simulating a wide variety of textures.
- Die cast surfaces, as cast, are smoother than most other forms of casting such as sand, permanent mold, and investment processes.
- Holes in die castings can be cored, and made to tap drill sizes.
- External threads on parts can be readily die cast.
- Die castings provide integral fastening elements, such as bosses and studs, which can result in assembly economies.
- Inserts of other metals and some non-metals can be die cast in place.
- Corrosion resistance of die casting alloys rates from good to high.
- Die castings are monolithic. They combine many functions in one, complex shaped part. Because die castings do not consist of separate parts, welded or fastened together, the strength is that of the material, not that of threads or welds.
Die casting is an efficient, economical process which, when used to its maximum potential, replaces assemblies of a variety of parts produced by various manufacturing processes at significant savings in cost and labor.
By Leonard Cordaro, President of Premier Engineered Products